Flour Tortillas

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Makes 12 Tortillas


  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, flush
  • 1/2-cup (one bar) butter or margarine
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water*
  • *The amount of water needed varies with cooking conditions, such as altitude. You can always add water, so start just shy of 1/2 cup and add more water ONLY as needed.


Put flour in medium bowl, add salt and mix. Now, you have a choice of methods to prepare the dough. Method #1. Crumble the butter and mix into the flower with your fingers until butter bits are the size of pinheads and they are evenly distributed. Add the water slowly as you mix with a spoon. Method #2. (My favorite!) Put water and butter in the microwave. Cook on High until butter melts. Add to flour as you mix with a spoon.

When you can stand the heat of the dough, knead for 10 minutes. Let dough rest another 10 minutes in the bowl, covered with a lid, plastic, or foil paper. Split dough in half, then each half in halves. Finally, make three equal parts out of each fourth of your dough. Split dough by squeezing with your thumb and index finger. Once you have twelve equal parts of dough, lightly oil the palms of your hands and make the dough into balls. Oil hands again as needed. Let dough balls rest covered for another ten minutes at room temperature before rolling out. You may refrigerate the dough at this point or even before you make the balls. It keeps reasonably well for a few hours, or even a day.

Roll each tortilla out with a lightly floured rolling pin over a lightly floured, smooth surface. Warm grill over medium flame; it’s ready when a drop of water rolls a bit before boiling away. Lay tortilla on the grill for a few seconds, just long enough for a trace of cooking to be seen (it looks as if the tortilla got freckles). Turn and cook until it gets air bubbles, turn and cook, pressing air bubbles out with a kitchen towel. Remove from heat. Regulate heat as needed so the tortilla will be fully cooked but not burnt. Note: Some cooks skip the first turn of the tortilla, some swear by it. Make up your own mind You may use a spatula or just your hands to turn your tortillas. Cooking your tortillas as you roll them out takes some practice but you’ll see optimum results. Other alternatives: 1) Roll all the tortillas out and place in a plastic bag and then cook, 2) Enlist the help of a friend so one rolls and one cooks, 3) Start rolling and cooking, turn grill off as needed if fire gets going faster than you are. You can do it! Once you get good results by any method you choose, you can do the rolling and cooking right in front of your guests (or with their help) at your dinner parties.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
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