How to Make Flour Tortillas: An Easy Recipe with 1 Surprising Ingredient

Flour tortillas how to make

Flour tortillas are shockingly easy to make from scratch, Michelle Ezratty Murphy discovered one morning when when she was experimenting in the kitchen. The Arizona-based homecook tells Familia Kitchen she been making them by hand ever since.

“I started making flour tortillas about 15 years ago when I saw a recipe and thought I would try it. But it used lard and I didn’t like it at all. Then I tried a different recipe with butter and then one with oil. Never liked the taste or consistency of either,” says Michelle, one of our favorite homecooks at Familia Kitchen. ”Then I heard someone say that they made their flour tortillas with heavy cream.”

Flour tortillas how to make
Flour tortillas are easy to make from scratch and have just three ingredients: flour, salt and cream.

Intrigued, Michelle made a batch using heavy cream and loved the results. She had finally found her go-to recipe for flour tortillas. ”l also loved that the heavy cream recipe requires no measurement. It says to just bring the dough together and eyeball the proportions,” says Michelle. For this version of her recipe, which she’s sharing with Familia Kitchen, she took out her measuring cups and spoons and worked up the exact proportions.

How did the heavy cream version taste compare to the earlier recipes she’d tried? ”Let’s just say that I made eight tortillas, and [my husband] Pat ate all of them except for one. He now says my flour tortillas taste so buttery, and he loves that they have a soft texture with a chewy inside,” says Michelle.

Flour tortillas how to make
The tortilla shapes don’t have to be perfectly round. In fact, they look more homemade and authentic if the tortillas aren’t all the exact same size.

When to Use Flour Vs. Corn Tortillas

”Flour tortillas are soft and pliable and much better for rolling and stuffing. They are awesome with just butter, or sugar and butter, right off the heat,” says Michelle. Alternately, ”I use corn tortillas mainly when I make enchiladas or when I quarter them and fry them for tortilla chips, to eat with salsa.”

If you have an extra hour and the interest to make flour tortillas from scratch, Michelle promises it’s worth the effort to go homemade. ”When you eat a fresh tortilla, it changes the taste of everything  you put in it, even if it’s just to make a quesadilla.”

To avoid burning your tortillas, keep moving them around in the hot pan, 5 seconds per side, flipping them four to five times each, advises Michelle.

How to Get Both Tortilla Sides Just Right

What is the key to getting the exterior of the flour tortilla golden-brown in spots and still make sure the inside stays chewy? ”Use a wooden spoon or spatula to keep the tortilla moving around in the hot pan, so it doesn’t sit and get too crispy,” says Michelle. ”You want the tortillas to be soft and doughy inside. Cook it for 5 seconds at a time on each side, flipping them four times. I used to wait to see the bubbles puff up as a sign they were done, but I learned that doing it that way just burns the outside and you don’t get a tender tortilla. Now I know to just keep the tortilla moving, and it will bubble just when it’s ready to come off the heat.”

”It’s like the tortilla talks to you and tells you when it’s done!” says Michelle.

Flour tortillas how to make
If you have an extra hour and the interest to be make flour tortillas from scratch, Michelle promises it’s worth the effort to go homemade.

We have one last question for Michelle. How long do homemade flour tortillas last, compared to store-bought? The answer is they both last the same amount of time: up to a week in the fridge, but it Michelle admits she has never experienced this personally, because ”there are never any tortillas left over.” That said, she adds, ”I would recommend that tortillas be made fresh and eaten fresh that same day. If we ever have any left over (which is rare), we put butter and sugar on them and eat as a snack or dessert the same day. Trust me, they never go to waste.”

Ready to Make Your Own Flour Tortillas?

How to Make Easy Flour Tortillas

Recipe by Michelle Ezratty Murphy Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 1/4 cups 2 1/4 all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp 1 salt

  • 1 1/4 cups 1 1/4 heavy whipping cream


  • Make the Flour Tortilla Dough
  • Mix the flour salt and heavy cream in a bowl.
  • Place the mixture on a floured work surface. The dough will be dry to the touch and the flour will not be fully incorporated.
  • Knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes, or until all of the flour blends into the dough and forms into a ball. The dough will be slightly sticky at first.
  • When the dough becomes smooth, cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Heat the Tortillas
  • Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and cover the 8 sections of dough with a kitchen towel.
  • Take one ball and press it into a flat disc with the palm of your hands or a tortilla press.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the disc into as thin of a circle as you can, about 6 inches wide.
  • Place each thin tortilla disc on the hot skillet and toast for 5 seconds.
  • Turn over the tortilla and toast the second side for 5 seconds.
  • Turn the tortilla again and toast the first side for another 5 seconds.
  • Turn the tortilla again and toast the second side for 5 more seconds.
  • The tortilla should be golden brown and starting to puff up and bubble in places. Flip it one last time. It is ready.
  • Stack the tortillas on a towel-lined plate. Cover with a clean kitchen towel to let the tortillas steam and keep warm before using to make dishes like quesadillas, burritos, and more.


  • Michelle

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