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How to Make Homemade Soaked Flour Tortillas — Keep on hand for FAST meal ideas

March 3, 2011 · 46 comments

Tortillas 530-7389

How to Make Homemade Soaked Flour Tortillas

I have tried, many times, to find some store bought tortillas that are at least “OK”.  Time and again I’ve stood in the aisle at the store thinking, “There have to be some that aren’t that bad”, but each time I look and look and realize it can’t be done.  If they taste good, then they’re full of crappy preservatives.  If they don’t have crappy preservatives, then they taste blah.  When I do finally come to this conclusion and then see people walking up to nonchalantly grab a package off the shelf, I just can’t help blurting something out…  (“Those have trans fats!”)  Yes, I get funny looks, but I’m used to it.

UPDATE:  The recipe below isn’t tricky, but I HAVE finally found some pretty good tortillas that you can find here in a pinch and we use these quite often now!

ALSO:  Be sure to see the other new post today with all the FAST FOOD ideas you can make using homemade tortillas, they’re super kid-friendly, too!

Back to the tortillas recipe…

With this recipe, I started with Katie’s – she did lots of experimenting and showed which variations worked well and which weren’t so hot.  But, since she and I are a lot alike, we can’t just make a recipe, we always have to play with it some first.

LAST-MINUTE variation from the below recipe, for those of you who are like me and often don’t think ahead enough to get my dough soaking the night before:  just omit the whey, and use part sprouted whole wheat or spelt flour and the rest unbleached white flour.

tortilla2 Here’s what worked best for me:

Mix well (I use my Bosch), cover, and let set over night, at least 7 hours, but I left mine for 24 hours just because I was busy.

The next day, add:

Knead or mix very well. At this point if you don’t have time to roll them out, you can cover and let it sit in a greased bowl in the fridge until you do have time.  Mine sat for a couple more days before I got to it and the dough was still fine.  I just had to grab a ball into my hands to warm it and play with it a bit before it was ready to roll.

tortilla3 Rolling tip: Use a heavy rolling pin and a floured counter top.  This makes it MUCH easier to roll them out thin (the one pictured here didn’t work well), and getting them thin enough is key to making them “real” looking and tasting for your picky kids.

Fry on an UNgreased pan on medium-high heat for about 30 seconds on each side until the bubbles start to brown.  (I use my favorite IMG_0877 electric stainless steel frying pan.)

Let cool on the counter or on a wire rack before storing.

This big batch makes about 20 tortillas.  (I like extra to keep in the fridge between pieces of wax or parchment paper, or you can keep them in the freezer, too.)  You can easily IMG_0876 halve it if you don’t think you’d go through so many.

Next time I might try soaking in all yogurt overnight (and omit the water), then adding a bit of palm or coconut sugar, a little more salt, and I’ll try to roll them out a little more thick to see if I can make them taste like Olga bread.  (Has anyone tried this?  Does anyone else out there love Olgas?  Not that I go much, once a year maybe? Their food isn’t great to say the least, but that bread…yum.)  UPDATE:  I made some yummy pita bread that tastes like Olga bread and their Snackers!  Also at that post I tell you about the tortilla press that I bought and what I thought of it.

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  • { 46 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Marta March 3, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Thanks for the recipe! I usually just buy the tortillas in Whole Foods. They seem to have good ingredients and taste good to me, but I’m not very picky about them. I need to try making it myself! Please let us know how the yogurt version turns out (I don’t have whey on hands).

    Reply

    2 Amanda dittlinger March 3, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I’m fairly new to soaked grains. Why would you only soak half? Also my family is usedcto all wheat homemade tortillas (not soaked) so if you were using all the wheat? Or do you need dry flour too? I’m low carb right now but my husband and girls would love having tortillas around.

    Reply

    3 KitchenKop March 3, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Good question! I only soaked the whole wheat flour because white flour has no phytic acid to break down. Wouldn’t hurt to do all the flour at once if you wanted to, though.
    Kelly

    Reply

    4 jenna Food WIth Kid Appeal March 3, 2011 at 8:48 am

    ah, another idea to use up my whey bounty. i really don’t even want to start bread making. once i start, i fear i won’t stop. A) i don’t have the time and B) we’re trying to reduce grains, don’t want to go tempting my bread loving palate with warm fresh bread that’s too hard to resist. the boys would have fun making these with me though. maybe i’ll ask for a tortilla press for my birthday.

    Reply

    5 Alexis March 3, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite sometime but never commented before. So thank you for all the great info and recipes. I LOVE homemade tortillas, to me it’s one of those things that once you have homemade you can never go back. I just wanted to say that I make them with all white whole wheat (hard or soft) and I use coconut oil and everyone always loves them. The coconut oil actually gives them a really pleasant slightly sweet taste without tasting coconut-y (one of my friends bought coconut oil exclusively to make tortillas after having one of mine).
    And I HATED rolling them out! So one time when in the middle of making them, I stopped ran out and bought a tortilla press. BEST THING EVER! :)

    Reply

    6 KitchenKop March 3, 2011 at 11:36 am

    You’ve got my wheels turning on the tortilla press………. Any brand you recommend?

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    7 Diana March 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Ditto! I’d love to find a good tortilla press. We love homemade ones :)

    Reply

    8 Robin March 3, 2011 at 11:31 am

    We’re fortunate to have a great Whole Foods here in Denver that makes their own tortillas in-house (white, wheat and corn) that are awesome (if you read the ingredients, they are simple, like what you’d use at home), so I usually go there if I’m looking for good bread (they also make lots of bread and pastries as well). I was so excited to find them, as you’re right-it’s pretty much impossible to find good tortillas (with good ingredients) in any supermarket, and I even tried a great Mexican grocery store that makes their own tortillas, but again, when I read the ingredients it was disappointing (they must use a mix of some sort)…

    Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make my own but my couple attempts in the past were less than stellar, mostly the whole “rolling them out” bit, as it made a huge mess and it was really hard to get them thin enough. I may need to get a tortilla press before trying again but love having a way to make a soaked version!

    Reply

    9 Meg March 3, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Kelly, these look fantastic! I love flour tortillas for burritos and such, but I, too, find most flour tortillas in the store to be unappealing – they always smell rancid to me. I usually end up making gorditas from masa.

    Anyway, I am definitely going to try this recipe. I just strained some rather loose yogurt and it yielded a pint of whey, and I have a cup of tallow that I need to use up soon, so this is perfect. Thank you!

    Reply

    10 Becky D March 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you for this! I am local to you – and I LOVE Olga’s bread…I think I want to try your suggestions for that.

    We have been eating gluten-free & corn-free, because of my little guys food intolerances, but the more I read about soaking and fermenting,(I’ve just started experimenting with that after reading Nourishing Traditions, and I just blogged about soaking oats for breakfast!) the more I wonder if he could tolerate spelt if we did that. I want to try this with all spelt and see how it works for him. He loves my homemade wet burritos (ahhhh, another West MI oddity!) and I’d love to be able to make them for him again!

    Reply

    11 KitchenKop March 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Please let us know how your experimenting goes!

    Reply

    12 April March 3, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Kelly ,
    I wonder if using arrowroot instead of the unbleached white flour would work? I have had good success making crepes with only arrowroot as the “flour” mixed into the other crepe ingredients.

    As a side note, though, I have asked in several blog areas and yahoo group forums if anyone knows whether arrowroot is a processed food and no one seems to know. I got to wondering about this question because arrowroot is just so fine and white in texture and color–reminding me of…..processed denatured white flour! Anyway, I have continued to use it for all its touted benefits and IF I get a chance to try your tortilla recipe and substitute arrowroot for the unbleached flour, I will post how it turned out. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    13 KitchenKop March 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    April,

    Check out what I found in this post on arrowroot flour:

    http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/10/gluten-free-almond-cookies-made-with-arrowroot-flour-real-food-wednesday.html

    You’ll be happy. :)

    Kel

    Reply

    14 April March 3, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks Kelly –That answers my question perfectly-no more worries that this nutritious flour is processed. I am going to try those tortillas with arrowroot soon!

    Reply

    15 Stanley Fishman March 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Very nice recipe, looks a thousand time better than store bought!

    Reply

    16 Trina March 17, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Kelly – you have to try a tortilla press! I make a batch of 20 tortillas once a week – soak the dough overnight and press them out in 15 min. They are soft and wonderful and taste so good! But the dough has to be *just right* to work properly in the tortilla press. (The press i have has lots of bad reviews and was off the market for a while because of this, I believe. People just weren’t making the dough right!) After 2 years of playing with the recipe (which originally called for soy-lecithin – yech!) I have it down. So happy to have yummy, healthy tortilla on hand!

    Also, because they are so good and so easy to make with the press, I often give them away – it’s been a great way to show people that ‘healthy’ food doesn’t have to be nasty!

    Reply

    17 KitchenKop March 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    OK, you guys have convinced me! I’m going to ask for help next week on choosing a brand and features! :)

    Reply

    18 Teresa March 28, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Any suggestions on getting the dough just right? I have a press but have never been able to use it without a mess

    Reply

    19 Genet March 21, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    I have been thinking of getting a tortilla press for some time. I’d love to hear what brands you have
    ??? Also . . . . .do you go for the Electric tortilla press vrs the Manual??? I know my sister has a simple press she bought at the Mexican market, but it seems that it only makes the “white flour” version and heavier flours just don’t seem to work.
    Anyway . . . my gang LOVES tortillas of all types — spelt, aramanth, wheat & herb and all types!!!
    But yes . . .bring us up to snuff on the presses someone PLEASE ! :)

    Reply

    20 KitchenKop March 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I’m posting on this soon to ask for suggestions!

    Reply

    21 KitchenKop March 24, 2011 at 10:09 am

    The post asking for your brands and features suggestions for a tortilla maker is going up on Monday, please comment then and help me figure out which one to buy, thanks everyone!

    Reply

    22 Teresa March 28, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I would be interested in knowing how to use the press. I have one and I just make a mess with the dough, it sticks and I can never get the consistency right? Does anyone have any suggestions that uses a press. I have been rolling it out.

    Reply

    23 Anne March 28, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I have been making wheat flour tortillas for about 15 years, have recently made them using soaked flour, and had great results. I’m planning on trying some of the other grains that others have mentioned. I can tell you without hesitation that the Vitantonio brand tortilla press works like a charm! I wouldn’t trade it for anything! It’s one of my indispensible kitchen appliances!

    Reply

    24 KitchenKop March 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Anne, what is it made of?
    Thanks!
    Kelly

    Reply

    25 Anne March 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    sorry…are you asking what the tortilla press is made of? If you’re wondering what a press looks like, I suppose you can google it or something, but the easiest way for me to describe it is to say it’s like a small waffle iron (electric) without the waffle grid. When the lid is pressed on the small tortilla dough, the combination of heat and pressure form a perfect tortilla in just a few seconds. On March 3rd you asked if anyone had a brand of tortilla press that they would remcommend. That’s why I said Vitantonio….bet another brand would work great also. It’s just that combination of the high heat and the quick pressure that makes such a great difference! Lots of times I’m working at meal prep, and either my hubby or one of my teens will be pressing tortillas and keeping me company! Another reason to run out and buy one! Haha

    Reply

    26 KitchenKop March 28, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Yes I was just wondering if it has an aluminum or non-stick surface or anything icky? Or is it just cast iron?

    I googled and couldn’t figure it out, but this one looks good!

    Thanks!
    Kelly

    Reply

    27 Genet March 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

    It

    Reply

    28 Anne March 29, 2011 at 1:47 am

    The electric tortilla press that I use does have a nonstick surface…you wouldn’t use wax paper or parchment… wouldn’t need to. It is a nonstick surface, but only for a few seconds…. it’s sort of a trade off…..wish it could be cast iron… that would be great. Hope that info helps.

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    29 shannon March 30, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Hi Kelly. I’ve tried Katie’s recipe and liked it but am always trying new recipes so would like to try yours too. Any particular reason you used spelt? I’ve got some but am just curious. Thanks!

    Reply

    30 Kelly the Kitchen Kop March 30, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Hi Shannon,

    The short answer is ‘just to switch up the types of grains we use’, the longer answer is here: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/10/gluten-allergy-or-wheat-sensitivity.html :)

    Kelly

    Reply

    31 shannon March 30, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Thanks! I’ll be making these soon

    Reply

    32 Camille March 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Hey Kelly,
    Thanks so much for your posts. I’m new to your site here and am enjoying reading through it.
    My family and I make corn tortillas the traditional mexican way. We use tortilla presses found at mexican markets. Though I’m sure the electric presses probably work great, I thought I’d throw my .02 cents in on what the hispanic women have shown me on manual tortilla presses. They say don’t ever buy based on brand (the authentic presses). They would never buy online and always go to a mexican store. To know a good press you take a small piece of dough and plastic (sandwich bag with 3 sides cut off so it opens and closes, works great) and while at the store put your plastic in the press and dough between the plastic sheets. This is normal at these stores, though you feel strange doing it. I think if you don’t, they know you’re gringo. :) Test the one before you buy it because no matter the brand, they all flatten differently. In doing this you’ll see whether it’s flattening unevenly (too fat on one end). All the women I spoke with prefferred the aluminum metal verses the wooden etc., but personal preferace they felt these worked better to flatten evenly. While testing them you will see an obvious difference in even-ness between different ones.
    Never put the food directly on it. Always use plastic or wax paper. If you forget and the dough touches it, throw it away.
    A good authentic tortilla will puff up during the making process. If it doesn’t it’s considered a “dudd.”
    Again, we are making corn tortillas, which are sooooo much better than store bought corn tortillas btw, as we aren’t real big on the americanized versions of flour. But they are all good when they are fresh. Fresh corn tortillas with a little butter spread, topped with queso fresco, chopped cilantro, chopped onion and homemade guacamole is just about unbeatable!
    Best wishes to all you who are experimenting and thanks again for sharing your knowledge and info! Love your site Kelly!

    Camille

    Reply

    33 Genet March 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Wow this is great info Camille!!! I have a friend who purchased hers at a Mexican Market and i had noticed there isn’t even a brand name printed on it! I thought that was odd to our American way of thinking.
    Have you ever tried flour or other grain tortillas? I am thinking they would all flatten differently anyway . . . .
    Yum!

    Reply

    34 Camille April 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Sorry Genet, I haven’t played much with different flours. Most Americans I know don’t really like corn tortillas, and at restaurants and store bought versions, I DON’T either. But homemade is so different and delicious that we stick to those. I have tried regular white flour, but only once after finding I didn’t like them as well. I’d love to hear different things you guys come up with though. :)

    Reply

    35 Genet April 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks Camille! We just don’t eat much corn at this house. I wonder if what I could get at a Mexican Market would be better and non GMO ?

    Reply

    36 Camille April 2, 2011 at 2:06 am

    You know I’ve been wanting to find the same. I just found out that Bob’s Red Mill has Masa Harina, which is the stuff, but not organic. They told me on the phone that it’s non-GMO.
    Maseca is the best brand you’d find in the mexican stores or just general stores, but from what I understand they still aren’t non GMO despite claiming they were going to be. But I’m going to try Bob’s and see how well it works.

    Reply

    37 Kelly @ The Nourishing Home March 31, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Awesome info! Thanks so much for sharing. I was just thinking about getting a tortilla press, but wondering if they really get the dough even? Now I know what to do! :) Blessings, Kelly @ The Nourishing Home

    Reply

    38 shannon April 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Kelly, with rain planned here tomorrow, I’m planning to spend the day cooking and ready to try these. I just got my new tortilla press in today. I went with a plain, all wood one from Mexico. We’ll see.

    Anyway, I don’t have any yogurt or whey right now. I’m guessing I could use a few tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice instead?

    Reply

    39 KitchenKop April 14, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Yep, you can! :)

    Reply

    40 shannon April 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Oh yum! These were excellent. I’ve made homemade tortillas before but used all WW and they were just very “wheaty”. I doubled your recipe, used buttermilk for the whey and used spelt, a little whole wheat (2 cups) and the 1/2 Naturally White Flour. These were actually melt-in-the-mouth good! I think it was the butter :)

    And, boo for my press. It just doesn’t exert enough pressure though my husband thinks if he replaces the handle with a longer one it will work. I hope

    Reply

    41 Rosebud May 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    OOH here’s a rolling tip I got from Alton Brown – Roll out your tortillas all at once and stack them with sheets of waxed paper, parchment or a damp tea towel or cheesecloth between each one, keeping them well covered so they don’t try out. Then you can fry them faster. Don’t use paper towels or they stick to the paper.

    Reply

    42 Sheri August 1, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Kelly,
    Did you ever decide on/purchase a tortilla press? I am interested in buying one but unsure of a reliable brand. Thanks!

    Reply

    43 KitchenKop August 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Sheri,
    I wrote about the tortilla press I bought at this post: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2011/05/spicy-pita-snackers-like-olgas-without-the-msg-also-my-new-tortilla-press.html

    (I wasn’t impressed, unfortunately…)

    Kelly

    Reply

    44 The Nourishing Road February 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    You have inspired me to try these today. They were amazing. I used some doug that had been soaking in yogurt for another recipe, but it worked fine :)

    Made some cracking Fajitas!!

    Thanks so much, Natasha http://www.thenourishingroad.co.uk

    Reply

    45 Cherilynne October 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    some one may have said this all ready, but letting the dough sit overnight or longer is the best thing you can do for a really good dough. I know this from years of bread baking and pasta making. The longer the dough sits to “condition” the better the result can be. There is a point where it is too long, but that really takes an effort (or lack of one) to get to. Infact many “Artisian” recipes will tell you that it takes 2 days or longer to make a good loaf of bread. Tortillas are after all a form of bread. It used to be natural for the dough to be made up and sit to be picked at when needed and added to as needed. 3hours of reading and still going……

    Reply

    46 Richie Venhuizen via Facebook September 29, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    We do quesadillas every week for dinner. I hate buying store bought tortillas and will sometimes buy chips to make nachos instead (fewer bad ingredients). I made these today!! Easy and delicious! LOVED THEM! KIDS LOVED THEM! Will plan on making these weekly! :) Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    Reply

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