A few videos ago I made corn tortillas. They were good. As far as corn tortillas go, they were amazing. However, we almost never have corn tortillas in the house. They aren’t as versatile as their flour counterpart, which can be used to turn pretty much any leftover into a wrap, or used to make vegan quesadillas (or bean-adillas) whenever you just need a quick snack.
Because of their versatility and ease of use, my fridge is almost never without them.
That was until Plastic Free July hit, and I didn’t have a source for flour tortillas without the excessive plastic packaging. Were flour tortillas now a thing of the past? Was this my new tortilla-less life that I just needed to get used to? Was it going to be all corn all the time?!
I made the corn tortillas because they seemed easy: mix two ingredients and press. Flour tortillas on the other hand seemed magical, like they required some expert skill to achieve the perfect texture, and maybe even an complex dough process that would take more time that in was worth. I’m not sure where I came up with that tortilla fantasy, but that’s what it was.
At some point I couldn’t take it anymore, and I walked myself into the kitchen and I said, “You WILL master the flour tortilla today!” (Picture Annette Bening standing in front of vertical blinds in American Beauty.) I did a bit of Googling. I tried a few different oils. I tried using the tortilla press. (Don’t!) I tried rolling them out. I tried various temperatures and amounts of water. Most of the experiments came out pretty well, and like any good experimental cook, the test subjects were eaten up promptly.
But when I came up with this coconut oil and warm water, kneading-in-the-bowl recipe, with just the right amount of baking powder and salt, I knew I had nailed it.
Flour tortillas were back in my life for good!
I’m sure this recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. It’s written to help you make 8, 8ish inch tortillas, but if you wanted to make more, go for it. And if you have the griddle or pan or even counter space to go larger, go ahead and try your hand at making those Chipotle-sized “burrito wraps”.
However, do be careful when making this recipe. Success with these tortillas will ruin commercial tortillas for you forever.
I was surprised to find out how easy it was to make homemade flour tortillas. It does take a few minutes to make them from scratch, and it does make a bit of a mess, but if you've got the time, then they are more than worth it.
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
- ¼ to ½ cup warm water
Add the dry ingredients and coconut oil to a large bowl. Mix with your hands until you have a evenly incorporated the oil. Slowly add about 1/4 cup of water water to the bowl, and mix it into the flour with your hand, beginning to knead the dough. Slowly adding water as needed. You should not need more than a 1/2 cup. Your dough is perfect when it is a smooth texture, and there are no more bits of flour in the bowl. Continue to knead the dough in the bowl for another minute. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, and then return to the towel covered bowl.
Prepare your rolling surface by lightly flouring it. I like to use a silicone baking mat to roll out my dough because it helps with sticking, and it helps to keep the flour contained.
Turn a large skillet to medium heat.
Starting with one piece of dough, roll it into a ball, and then form that ball into a thick disk. Then, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll your dough into a large circle, trying to get it as thin as possible. Ideally, you want to be able to slightly see through it.
Place your flattened tortilla into the heated pan, and then begin the rolling process all over again with the next piece of dough. When bubbles form on top of tortilla in the pan, you can flip it. Allow the tortilla to continue to cook until it has brown flecks on the bubbles, and seems cooked through.
Place the cooked tortilla into a large folded towel. Continue to cook the tortillas, rolling out the next one as you cook the previous one until all the dough is gone. Add each cooked tortilla to the towel with the other tortillas so that the can steam and become soft and pliable.
Store your cooled tortillas an airtight container until ready to serve.