What have I done?
The children now know that I can make these.

After months of making do without, after months of substituting the local Lebanese flat bread for tortillas, we resigned ourselves to a sad tortilla-less life.
Then I must have sustained an unknown brain injury because yesterday I woke up and thought,
                                             "Today I'm going to make tortillas".

Flour tortillas to be precise, surprisingly they don't sell Masa Harina in Tunisia. Yes, that was sarcastic.
The tortillas were a revelation. They were easy. I don't know why I haven't tried to make them before. Oh, yes. I do know why.

I have now been relegated to full time tortilla maker.

If you have never had the pleasure of a fresh made tortilla I feel very sorry for you. I remember the first time I ate one. It was in San Diego at a little taco stand. The carnitas were perfect, the pico de gallo spot on, but the tortillas. Fluffy, crisp in places, warm, utterly like nothing you could buy in the store. I wanted to be adopted by the woman that made them. Sadly, she already had 10 children and wasn't looking for anymore. She did thank me for the compliment though.

The dough for these comes together in a flash, the rest just takes a little practice and patience.
A few notes:
  1. I do not have a tortilla press, so I used a rolling pin (also known around these parts as a wine bottle).
  2. I do not have a comal  so I used a non-stick frying pan. It worked great.
  3. I do not have access to lard, or shortening. I used canola oil. Next time (I'm certain there will be a next time) I will decrease the amount of oil used to see how that works
  4. I used part whole wheat and part all purpose flour. I really like that, a little more depth of flavor than just straight all purpose flour.
Homemade Tortillas
adapted from Three Many Cooks
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup canola oil
2 cups hot water

In the large mixing bowl whisk together the the flours, salt, and baking powder. Add the oil and mix together until it resembles sand. I used my hands for this.
Add the hot water, mine had just come off the boil as I was also making coffee at the same time:) Do not use your hands for this part.
Stir it all together until it makes a smooth dough. Gather it together into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
After the dough has had a little rest divide it into 24 balls of even size. Heat the pan you'll be cooking your tortillas in over medium high heat.
Roll each tortilla out into an 8 inch circle on a floured surface. The dough will be very thin. Brush off any excess flour before cooking.
Place the tortilla in the hot pan and cook until the first side blisters and browns a bit, approximately 1-2 minutes. Flip the tortilla and cook on the second side for 1 minute or until lightly browned.
Stack the tortillas and serve warm. Store any leftovers in a zip top bag and keep in the refrigerator.


  1. Ah, homemade tortillas! I learned to make them in my peace corps days. Course one of my steps was to remove weevils from flour, but otherwise they're the same as yours! Yummy, but SO time consuming!

  2. Jenn, so glad my foray into tortilla making didn't include that!

  3. Our cook in Nepal used to make these for us at the drop of a hat. He called them chapati, of course, but it's the same creature. I agree that they are a big 'I love you' from the kitchen. Yours look perfect. By the way, I've got a big bag of masa in my freezer and I'm happy to share it. I've also got a tortilla press.

  4. Your tortillas look fantastic! I have made corn, but never flour. No doubt they taste much better than the ones at the supermarket here. Well done!

  5. Karen, thank you. I thought they would be such a bother but really they weren't, and yes, they tasted better than any store bought tortilla.

  6. Oh Shelly now I'm in trouble! I just made these for Gareth and he loves them. Followed your recipe exactly - including the wine bottle rolling pin :) I'm going to try to freeze some of the dough so I can make more fresh ones later. I'll let you know how that turns out.