Genius Flour Tortillas

By • April 30, 2014 • 14 Comments

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Author Notes: In this recipe, handmade flour tortillas are made with a surprising tip that enables you to shape the tortilla with ease using a tortilla press that would typically be used for making corn tortillas!

There are a few basic ways to make tortillas, and this is really more of a technique than a recipe. I’ve gathered tips from all over, but have found that I have a great tip of my own to add.

Due to the gluten in flour, flour tortillas are most commonly made by rolling out the dough with a rolling pin. That means that I tend to end up with tortillas shaped like continents, my hand, or even hearts, rather than beautiful circles.

Cake flour is lower in gluten and produces a very tender, flaky tortilla. The lower gluten content means that the dough can spread easily in a tortilla press without snapping back as a dough made with all-purpose flour would.

Follow this technique by using a tortilla press, or try using cake flour the next time you make flour tortillas, even if you're using the rolling pin method -- it will make quick work of this delicious treat.
AngelinaLaRue

Food52 Review: WHO: AngelinaLaRue might be fairly new to Food52, but she is not new to tortilla-making.
WHAT: Light and pillowy tortillas that can -- and should -- be eaten like pita, English muffins, and lavash. Flatbreads of the world, unite.
HOW: Make a standard tortilla dough, but replace the all-purpose flour with cake flour. Use a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap to shape the tortillas, then cook them on a hot griddle.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Funny-shaped tortillas can be endearing, but they also can be frustrating. This ingenious technique for forming perfectly circular flour tortillas using cake flour and a tortilla press allows you to put away that pesky rolling pin, and it means you'll have neater tacos and quesadillas, too. And even if you don't use a tortilla press (we didn't!), the fluffiness of these tortillas is enough to make this recipe special.
A&M

Makes 8

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cups warm water
  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening with your hands until well incorporated. Start adding water a little at a time until you reach a smooth consistency, being cautious that the dough does not become too sticky.
  2. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Cover dough with damp paper towel and let rest for 15 minutes. Divide dough into 8 balls and let them rest for a few minutes while you prepare the tortilla press.
  3. Preheat a griddle, comal, or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  4. Shape the tortillas: If you're using a press, cut off two pieces of plastic wrap about the size of your tortilla press. (I like to cut a quart-size zip-top freezer bag apart to use in place of plastic wrap, but either works well.) Lay one piece of plastic onto the bottom plate of the press. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray (or coat lightly with oil). Place one dough ball onto the center (or a little higher) of the plate. Press with fingertips to flatten into a little disk. Lightly spray the other piece of plastic with non-stick cooking spray and place on top of dough.
  5. Close the top plate over the dough and press the handle to flatten the dough. You will see it peek out of the edges of the press. Peel off the top plastic layer, and lift the tortilla with the bottom plastic attached, laying it across your palm. Gently peel plastic back while draping the tortilla out over your other palm. (Separate the dough from the plastic by nudging it with your thumb, if need be, then peel the plastic off.) If you don't have a tortilla press, you can take the more traditional route and use a rolling pin to roll out these tortillas.
  6. Place the tortilla on the dry, preheated griddle, comal, or cast iron skillet. When bubbles start to form, continue cooking for about 30 seconds. Flip, and repeat. Continue with each tortilla and keep them warm in aluminum foil in the oven, set at 200° F.
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Jump to Comments (14)

Comments (14) Questions (0)

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28 days ago Ceege

I have two questions. I do not have a press to make these so how "thin" do they need to be rolled out in order to cook in cast iron skillet? Also, I do have a pasta machine, so the same question would apply - how "thin" do I make.

Second questions. Could these possibly be made in double or triple batches, freeze on cookie tins, then package and kept in freezer in order to make several at a time? Would I thaw them out first before cooking?

Thanks for your help

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about 1 month ago loubaby

If you chill the liquid coconut oil, will it turn solid?

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about 1 month ago Libia Chavez

A pasta machine makes a good tortilla press. Roll much thinner than shown for better tortillas.

Miglore

about 1 month ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I could not stop eating these.

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about 1 month ago Rebecca Vitale

Rebecca is a Recipe Tester for Food52

agreed!

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about 1 month ago cynthia friedel

There are other corn flour / options like Bob's Red Mill - that are sooooo much better than wheat!

Stringio

about 1 month ago gwin

Lard is the traditional fat used on flour tortillas. Masa makes corn tortillas, not flour tortillas, and are flattened in a tortilla press, not rolled out like flour tortillas.

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about 1 month ago cynthia friedel

There is a much better tortilla recipe on the back of the MASA (corn) flour tortilla bag:
http://www.mimaseca.com...

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about 1 month ago m

Yes, but MASA (corn) flour tortilla mix is NOT GMO-free, if you care about that sort of thing.

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about 1 month ago cynthia friedel

The recipe is not GMO - just the corn.
Corn flour can be bought at a variety of places that is supposedly not GMO.
Bob's Red Mill, Arrowhead, and some people may be able to find a local source depending on locations!

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about 1 month ago Ksenya

What can vegetable shortening be replaced with? (Can't get it where I am at...)

Stringio

about 1 month ago adele93

Maybe butter?

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about 1 month ago marcellatp

I'll often use oil (vegetable, olive, etc) for tortillas when I'm making them for veggie eating friends. Normally I use lard rather than shortening. I have to say, wow, those tortillas in the photo are thick! Guess it's because the press is used. Might be quick but it could make for a very bread-y burrito.

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about 1 month ago I_Fortuna

Coconut oil. absolutely the best substitute. Not the liquid type, use the solid. : )