Flour Tortillas

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Preparation info

  • Yield: About

    2 dozen

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About

Flour tortillas are becoming increasingly popular in America, gaining equal status with the more familiar tortillas made with cornmeal or masa harina. They are used, of course, as wrappers for various fillings, such as beef with sauces in fajitas. They are widely available fresh or frozen in specialty food markets. They are also easy to make in the home.


  • 1 pound flour (about cups)
  • ½ cup solid white vegetable shortening or lard
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • 1 cup warm water (slightly hotter than lukewarm but not unpleasantly hot to the touch)


  1. The volume of flour varies so it is best to measure by weight. Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Cut the shortening into bits and add it. Rub the mixture between the fingers to blend.
  2. Dissolve the salt in the water and add to the flour mixture, stirring. Knead the dough well for about 3 minutes.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and put in a small bowl. Cover and let stand for 2 hours at room temperature.
  4. Knead the dough once more for about 2 minutes. Pull off pieces of dough, one at a time, and shape into balls roughly inches in diameter. Press each ball with the palm of the hand onto a floured board or pastry cloth. Roll out into a circle about inch thick and about 7 inches in diameter. As each tortilla is made, put it in a hot skillet or griddle and cook for about 20 seconds on one side, or until bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is lightly browned and speckled. Turn and cook briefly on the other side. Continue until all the flour mixture is used.