Flour tortillas are one of the best, most versatile, and easiest to make of the flatbreads. I once had a long discussion with a Mexican grocery vendor about all of the types of flour tortillas one could make and buy - we didn't even get to discuss corn tortillas. For griddled and baked items, a dryer, more machined style is best because they make the best crunchy, crackery crust for quesadillas. The flour tortillas below are meant to be light, lacy, and fluffy. They are delicious for tearing, slathering, swiping, and wrapping. Make a batch to have fresh and keep leftovers in the fridge (or freezer) to warm up any time for that just-off-the-comal freshness. When ready, turn your phone to airplane mode, brush the warm tortilla with softened butter and a sprinkling of Shabazi, and enjoy the delicate deliciousness.
In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour, butter, water, and salt over medium speed to make a smooth ball of dough. This will take 3-8 minutes as the flour hydrates while mixing. The dough should pull away from the walls of the bowl cleanly. See Recipe Notes below for hand mixing or food processor mixing.
Divide the dough into 12 portions and shape them into balls. Place the dough balls on a greased tray and cover with plastic or a tea towel to leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
When ready, heat a large, heavy bottom skillet (I used a 14” skillet) over medium heat. Roll each dough ball to 8 inches in diameter, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Brush off any excess flour and place the tortilla into the heated pan for a few seconds as the tortilla begins to bubble. Flip the tortilla and leave the second side to cook until golden brown and bubbly, flipping back again as needed until the dough is cooked. The dough will appear to turn opaque and bubbly as it cooks.
Continue rolling and cooking until the tortillas are cooked. As the tortillas come off the skillet, transfer them to a tray lined with a towel under and over the tortillas to absorb the steamy heat.
Serve warm. Any remaining tortillas will keep very well in an airtight container for reheating. Enjoy!
This recipe is traditionally made by hand, mixing the flour and butter together then adding the salt dissolved in the water. The wet batter would be mixed for 5-10 minutes as the flour slowly hydrates and the moist dough becomes smooth. I prefer the stand mixer and dough hook method and find that using a food processor works well too. For a food processor, using the dough blade if you have one, pulse the flour and butter to make a wet sand texture. Continue pulsing while adding in the salt dissolved in the warm water. When the dough pulls away from the bowl cleanly, continue with the steps above.
To reheat the tortillas, I gently pass them over an open flame on the stove and they become surprisingly soft and toasty again.