A homemade soft flour tortilla recipe that is easy to make and tastes so good. Once you get the hang of making these, you will never think twice about buying them again. You don’t need many ingredients to make this recipe, it’s just plain flour, butter, salt, baking powder and water. These tortillas are soft and buttery, making them an ideal base for a variety of dishes.
About This Recipe
- These soft butter tortillas are very easy to make.
- They are a great alternative for sliced bread.
- They are cheaper and healthier to make than buying.
- They are preservative free and taste delicious.
- And you can make these tortillas without a press.
This flour tortilla recipe is much healthier and better for you than store bought tortillas. Of course, store bought is convenient but, have you ever wondered how long they have been sitting on the shelf for?
Try this flour tortilla recipe! Not only is it cheaper, they are preservative free, healthy and you get to enjoy the smells of freshly cooked flatbread as you are making them.
Tips And Frequently Asked Questions
How long do soft flour tortillas last?
If you are not freezing the tortillas, they will last 2-3 days but, are at their best on the day they were made.
How to store soft flour tortillas?
Fresh tortillas can be stored wrapped in plastic at room temperature for about 24 hours, then I recommend that they either be stored in the fridge or frozen.
Can flour tortillas be frozen?
Yes, these tortillas can be frozen. The tortillas should be completely cool before placing into freezer bags. I like to freeze the tortillas in packs of 6 – 8, which is enough to make a meal for my family.
To defrost the tortillas, remove from the freezer several hours before needed. Allow the tortillas to come to room temperature then use.
How to warm soft flour tortillas?
Tortillas can be reheated one at a time in a dry frying pan over a low to medium heat – it won’t take long and they will become soft again.
You could also use the microwave oven, heating one at a time for a few seconds at a time until warm.
Another way to warn soft tortillas is to wrap them in alfoil and place in a 180°C oven for 5-10 minutes or until warm.
Step By Step Instructions
Place the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Tip: You can use self-rising flour in place of plain (all purpose) flour and baking powder.
Add cubed butter to the flour mixture. I like to use chilled butter, but room temperature butter can also be used.
Use your fingertips the work the butter into the flour, so that the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
Add very warm to hot water to the flour and butter mixture and mix until combined. Don’t add all the water at once. Reserve some of the water and add the remaining only if the dough looks dry.
I like to use warm to very hot water for this recipe. I find that the warm/hot water makes the tortilla dough nice and soft and pliable.
About Water Temperature
The temperature of the water will vary depending on the kneading method you choose.
If you are kneading dough by hand only use water that is hot enough for you to handle.
You don’t want to use extremely hot water when hand kneading – the dough will be too hot to work with. If you find that you have used water that is too hot, let it cool in the bowl for a few minutes or until it can be handled comfortably.
If you are kneading the dough in mixer, you can use hot tap water or water from the kettle.
Knead the dough either by hand or machine until it forms a soft smooth dough. The dough should look smooth, feel soft and not sticky.
Tip: If you are hand kneading, mix everything in the bowl until all the ingredients come together, then tip the dough onto the bench and knead until the dough looks smooth.
Divide the dough evenly into 18 pieces and shape into balls. I like to weigh the dough then divide into 18. The dough usually weighs around 1.2kg making each ball roughly 66 grams.
However, you can make the balls smaller or larger depending on what you are going to make with them.
If you choose to make the balls larger, take into consideration the size of your pan. For your reference. The 66-gram balls roll out into a circle about 18 – 20 cm in diameter.
You shouldn’t need any flour when shaping and rolling the dough. However, if you find that your dough is a little sticky, dip the balls of tortilla dough into a little flour and shake of any excess flour.
Allow the dough to rest under a damp paper towel or cloth for 20 minutes. The damp cloth will help prevent the balls from drying out.
Before rolling the dough, use your fingertips to press the balls flat.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into an 18 – 20 cm circle.
Steps 10 & 11
Dry fry the tortillas in cast iron pan (or heavy based fry pan) over a medium heat.
As the tortilla cooks air pockets will form in the dough causing it to bubble and puff. When this happens check underneath to see if it has turned a patchy light golden brown, if it has, it’s time to flip the tortilla.
After flipping the tortilla use your spatula to press the dough down as it puffs up. After a minute or two check underneath, if it is a patchy golden brown and the dough looks cooked it’s done.
Tip: Adjust the heat as you cook to avoid burning the tortillas.
Place the cooked tortilla onto a plate laying them flat, cover with a clean dry tea towel, then cook and stack the remaining tortillas.
Stacking and wrapping the tortillas in a clean cloth with help keep them warm and soft.
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Soft Flour Tortilla Recipe
- 700 grams plain flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 128 grams salted butter cubed and at room temperature
- 1½ cups hot water + up to 1/4 cup more if needed
- A little extra flour if needed
Kneading The Dough
- Using a stand mixer to knead the doughPlace the flour, salt, baking powder, butter into the stand mixer bowl and add 1 ½ cups of hot water.Attach the dough hook and start the machine on low speed. Knead for about 30 seconds, if the dough looks dry add some or all of the remaining ¼ cup water..Continue to knead the dough until it looks soft and smooth – it will come together quite quickly. Occasionally stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Hand kneading the doughIn a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.Add the butter to the flour, and mix using your hands until the butter and flour are combined.Gradually pour in enough hot water to make a dough that is slightly wet and sticky.Turn the dough onto an unfloured bench. It’s important that you don’t add extra flour to the bench as it will affect the texture of the tortilla. Knead the dough until it stops sticking to your hands (this will take about 10 – 15 minutes).As you knead, scrape up pieces of dough that sticks to the bench and knead it back in. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth and soft.
Shaping The Dough
- Divide the dough into 18 even sized pieces.Shape into balls, and coat in flour by dipping each ball into the extra flour, shake off any excess. Place on the bench and cover the balls with a damp paper towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.Roll out each ball into a thin circle, there is no need to flour the bench or rolling pin as the balls have already been dipped into flour.Tip: Roll out five balls then start cooking and continue to roll and cook until you have done all 18.
Cooking The Tortillas
- Dry fry the tortillas in a large fry pan, preferably a heavy cast iron pan – it retains the heat better. You will have to experiment to get the correct temperature. The heat needs to be low to medium-low, just hot enough for it to cook in a few minutes on each side without burning.Before placing the tortillas in the fry pan, shake off any excess flour, as this will burn and “dirty” your tortillas. When you are cooking, if you do notice loose flour in the pan wipe it out before adding the next one.As the dough cooks, air pockets inside the dough will cause it to puff up and it will start to look cooked, at this stage check underneath it should be slight coloured in some places. Flip over and cook the top for a minute or two.Transfer to a plate and continue cooking the rest.Tip: To keep the tortillas warm, pile the tortillas on top of each other and wrap in foil that is lined with absorbent paper.
This soft flour tortilla recipe was first published May 30, 2018. Updated with new content and images on April 7, 2020.
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Pocket Food Facts
Did you know?
In 1890, most of the bread baked in the United States was at home and made by women. This soon changed in the late 1920’s, where 94% of bread, was made commercially by men. Read more here.