heard that making flour tortillas by hand is pretty simple, but I’d never tried
it until recently. Using various ingredient combinations, I tested
several batches of tortillas before arriving at a recipe that made just what I
was looking for: light and tender tortillas with soft, flaky layers. And you
know what? They really are easy to make.
Now, I’m not suggesting that
you have to make your own tortillas to try our quesadillas, but if you do, be forewarned: Once
you taste these and see for yourself how uncomplicated it is to make them,
store-bought tortillas may not taste the same ever again.
eight 9- to 10-inch tortillas.
9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for
kneading and rolling
1 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening or lard, cut into small
In a medium
bowl, stir the flour, salt, and baking powder.
shortening or lard and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or two table
knives until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Stir in 2/3
cup warm water with a fork until a shaggy dough forms.
dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and soft, 3 to 4 min.,
reflouring the surface as necessary.
kneading, the dough shouldn’t be very sticky.
Make the dough.
Portion the dough into eight equal pieces (about 2 ounces
each) and shape each piece into a ball.
dough balls loosely with plastic and let rest on the counter for at least 30
min. and up to 2 hours.
Form the dough into balls.
When ready to cook the tortillas, heat a large (11- to
12-inch) dry cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot.
with one ball of dough at a time (keep the remaining dough covered) and using
just enough flour to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a 9- to 10-inch
should be so thin that you can vaguely see the pattern of your countertop
through it, and it should be more or less circular, though an amoeba shape is
Roll out the dough.
Peel the dough off the counter and lay it in the skillet or
on the griddle.
the tortilla bubbles and puffs and the bottom browns in spots, 45 to 60
gigantic bubbles form, pierce them so the tortilla cooks evenly.
Flip with a
spatula and cook until the second side gets brown in spots and any translucent,
raw-looking areas become opaque, another 45 to 60 seconds.
tortillas brown too quickly or start burning in spots, reduce the heat to
a clean dishtowel and cover to keep warm.
the remaining dough, stacking and covering each tortilla as it’s cooked.
Cook the tortillas.
Make Ahead Tips:
Because they're not loaded with preservatives, these
tortillas taste best when freshly made.
stay pliable as long as kept warm.
tortillas may be frozen (let cool thoroughly first.)
individual cooled or thawed torillas on a grittle or skillet, or wrap several
tortillas in foil or heat in a 350°F oven until warm and pliable, about 10
information (per serving): Size: based on eight servings, Calories (kcal): 160,
Fat (kcal): 6, Fat Calories (g): 50, Saturated Fat (g): 1.5, Protein (g): 3,
Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2, Carbohydrates (mg): 23, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg):
1.5, Sodium (g): 300, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 1.