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 3 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. Aubrey says:

    I don’t buy Tortillas because they are overpriced and lack any sort of quality/flavor.

    .. but I was making fajitas last night and felt that I should serve some tortillas. Normally I make my own bread, so I decided to give this a whirl… && really, how bad could they turn out?

    wow wow wow! THIS is the way of the future. they are flakey, flavorful, and just wow.

    the first words out of my boyfriends mouth were “the only way that this could be better is if we were stoned.” (which was rather cheeky, for such a clean cut gentleman!)

    thanks for such a great starting point!!! I look forward to using this as a base & modifying it to make flavored tortillas for wraps! :-D

  2. Sarah M says:

    So I’ve started making tortillas ALL the time. Homemade is soooooo much better than store-bought and totally worth the time to me. I’ve gone from using all white flour and butter because it was convenient, to using almost this exact recipe (but using a bit more equal division of whole and white flour). After making about 10 different variations, this is definitely the recipe I have settled on. They’re easy to roll, not too greasy, nice and flaky, steam well and quickly in the microwave, don’t fall apart, and have a mild taste that goes great with everything.

    One thing I have found that will save you even more time is that you are able to simply plop the lard into the flour mix if you use hot enough water. I microwave my water until it is nearly boiling, and it just melts the lard right into the mix. Saves me the greasy hands of mashing it into the flour!

    I’ve also found that the longer you knead the dough, the better they roll. With enough kneading, the dough becomes extremely elastic, which means that instead of having little tears in the edges from rolling the dough into shape, it bounces back a bit to help make a perfectly round tortilla. Also makes it even flakier.

    As you can tell, I’ve dedicated a lot (eh, probably too much) time to honing the perfect tortilla recipe, and I’m really satisfied with the result. Thanks for another keeper!

  3. 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. “

  4. Becky says:

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

  5. Becky says:

    Can you substitute butter for lard in this recipe?

  6. 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.

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