Basic Flour Tortillas: A Step-by-Step Recipe

Rolled Tortilla

Homemade tortillas take about 45 minutes of hands-on time to make, but they are worth the effort to me. As with bread, fresher is so much better than anything in a package. I make tortillas on the same day that I plan to serve them. Or I occasionally freeze them as a loss prevention strategy. Because once you taste one, it is hard to stop devouring them.

The options for tortillas are boundless.  This week I made myself a breakfast burrito with eggs, cilantro pesto, and salsa.  When I lived in Asia, I often made tortillas into chips by cutting them into wedges and baking them.  Quesadillas, enchiladas, soft tacos, and sandwich wraps are also popular in our house.  Or the kids (and I) will just eat them plain, as a chewy snack.  Yes, I confess we are definitely “carbo-vores.”

Recipe for Basic Flour Tortillas


  • 3 cups flour (I used part whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
  • 3/4 cup water, plus a little more if needed


  1. Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add oil and stir with fork to form crumbs.  If using cumin, stir in until evenly distributed.  Add water and stir until dough forms (click on slide show below for detailed photos with captions).
  2. Knead dough for about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  Return dough to mixing bowl and cover.  Let rest for at least 15 minutes.  Several hours is better.
  3. Divide dough into balls (about the size of a ping pong ball).  Sprinkle counter or flat work surface with a generous amount of flour.  Flatten each ball before rolling into thin circular tortillas.  Try to avoid stacking the raw tortillas, since they may stick together.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook each tortilla in a dry skillet until light brown spots appear.  [Note: if you don’t watch them closely, they will burn.  It doesn’t take long.]
  5. Stack cooked tortillas on a plate and cover to keep them warm and supple.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Final Note: Some day I would like to try making these gluten free by using masa corn flour.  But this wheat version is so beloved by all that I haven’t dared experiment yet.

This recipe is linked to Tuesday Talent Show , AP Tuesday and here.


20 comments on “Basic Flour Tortillas: A Step-by-Step Recipe

  1. […] make it at home, since authentic Mexican restaurants don’t exist around here.  Thankfully, homemade tortillas are quite delicious.  But they take time to make by hand, and sometimes I would rather go the […]

  2. This is definitely a project–but one I would like to try some rainy day. I’ll bet they taste delicious! Thanks for the recipe–and the follow!

  3. […] I started with leftover Golden Crisp Potatoes and Carrots.  While I considered wrapping them in a homemade tortilla, I opted instead for a leaf of crisp Napa cabbage, which is almost as mild as lettuce in flavour.  […]

  4. […] Naan bread made with yeast is nice, but sometimes I want to make flatbread fast.  So I found a promising recipe for naan bread leavened with baking powder, and gave it a dairy free makeover.  This recipe works in a skillet or oven, but I found it puffed up better in the oven on the “broil” setting.  If you’d rather use a skillet though, simply follow the directions for cooking homemade flour tortillas. […]

  5. […] 8 flour tortillas (I used my recipe for homemade tortillas) […]

  6. These look fantastic! I have never thought of making my own tortillas – definitely on my list to try.

  7. Oh, How I love homemade flour tortillas. I am pinning this to try soon. I would probably eat every one of these delicious things.
    Thank you so much for linking up to Saturday Dishes.
    Diane Roark
    recipesforourdailybread com

  8. They are popular in our house, and I make them about once a week. Thanks for visiting and for hosting the link up. It remains my favourite one!

  9. I have wanted to make my own tortillas… Thanks for the step by step. Pinning. coming from Saturday Dishes.

  10. Thanks for sharing at Saturday Dishes! Your tortillas were the most viewed link, so we’re featuring you! Pinning.

  11. […] Basic Flour Tortilla Tutorial from Swirls and Spice This recipe and tutorial from Swirls and Spice makes tortilla-making look so easy I might just have to give it a try! Except I’m afraid that then I’ll never be able to go back to store-bought tortillas again! I bet homemade are so much better! […]

  12. […] Most Viewed Recipe from last weeks Saturday Dishes Side Dishes was this Homemade Flour Tortillas by Swirls and Spice. […]

  13. […] I shared my recipe for Basic Flour Tortillas, I had the intention of trying homemade corn tortillas.  Because the freshness of homemade […]

  14. […] at any decent supermarket.  If you’d rather make your own tortillas, I’ve got a basic flour tortilla recipe, or there are my more recent gluten-free fresh cornmeal tortillas that I adapted from […]

  15. […] hollow taste often disappoints.  And these days I simply lack the time and motivation to roll out homemade tortillas, as delicious as they are.  I’ll let nature do the work for me.  Not only are Romaine […]

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