I learned how to make these homemade tortillas even before I knew they were called tortillas. Years ago when we were living in the small island of the Kingdom of Tonga, an ex-flight attendant turned restaurant owner showed me how to make them using just flour and water. With only one “grocery store” and limited food choices on the shelves, we had to be resourceful. Later when we moved back to San Diego, I got spoiled with different sizes and flavors available in the stores. I still make homemade tortillas especially when we’re in Tahoe for the winter. It is easier for me to roll my own flour dough than trek to the store during a snowstorm! Through the years, the simple recipe of flour and hot water has been tweaked by adding baking powder to make it softer and herbs and spices for flavor.
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup wholewheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- In a bowl, mix flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup, mix water and oil. Add to the dry ingredients one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after every additon. Continue adding until a sticky dough forms.
- Transfer to a floured working space and knead for 5 minutes, dusting with flour as needed to prevent from sticking. When dough is a smooth ball, let rest for 20 minutes covered with damp towel.
- Tear off golf size pieces from dough and shape into smaller balls. Cover with damp towel and let rest for another 10 minutes.
- To form tortillas, flatten small balls of dough into 4 inch circles. Dust rolling pin with flour and roll dough thinly (about 1/8 inch thick) from the center out to approximately 6-inch size circles.
- Cook in a peheated skillet (no oil) for 30 seconds on each side. Do not overcook or tortillas will be hard. Keep warm in a covered container until ready to use.
Tortillas are best served warm. But you can also refrigerate then in covered container and then warm in the oven for 10 minutes on lowest setting until ready to use. To freeze, wrap in plastic then place in freezer ziploc bags. Thaw in refrigerator before use. I do not recommend microwaving as they tend to get hard and chewy.
Add 1 tbs of chili powder to the dry ingredients to make chili tortillas. You can also use dried ground herbs such as thyme, oregano, black pepper or jalapeno powder.
Here are some recipes where you can use your homemade flour tortillas: