Homemade Tortillas

For me, a warm flour tortilla smeared with melting butter is, like, the most comforting of comfort foods. (Same for Stef Soto in my middle grade novel, Stef Soto, Taco Queen).

Once, when we were kids, my little brother and I woke up extra early, snuck into the kitchen and attempted to make our own.

All we made was a big, glue-y mess.

I’ve figured it out since then, and you should too.

Here, give it a try:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening (I’ve also used margarine, and it’s worked all right)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
  • *It’s not an ingredient exactly, but I highly recommend parchment paper as well.

  • Mix the flour, salt and shortening in a medium bowl.
  • Add water, starting with 1/2 cup and stir until dough forms. If the dough is dry and crumbly, add a little more water. If you go overboard and the dough gets sticky, add a little more flour.
  • Break off pieces of dough and roll into balls about the size of a golf ball. You should have about a dozen. Cover them with a towel and leave them to rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Now for the fun part: Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and press into tortillas. Don’t have a nifty tortilla press? Not a big deal. It’s a little more work, but you can use a rolling pin—shoot for about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Warm the tortillas on a hot, shallow skillet, about 2-3 minutes on each side. I flip when golden brown spots start to appear.
  • Enjoy!