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Flour Tortillas, “Hecho a Mano” (handmade)

Enriched with lard and freshly handmade, these tortillas de harina (flour tortillas) are the perfect canvas for tacos, chili colorado, and anything else.

By Jessica Vargas
Jan 20, 2023
homemade tortillas recipe
2 Hours
12 Servings

Once you’ve tried homemade tortillas, those grocery store facsimiles just won’t cut it anymore.  Enriched with lard and served fresh off a piping hot Enameled Cast Iron Skillet, these tortillas de harina (flour tortillas) are the perfect canvas for tacos, Chili Colorado, Green Chile Pork Stew, and anything else. Even better, they’re easy to make—just 5 ingredients and a little patience will see you through to a stack of lightly blistered, deeply flavorful tortillas that actually contribute to the taco eating experience, rather than just facilitating it.

Flour Tortillas, “Hecho a Mano” (handmade)

Enriched with lard and freshly handmade, these tortillas de harina (flour tortillas) are the perfect canvas for tacos, chili colorado, and anything else.

Jessica Vargas

2 Hours
12 Servings
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • cup lard, packed
  • ¾ cup very hot water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal (if using Morton’s, reduce to 1 teaspoon)

    Whisk 2 cups flour and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl until combined and fully incorporated (you may also sift the ingredients). Add lard and start to incorporate into the flour by hand, rubbing between your fingertips, until the consistency is coarse, similar to sand.


    Pour hot water into a glass measuring cup or bowl. Stir in salt to dissolve. A tablespoon or two at a time, slowly add salted water to the flour mixture and use your hands to incorporate (if you are sensitive to temperature, you can wear latex gloves for this step). Dough will be shaggy, wet, and tacky. You might not need all of the water to bring dough together. Continue kneading in bowl until dough does not stick to hands and is soft and supple, 5–7 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in the bowl. (Tip: Warm a dime-sized amount of lard in your hands and gently pat dough all over to keep hydrated while resting.)


    Cover bowl with a wet kitchen towel . Allow dough to rest for 30–60 minutes in a warm area of the kitchen (in the oven with the light on is a perfect place). Check dough after 30 minutes, it should be soft, supple, slightly tacky (not sticky) and spring back when touched by a fingertip. If it’s not ready, continue to rest an additional 30 minutes. This is a crucial step in the process as the resting period allows dough to relax and form gluten.


    Transfer dough to a flat work surface and divide using a Chef Knife or bench scraper into 12 pieces. Each piece should  weigh about 42 g. or 1.5 oz. Roll each piece into a ball, return to  bowl, and cover with same wet towel. Let rest in a warm place for an additional 15 minutes.


    If using a large Enameled Cast Iron Skillet, begin preheating the skillet now over medium. If using a Carbon Steel Frying Pan, heat a minute or two before cooking tortillas.


    Set a small bowl of flour next to your station. Working with one piece at a time, start to pat each ball of dough into a disc between the palms of your hand. If sticky, dust a little flour on your hands or on a work surface and press the tortilla against it. Then start to pinch the edges to form a circle (this helps the dough to roll evenly).


    Generously dust work surface and a Rolling Pin. Roll discs one at a time until they are very thin (about the thickness of a dime), but not so thin that you can see through them, about 6 ½” wide.


    Gently place into dry Skillet and cook until tortilla is bubbling, puffing, and browned, 1–2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until tortilla forms  dark brown spots (but is not burnt) and changes from opaque and floury to just barely translucent, about 1 minute more. Feel free to flip back to original side to achieve desired color. Repeat this process with remaining discs. If you roll out a few tortillas at a time, hold on a Non Stick or Aluminum Sheet Pan.


    Tortillas are best served fresh, but will keep for up to 3 days wrapped in a damp paper towel inside a resealable plastic bag and refrigerated. Wrap in damp paper towel and microwave to reheat.

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