This tortillas de harina recipe is one of the most authentic and traditional ways to create Mexican flour tortillas. Made with only four ingredients, these homemade tortillas are excellent for burritos, quesadillas, and other Mexican favorites.
Tortillas de harina are thin, round flatbreads that are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Soft, pliable, and slightly chewy, they are incredibly versatile and can be used in all sorts of dishes—from burritos and quesadillas to enchiladas.
The basic ingredients for tortillas de harina are wheat flour, fat, salt, and water. These four simple but essential elements are combined to create delicious Mexican flour tortillas with just the right texture and flavor.
Once you have a properly kneaded dough, it is divided and rolled into thin circles and then cooked in a hot skillet or comal until slightly puffed and browned.
Tortillas de harina are larger, softer, and thinner than their corn-based counterpart tortillas de maíz which are made with corn masa harina.
If you love Mexican flour tortillas, check also my sourdough tortillas recipe!
- All-purpose flour: Known as “harina de trigo” is the most commonly used flour in authentic flour tortilla recipes. But you can also use whole wheat flour for a chewier texture.
- Lard: This ingredient is known as manteca and is traditional in Mexican cooking, but many recipes call for vegetable shortening, which is easier to find in grocery stores. They are both solid at room temperature, making them ideal for flour tortillas. You can also substitute with butter (mantequilla) or vegetable oil.
- Salt: A pinch of salt helps bring out the flavor of the tortillas and strengthens the gluten strands.
- Water: Use hot water to help bind all the ingredients together and activate the gluten in the flour to give your tortilla its signature texture.
How To Make Tortillas de Harina
Place flour in a stand mixer bowl along with lard and salt.
With the hook attacked, start mixing over medium speed while adding the hot water.
Set the speed to high and knead until you’ll have a smooth and soft dough that slightly sticks to the bowl.
Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
Top Tip: Allowing the dough to rest for 15-20 minutes, will help to relax the gluten and make it easier to roll out.
After the resting time, transfer the dough to a floured surface knead it for about one minute, then shape it into a ball.
Divide the dough into 12, 14 or 16 pieces more or less of the same size. The amount of portions will depend how big you want your tortillas to be.
Roll each piece into a ball and cover them with cling film or a kitchen towel. Leave them to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat a large skillet, comal, or griddle over medium heat.
Dust a working surface and place a dough ball. Using your hands flat it a little bit.
Then, with a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin, round tortilla. Don’t worry if it is not a perfect circle, you’ll get better with practice.
Tip: Use your hands to finish the shape of your flour tortilla.
Place the tortilla on the hot skillet and cook for 20 seconds or until you’ll some bubbles appear on the top.
Flip the tortilla and continue cooking until it starts to puff nicely and some dark spots appear.
Flip it twice or three times until it is well-cooked on both sides.
Place the cooked flour tortillas on a kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft. I like to place them wrapped inside a plastic bowl to keep them nicely pliable.
Repeat the steps to make all flour tortillas until all dough is used.
- Don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of water or flour in the recipe to achieve the desired texture and consistency.
- Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling to help it relax and become easier to work with.
- Heat your griddle enough to achieve those dark spots and small puffs on the tortillas without burning them. If the griddle is not hot enough, your tortillas will be too thick and tough.
- Stack the cooked tortillas with a cloth or kitchen towel to prevent them from drying and to keep them nicely soft and pliable.
Tortillas de harina are considered a staple of northern Mexican cuisine. They are usually filled with any type of protein, vegetables, or cheese to make burritos, quesadillas, and more. It’s time to take your Mexican flour tortillas receta out of the skillet and make one (or two) of these recipes:
- Al pastor burritos
- Ground turkey quesadillas
- Steak quesadillas
- Chipotle enchiladas
- Chori pollo
- Beef chile rojo
How To Store & Reheat Mexican Flour Tortillas
It’s never a bad idea to make extra flour tortillas for later. Store the cooked and cooled tortillas de harina in a sealed plastic bag and refrigerate for up to three days.
When you’re ready to eat them, simply reheat them in a skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot and softened. You can also microwave individual tortillas between damp paper towels for 15 seconds—just enough time to get them soft and pliable again.
Are tortillas de harina healthy?
Mexican flour tortillas are generally higher in calories and carbohydrates compared to corn tortillas. One flour tortilla can contain around 140-200 calories and 25-35 grams of carbohydrates, depending on its size and thickness.
It’s best to choose tortillas made with healthier fats, such as pork lard or olive oil. Also, whole wheat flour tortillas are a healthier option compared to those made with white flour, as they contain more fiber, protein, and micronutrients.
Overall, tortillas de harina can be a healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation and paired with nutritious foods.
Why flour tortillas get hard?
Overcooking: If you cook the flour tortillas for too long, they can dry out and become hard. Be sure to cook them just until they start to develop golden brown spots on both sides, which should take about 30 seconds per side on a hot skillet or griddle.
Exposure to air: If you leave your flour tortillas uncovered for too long, they can become dry and hard. Be sure to cover them with a clean kitchen towel and place them in a plastic bowl until ready to serve.
More Tortillas Recipes
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Tortillas de Harina
- 1 Rolling Pin
- 1 comal or griddle
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup pork lard (or butter, olive oil, or shortening)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hot water
- Place flour, lard, and salt in a stand mixer bowl. Add water and knead at medium speed until a soft and elastic dough forms.
- Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
- After the resting time, transfer the dough to a floured surface knead it for a minute, then shape it into a ball.
- Now, divide the dough into 12 pieces more or less of the same size.
- Roll each piece into a ball and cover them with cling film or a kitchen towel. Leave them to rest for 10 minutes.
- Preheat a large cast-iron skillet, comal, or griddle over medium heat.
- Dust a working surface and place a dough ball. Using your hands flat it a little bit.
- Then, with a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin, round tortilla. Use your hands to finish the shape of the tortilla.
- Place the tortilla on the hot skillet and cook for 20 seconds or until you’ll see some bubbles appear on the top.
- Flip the tortilla and continue cooking until it starts to puff nicely and some dark spots appear. Keep cooking flipping it 1-2 more times until the tortilla is cooked on both sides.
- Place the cooked flour tortilla between a kitchen towel to keep it warm and soft.
- Repeat the steps to make the tortillas until all dough is used.
- You can knead the dough by hand on a working surface, it will take about 12-15 minutes kneading no stop to achieve the perfect soft consistency.
- Adjust the amount of water or flour in the recipe to achieve the desired texture and consistency.
- Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes to help it relax and become easier to roll.
- Heat your pan enough to achieve those dark spots and small puffs on the tortillas without burning them. If the pan is not hot enough, your tortillas will be too thick and tough.
- Stack the cooked tortillas with a cloth or kitchen towel to keep them soft and pliable.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.