How do you make your tortillas?

Corn or flour, there are wooden presses, metal presses, the tried and true rolling pin, and the abuelo’s deftly patting hands. There may be others. Which do you like? Is it the same for corn or flour? Any tortilla making tidbits to share?

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Flour, 'cause I don’t have a press.


Corn is worth trying. A freshly made corn tortilla tossed into hot oil puffs up!

I’ve made flour tortillas rolling by hand, as taught to me by a visiting friend with roots in both Mexico and New Mexico, so both Mexican and Native American food traditions. They were rolled with a rolling pin, and turned a quarter until they were mainly round. They were best cooked on a cast iron griddle, but we did try a carbon steel crepe pan which didn’t work well. (Were trying to get them cooked faster using 2 pans.)
SIL made homemade corn tortillas for Super Bowl, using a small, but heavy press. They were really good.


This recipe is the one I use for flour tortillas:

If you follow the directions, they will puff nicely and have a lovely flavour and texture. I use a small rolling pin because that’s what I’m comfortable with.

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While I have a bag of masa harina in the pantry (ordered during the height of the pandemic), I have yet to make tortillas. I very much like the Guerrero (both corn & flour) tortillas from the local Safeway so am not that motivated.

Are homemade really that much better?

As for flour ones, I only use them for burritos and tostadas, and this requires a 12+ inch size. How do you make them that large (assuming they must be hand rolled)?

You start with a bigger ball of dough.



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We make corn tortillas using an inexpensive metal press, then toasting on a hot CI pan, following the recipe on the bag of masa. I think there is no comparison between the taste of fresh corn tortillas vs any available in the stores here. The hot, fresh, homemade ones are out of this world, while the store bought reheated ones are meh.

We make chapatis/rotis, not flour tortillas. Chapati flour is not the same, no lard/shortening (but you can use a little oil if wished) though the kneading, rolling, and toasting techniques are similar, as tortillas. I use a rolling pin for chapatis. It takes a little practice then rolling out round rotis is not that hard. Again, hot and freshly made rotis taste so good. But I rarely make them.

ETA: I don’t know why I have never made tortillas. These, I just buy …


I think home made are better, but the coolest thing about home made is that if you fry them promptly they still have significant moisture in them that turns to steam and makes them very puffy. Store bought usually lacks the necessary moisture.

For big flour tortillas for burritos and the like I use a rolling pin.




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How thick do you roll them to?

And most recipes call for lard or shortening, neither of which I keep on hand. Can other fats be used successfully?


I roll them about 2-3mm thick. Lard is best, but Crisco type shortening works.

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Wish I had made (and eaten) them!

This is what the local Safeway has…

But whenever I see “Hydrogenated” I am put off. Is this stuff OK?

Scott, get ther to Placerville and a Mexican grocer. They’re almost sure to have or steer you to fresh lard. Amazing stuff!


I cannot vouch for it, but I’d be up for trying it!

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Agree, fresh lard is a wonderful thing and 60% LESS saturated than butter, plus no trans fats! Crisco has been reformulated to have much less trans fat than days of old, BUT, there are still trans fats, just low enough to squeak in under the labeling requirements. Also, IMO, it doesn’t perform as well as their original product. Google up tortillas made with oil, you may find a good recipe; I have an oil pie crust recipe that’s amazing, though I don’t use it for everything.