Lili’s Fresh Flour Tortillas

Friday was a great day!  We had a Superbowl party at work.  Our HQ is in Pittsburgh, so there were several Steelers fans on location– along with a few Packers fans.  We decided to serve taco salads, tacos, nachos, refried beans, and chicken wings.  We also made everything from scratch (except for the corn tortillas).

I work with some great people. One of those people is a lady named Lili.  Lili’s heart is bigger than anyone I’ve ever known.  She works very hard, likes to laugh, and makes tortillas for breakfast every morning.  This is Lili’s recipe for Homemade Fresh Flour Tortillas.

This is the second time I’ve made tortillas with Lili.  She makes the masa (the dough) and I roll it out.  Here is the recipe and the technique.  I hope you try these at home.  They’re surprisingly easy!  Lili says you can make the masa on the weekend, keep it in the fridge, and use it to make fresh tortillas every day!

This recipe will make quite a few fresh 6″ tortillas.  You can also freeze the tortillas once cooked and cooled.  Just thaw on the counter before use.

Lili’s Fresh Flour Tortillas

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

-Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix together with your hands until completely blended.  As you can see, Lili is quick with her hands!

Add 1/2 cup crisco.  Break it into pea sized pieces and roll them in the flour with your hands or use a pastry blender.  The mixture should resemble coarse meal– like when you’re making pie dough.

Next, mix in hot water– as hot as you can stand it.  The hotter the water, the softer the tortilla will be.  If you use cool water, Lili says the tortilla will break and fracture when you try to bend it.  Start with 1 cup of water, and gradually add more by the tablespoon if needed to help the dough form a ball. 

Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough ball will look a bit shaggy. Let it rest on the counter for 20 to 30 minutes with a towel over the top of the bowl.


Using your hands, break off golf-ball sized amounts of dough and use your hands to roll them into a ball while folding the dough under to form a dimple.  Like this:

Here’s what all the dough balls looked like on the rolling mat.

Cover the dough balls with a towel while you roll them out into a tortilla.  Take a ball of dough and dip the bottom in all purpose flour.  Place it on the mat, and roll in an up and down motion.  Pick it up, turn it by a quarter turn, and roll again.  Lightly flour the rolling pin if needed, but keep picking it up and rotating it to be sure it doesn’t stick.  Lili likes to use a rolling pin where the handles have been broken off.  She says it gives you a better idea of how much pressure you’re using on the dough.

Preheat a skillet over medium low heat.  Lili uses a flat cast iron skillet.  Lay the rolled tortilla on the skillet and cook it for 2-3 minutes per side.  It will puff up– use a clean potholder or folded up towel to gently press on the tortilla and express the air if it puffs too much. 

Here, you can see the little bubbles forming as the tortilla cooks.

You know the tortilla is done when both sides look like the picture above.  Keep warm between layers of clean towels and serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.  Thanks, Lili!!


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