Frugal Foreigner From Scratch: Homemade Tortillas

As you can imagine, living away from home there are many American food items that we miss. I’ve been able to find a lot of them imported, or substitute suitable locally made products. I’ve found little Indian cheese crackers my kids like just as much as Goldfish, and Kellogg’s markets Indian-made cereal that isn’t overly expensive (though by no means a good deal). However, there are many things I haven’t been able to find – and many of the imported American items I’m just not willing to pay for. ($7 for a box of PopTarts. Seriously?) What’s a Mommysaver to do? Make my own, of course!

As I learn make store-bought products from scratch, I’ll share my experiences with you. First up: Homemade .

We’ve been in our apartment 9 days and I’ve made tortillas 4 times. This isn’t a new recipe; I learned how to make tortillas from a cousin years ago. But it used to be an occasional treat, not a necessity. My family still can’t stomach a lot of the food here, so these homemade tortillas have been perfect for us. With butter, peanut butter, refried beans, cheese, or just plain, these have seen us through the past couple weeks of upset tummies. And they’re quick enough to make up a batch just for dinner! Here is the recipe and instructions for about 12 tortillas. In the pictures, I halved the recipe and got seven tortillas out of it.

4 cups flour (I use whole wheat for about 1/3)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons oil or butter
1 1/2 cups hot water

Mix dry ingredients. Cut oil or butter into flour mixture. Add water. Stir with a fork until it resembles moist crumbs. You may need to add more water, but don’t get it too wet. Kneading in the next step will incorporate all the dry crumbs, and you don’t want your dough to be too sticky.

Knead with your hands to incorporate all the crumbs into a smooth ball. Let stand 3 minutes. Divide the dough and form into balls (about 12).

Roll each ball of dough out with a rolling pin and cut into circles (I don’t bother to cut circles). Alternatively, use a tortilla press!

Fry in oil, or cook on grill until lightly browned on both sides. I fry mine in a dry non-stick frying pan.



  1. says

    🙂 I love your blog.

    I’m in fact living away from my country. But in a Country that have a lot of things from mine. I’m From Mexico and live in the north east of US, But there are so many things I can’t find or I find the “Americanized” way. So I bake and cook them , like Corn tortillas, or panuchos and Gorditas, I have tried sweet bread, there are a lot of kind in Mexico but so far haven’t find a good recipe for some of them. Or the ingredients!. Tamales! I miss the tamales but haven’t had the time to cook them I have recipes but no time in that case! :).

  2. Anita says

    I suggest lard/shortening rather than oil, or use a no lard recipe ( I know one was posted on mommysavers before). I wouldn’t use butter either, not the right consistency.
    As you roll you will learn to make them round as you go. We make LARGE batches and in my home it is considered a necessity.
    I’m enjoying your blog!!

  3. Peppermint Patty says

    If you are able to get whole blocks of Parmesan cheese, then grate it and put small amts on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake…..not sure the temp…..maybe 325? for a short time……they make great crackers.


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