The best recipe for soft flour tortillas just so happen to be vegan and only require 5 ingredients. It has the same delicious soft texture as classic Mexican tortillas and beats store-bought tortillas every day. Perfect with chipotle guacamole and barbecued pork.
The process only takes 30 minutes and does not require any special equipment. 100% freshly made tortillas whenever you want. Now you can make the best burritos and crunch wraps of your life.
Why make your own?
Once you made your own flour tortillas from scratch you will never want to go near store-bought tortillas ever again. There is just no comparison in texture and flavour when making it yourself.
You also control the fat that goes into them as well as how thick they are. No one likes heavy tortillas.
The satisfaction you get from sinking your teeth into a proper burrito or juicy quesadilla is unbelievable and will make you seriously wonder why you never made your own flour tortillas.
Finally, these vegan soft flour tortillas do not require any kneading and use the simplest of everyday ingredients you already have lurking in your pantry.
Aren't all flour tortillas vegan?
My Vegan friends will be happy to know that this recipe is 100% plant-based and does not include lard.
Most store-bought flour tortillas are vegan but traditional Mexican flour tortillas are made with lard or other animal fat.
If you would like to make more traditional flour tortillas, simply substitute the oil in this recipe for lard.
Useful equipment for this recipe
- Flour - Plain flour works best but you can also use substitutes. More on that in a bit.
- Fat - To make vegan flour tortillas we use vegetable-based oil. I used sunflower oil but you can use any other variety you prefer.
- Baking powder - Optional but necessary. Makes it light and puffy.
How to make it
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix in the oil until incorporated.
- Add in warm water(50°C or 122°F).
- Mix it together until it forms a dough, and then shape into a ball.
- Put the dough back into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes to fully hydrate.
- Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 16 equal pieces. They will each weigh about 40 grams. Enough to make a 22cm or 8 inches round tortilla to cook in your 26cm or 10inch cast iron skillet.
- Shape those dough pieces into round balls again and give it another rest under a damp cloth for 5 minutes for the gluten to relax.
Next, we will roll them out. Nice and thin.
- Roll them out by placing them on a floured work surface and flouring your rolling pin too. You want to roll from the middle outwards and turn the dough often. Anti-clockwise if you're right-handed, or clockwise if you're a lefty. Don't worry if it's not completely round. Embrace imperfections like that.
- Place them between lightly floured pieces of parchment paper so they don't stick. If you want to cook them as you roll them, this step is not required, but it is quicker.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or pan until it's ripping hot. That just means heating it on the stove for about 2 minutes or so. If you hover your hand over the pan, you should feel the heat coming off it.
- Place your first round of tortilla dough into the pan making sure it's flat and even. Cook it for about 30 seconds on one side and then flip over, cooking another 30 seconds on the other side until charred and cooked through on both sides. It will puff up a bit and that's perfect. Just gently press it down with a spatula ever so slightly.
- Once cooked you have to keep the tortillas warm so they can stay soft and not dry out. a Kitchen towel will do but you could also use a tortilla warmer.
Tips for success
- Use hot water and not boiling water. It's the secret to soft and puffy flour tortillas.
- After each tortilla is cooked, wipe the skillet with a dry cloth to get rid of any residual flour that might burn.
- Keep them warm while cooking. If you don't let them steam they will become too crisp. This can be fixed by brushing with some water and microwaving for 10 seconds sealed airtight.
- Do not roll the tortilla dough out too thick. If they are too thick they won't cook properly and you'll have very heavy unpleasant tortillas. I always roll it thin enough so I can just about see my hand through the dough.
- If you have made a big batch of these and have some leftover you can either bake or fry them into tortilla chips or wrap them airtight and store them in the freezer for later use.
- The raw tortilla dough can be kept in the freezer. You can make a big batch and freeze smaller batches so that it's ready for when you need it. Simply defrost and follow the cooking instructions.
You might have realised that these vegan soft flour tortillas can be used for more than the usual Mexican fare by now.
- Mexican Classics - Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas to mention a few. Fry them or bake in the oven to make crunchy tortilla crisps.
- With meat - barbecued pork belly, whole roasted fish, thinly sliced bavette steak with bbq sauce or slow-roasted leg of lamb.
- With dips - green pea, feta and mint, this chipotle guacamole or this Moroccan baked eggplant zaalouk.
- Add sauce - like chimichurri or salsa verde.
- With curries or stews - like this coconut chicken curry, this massaman shrimp curry or this Filipino beef adobo.
Frequently asked questions
No, flour tortillas are rolled out with a rolling pin and using a press won't work because of the dough structure and consistency. a Tortilla press is used for traditional corn tortillas only.
Make sure to keep each tortilla covered and warm while cooking the rest. It needs to steam slightly. a Tortilla warmer or simply some kitchen towels will do the job well.
Best kept at room temperature sealed airtight for up to 2 days. Can also be frozen for longer storage, up to 3 months.
They will stay fresh for about 2 days when sealed airtight. Like any other bread they will go stale and lose their freshness after that.
If you liked making flour tortillas from scratch or have a love for baking then you will find the following recipes helpful:
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Easy Homemade Flour Tortillas Recipe
- Put the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and give it a mix. This is so that all the ingredients get evenly distributed. You should always do this if a recipe calls for a mix of dry ingredients.
- Add the oil and give it a little mix through until all incorporated.
- Add in warm water(50C or 122F) to be exact. A few degrees, either way, won't kill anyone so, relaxy. Just make sure it's not burning your hands.
- Mix it all together until it forms a dough, and then shape into a ball. Put that back into the bowl, lightly oiled. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough have a nap for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, the dough will be able to form into a smooth ball as it has fully hydrated and rested. Form the ball.
- Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 16 equal pieces. They will each weigh about 40g. Enough to make a 22cm or 8 inches round tortilla to cook in your 26cm or 10inch cast iron skillet.
- For those dough pieces into round balls again and give it another rest under a damp cloth for 5 minutes.
- Next, we will roll them out one by one as we cook them so keep the blanky over them. You can roll them out all at once, just make sure to place each tortilla between a sheet of baking paper so they don't stick to each other
- You will roll them out by placing on a floured work surface and flouring your rolling pin too. You want to roll from the middle outwards and turn the dough often. Anti-clockwise if you're right-handed, or clockwise if you're a lefty.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet until that thing is ripping hot. That just means heating it on the stove for about 2 minutes or so. If you hover your hand over the pan it, you should feel the heat blaring off it.
- Place your first piece of dough into the pan making sure it's flat and even. Cook it for about 30 seconds on one side and then flip over, cooking another 30 seconds on the other side until charred and cooked through on both sides. It will bubble up a bit and that's cool. Should be doing that. Just gently press it down with a spatula ever so slightly and all will be ok.
- Once cooked you have to keep the tortillas warm so they can stay soft and not dry out. This is very important. Most people just use a kitchen towel but you could also use a tortilla warmer.
- Repeat the dry-pan-cooking and keeping-warm-business until they are all cooked.
- Make sure to keep these covered while cooking, otherwise, they will dry out and lose their pliability.
- You can store these airtight for a few days or in the freezer for longer storage.
- The raw dough can also be frozen, so, if you plan on using them in a restaurant or like having something pre-prepped then make the dough, portion and store in the freezer to save time next time you want to make flour tortillas.
- If you want to make it with lard simply substitute the oil with the same amount of lard.