flour tortillas

$0.66 recipe / $0.08 serving

Tortillas are one of my favorite bread items and I use them for just about everything. Luckily, there is a fairly large Hispanic population in Louisiana so I am able to find tortillas fairly inexpensively at the grocery store. …EXCEPT burrito size tortillas (the really large kind). I can only find burrito sized in large national brands, like Mission, and they tend to be pretty pricey, comparatively speaking. …which is dumb because tortillas are about the cheapest things on the planet.

So, using this recipe from Rick Bayless, I whipped up a batch of tortillas! It was pretty quick and painless and resulted in some pretty delicious flour tortillas.

His recipe uses all white flour while I substituted about 1/3 with whole wheat. Also, I divided my dough into 8 pieces rather than 12 so that I could make larger burrito-sized tortillas. This recipe is really easy and is a very reasonable project for the weekend. The tortillas stay good in the refrigerator for up to a week (in an air-tight package).

Flour Tortillas

Flour Tortillas whole wheat

5.0 from 1 reviews
flour tortillas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $0.66
Cost Per Serving: $0.08
Serves: 8
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour $0.12
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour $0.29
  • 5 Tbsp lard $0.22
  • ¾ tsp salt $0.05
  • ¾ cup warm water $0.00
  1. Combine the flours in a large bowl and stir until evenly mixed. Add the lard and work it in with your hands until the flour is coated in lard you have an even, crumbly mixture (looks like coarse sand).
  2. Dissolve the salt into the warm water. Add the salt water to the flour/lard a little at a time until a cohesive ball has formed. You may need more or less water depending on the moisture content of your flour.
  3. Once you have a rough ball of dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for a minute or two or just until everything is evenly mixed. The dough will be fairly stiff and quite unlike regular bread dough so don’t worry if it is difficult to knead.
  4. Divid the dough into 8 pieces (for large tortillas) or 12 (for smaller, 6-inch tortillas). Do your best to shape them into balls and let them sit for 30 minutes, covered with a damp towel.
  5. After the dough has rested it will be much softer and easier to roll out. Roll each ball into a very thin circle (about the thickness of poster board). You can pile the rolled tortillas, one on top of the other until you are finished rolling.
  6. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over a medium flame. Once the pan is fully preheated, place one tortilla in at a time. Wait for it to bubble up and turn slightly golden then flip and cook the second side in the same manner (about 30 seconds each side). As each tortilla comes out of the skillet, pile them on a plate and cover with a damp cloth to keep soft and warm.


Step By Step Photos

flour + lardAdd the lard to the flour in a large bowl. “Smoosh” it in with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse sand.

salt waterDissolve the salt into the warm water. Add the salt water to the flour/lard a little at a time until a cohesive ball forms.

dough ballTurn the rough ball of dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it for a minute or two or just until everything is evenly mixed. The dough feels VERY different than regular bread dough so don’t worry if it’s difficult to knead.

rough ball of doughShape it into a ball.

divide tortilla doughDivide the dough into 8 or 12 pieces depending on how big you want the tortillas.

shape tortilla doughShape each piece into a ball as best you can. The dough is still fairly stiff at this point so don’t worry if they’re not perfect. Cover the balls of dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 30 minutes

roll out tortillasAfter the rest period, the dough will be much easier to work with. Roll each tortilla out until it is about the thickness of poster board (not quite as thin as paper but not nearly as thick as cardboard).

raw tortillasStack the tortillas as you roll them out. Once they’re all finished, preheat a heavy skillet over medium heat.

cook tortillascook tortillasCook the tortillas one at a time in the hot skillet. Cook on each side until slightly bubbly and lightly golden brown (about 30 seconds each side).

cooked flour tortillasStack the tortillas on a plate and cover with a damp towel to keep them warm and soft until they are all cooked.

If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute vegetable shorting for the lard and get a similar result. I will be posting a low-fat tortilla recipe tomorrow (I wasn’t a fan at first but they have definitely grown on me!!)


  1. Becca says:

    Hi Beth! I’m a big fan of yours. :) I made these flour tortillas on Friday and they were soooo good. They store really well, even before you cook them. I wanted them for breakfast burritos on Saturday without getting up early to make them, so I just rolled them out and put a layer of plastic wrap between each tortilla. The whole pile went into a ziploc bag in the fridge. As we’ve needed them I pull them out and heat them up on the skillet so they are nice and fresh. I got the idea from some fresh flour tortillas in the refrigerator section of our grocery store. Yum yum! Thanks for the great recipe. “

  2. Becky says:

    I just saw the previous posts. I can use butter!

  3. Becky says:

    Can you substitute butter for lard in this recipe?

  4. Julia says:

    My grandmother was from Mexico and when I was young, she tried to show me how to make tortillas–which she typically made 2 to 3 times a month. Hers were always perfect. Mine were always misshapen. One was the shape of Italy. Discouraged, I told her I couldn’t make them circular like hers. She said to me, “It’s ok Mi Hija, they don’t have to roll down your throat.” After that I didn’t worry too much if they weren’t shaped perfectly.

  5. Grace says:

    ok – here’s the report back.
    I used more white flour and cut the wheat flour back to 1/4 cup, used coconut oil (3 TBSP instead of 5 TBSP) and added a tsp of baking powder.
    I don’t think the baking powder helped too much with the rise … maybe I’ll add more next time. But lessening the wheat flour definitely helped with texture. It was softer!
    Next time I think I’m going to substitute milk for water and see what happens.

    Thanks for this recipe! I will definitely be making more and freezing them for future meals!

  6. Grace says:

    Hi Beth,
    I made this recipe a few days ago and it was good and easy! I am wanting to make it again this weekend, but my question is about texture. When I made mine, they came out a bit harder than the store bought kind – is it b/c of the brown flour that is added? Any suggestions on how to get them less hard and more light and airy? Can I just use all white flour instead? Would that make a difference?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Yes, you can definitely use all white flour and that should definitely help make them more fluffy. Other than that, I wonder if a little baking powder would help. Like, just a touch. Hmm… that might take some experimenting!

      • Grace says:

        Great! Thanks for the tip! I will experiment this weekend and if it turns out more fluffy, I will let you know! Although I do like the idea of adding even a little bit of wheat flour making it healthier… :)

  7. Emma – sometimes an extra pinch of salt goes a long towards making things taste better :) Give it a shot if you feel up to trying them again. Oh, and the round-ness takes practice ;)

  8. I have no idea what I did.. but they were not what I wanted, all the other recipes I have made off your site have been worth it and OUTSTANDING… but these well, lacking something. I am going to try them again today to see if I was just in a mood or what… Plus mine did not turn out round, LOL

  9. I have no idea what I did.. but they were not what I wanted, all the other recipes I have made off your site have been worth it and OUTSTANDING… but these well, lacking something. I am going to try them again today to see if I was just in a mood or what… Plus mine did not turn out round, LOL

  10. Anonymous says:

    I made these last night and they were so delicious. I will NEVER buy tortillas again.

    They can definitely be made with butter, that’s what I did because it was what I had on hand.

  11. Hi!

    I just wanted to say that…
    1. Instead of using lard, you can use butter :D
    2. That one week in the refrigerator is a bit optimistic. They magically disappeared within 24 hours!
    3. THIS IS AMAZINGLY easy and simple!

    Greetings from sweden!

  12. i am really pleased with how these came out! – slightly mis shapen but very tasty :)

  13. Brad – I’m not sure because butter actually has a higher moisture content than lard. It will probably still work but the texture will probably be slightly different.

  14. Brad says:

    Can Butter be substituted for the lard?

  15. Okay, I have to ask: how do you get them so round? I’ve made tortillas many times, and I ALWAYS have a problem shaping them, to the point that I’m considering buying a tortilla press.

  16. I attempted to make this recipe, but completely failed. I’m not sure what I did wrong (perhaps they were too thick), but most of the tortillas didn’t cook properly. The ones that did were quite dry, and tasted just like flour. Any suggestions?

  17. Oh, also, here is the second tortilla recipe that I made which uses vegetable oil: http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2011/01/flour-tortillas-v20-low-fat-044-recipe.html

    Good luck!

  18. You can purchase vegetable shortening at the store :D It is usually in the baking aisle near the other oils. If you’re in the U.S., the most common brand is Crisco. Feel free to ask any questions you have, none are dumb!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    oppps, sorry for the last question. I did not read the whole post. got my answer. but I am new to cooking. very dumb question, how do you prepare vegetable shortening?

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’m vegetarian hence can not use lard. Any substitute for lard. I also do not eat eggs. Thanks.

  21. Anonymous says:

    i’ve made these a few times with shortening instead of the lard and they are awesome! thanks!

  22. Yep, it should produce a similar result!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Can you substitute Crisco for the lard?

  24. Bennance, you are too too tooooo kind!! Comments like that always blow my mind :) We must just have the same taste in food! I hope I can keep cranking out some good recipes for ya!!

  25. Beth, you are absolutely my favorite food blogger. I love what you put on your site. Your food is so creative and diverse, and the recipes are great. I made your red beans and rice twice already, am addicted to the creamed spinach quesadillas, and I can’t wait to try these tortillas. Thank you for the variety and quality of all of your recipes!

  26. I just started making my own tortillas and it’s awesome. So cheap and delicious! I’ve used shortening, and those are okay, but my last batch I used vegetable oil (drizzling the oil in while mixing to make something crumb-like) and they were better than the shortening ones!

  27. The only problem I’ve had with freezing tortillas (my grocery store sells fresh-made ones, but in fairly big batches for one person to eat) is that when they thaw, parts tend to get soggy. But, that could just be my freezer. Next time when I thaw them, I’m going to stick a paper towel in the bag and see if that prevents sogginess.

  28. Yep for about a week. Put them in something air tight like a ziplock bag. I’ve heard they freeze well too although I’ve never done it (I eat them way too fast!).

  29. Do they store well in the fridge?

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