How to Make Gluten-Free Flour Tortillas

May 29, 2012

Just want the recipe? It's here. But, for this one, I suggest you take a look at the step-by-step. 


I'm so excited about this one! Finally, gluten-free flour tortillas!

Really, I don't need to tell you why flour tortillas are awesome. You either love 'em or you don't. Me? I'm in the love camp. So it thrilled me (thrilled, thrilled, THRILLED me) when this recipe finally came together.

This recipe makes a chewy, flexible wrap. Ready to begin?


In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Be sure to select a bowl with an opening large enough to reach into. This is important.


Add shortening or lard. While this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free, it isn't fat-free. And that's a good thing! The fat adds a pleasant flavor and texture to the wraps. Don't skip it!


It's best to do this recipe by hand. Reach right into the bowl and work the shortening into the flour with your hands. A snapping motion of your fingers accomplishes this task quickly. You don't want any large pieces of shortening to remaining.


Add the water. At first, we add just half a cup cold water. Stir it into the flour mixture.


The flour mixture will be dry. VERY dry. This is normal.


Add 1/4 cup additional water. Stir. If the dough just begins to hold together, stop adding water! If the dough remains dry, add another tablespoon or two of water.

We want to add the water slowly. If this dough gets too wet, it's impossible to work with. Don't let that scare you! Just be cautious when adding the water and the dough will be fine.


Generously white rice flour your counter. Turn the dough and any dry ingredients that are clinging to the bottom of the bowl onto the counter. Dust your hands with flour and begin to knead the dough.


You want the dough to be smooth. If at any point during kneading the dough is wet, knead in more flour. If the dough doesn't come together, add a splash more water. During this step we want to really feel the dough. The texture we're looking for is similar to play-doh: damp but not wet.

Once you think you've got it, pinch off a piece of the dough. Roll it between your palms. It should be easy to handle and not stick to your hands or fall apart. Again, think clay or play-doh.


Cover the dough with plastic wrap. This prevents a skin from forming.


Cut open a plastic bag and place it on a tortilla press. Dust the bag with flour. Don't skip this or the tortilla will stick to the plastic.


Pinch dough, you want about two tablespoons, and roll into a ball. The dough should not stick to your hands. Place dough into tortilla press. It's a good idea to place the dough ball closer to the hinge than right in the center. Then simply close the press. The dough flattens under the pressure.

Don't have a tortilla press? They are worth the investment. But, until you get one, you can make this recipe. Simply slip the dough ball between two pieces of floured parchment paper. Then use a heavy skillet and "squish" down the dough ball.


Slide the tortilla--still in the bag-- off the press. Gently pull the plastic bag off the tortilla. Go slow. If the dough rips, don't worry. You can re-roll the dough.


Hold the tortilla in your hand. Pull away the bag. You don't want to pull the tortilla or it could rip.


The tortilla should be thin.


If your tortilla isn't as thin as you'd like, re-flour your bag and return the tortilla to the bag. Gently roll out the tortilla.


Heat your cast iron skillet until it smokes lightly. Add the tortilla. Cook the first side for about three minutes.


Flip! The second side doesn't cook as long nor will it get as dark.


As soon as the tortilla comes out of the pan, place it on a plate under a clean, dry towel. Cover. The steam will soften the tortilla. This is a good thing.


The tortilla shown in the pan above is just a wee bit dark. That's ok! Adjusting the heat takes some practice. The tortilla above, however, is pretty perfect.


Same tortilla. Different side. As you can see, the second side isn't as dark. If we cook the second side too much, the tortilla might tip into the "too crisp" stage. At that point, even placing the tortilla under a towel to steam for a minute won't soften it.


Here's what we want to avoid. The pan was too hot when I put the tortilla into it. The resulting tortilla was almost burnt. If you get a tortilla or two like this, reduce both the heat under the pan and your cooking time.


And here the pan was too cold. The tortilla did cook but it's anemic. If your tortilla looks like this, increase the heat under the pan.

If you are new to making tortillas, you might have a few that aren't "just right." That's ok. (Well, it's a bummer in the moment.) With practice, you'll get the hang of it. In fact, try making a "play" batch first. Tortillas are basically unleavened bread. And, as you know, gluten-free bread requires a bit of know-how to get right.


Soon you'll have a batch of wraps to fill with whatever you love!

Here's the recipe!

Enjoy it! 


Again, the recipe is here! (I'm having a graphic made for the recipe links!)

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