Flour Tortilla Shells Made with a cast iron tortilla press (Amazon affiliate link).
Homemade flour tortilla shells are so much better then store bought ones! You can taste the difference. Is it just me or do the ones at the store have a weird aftertaste? I think it is because of the chemical preservatives they add. These don’t have any weird ingredients. Simply made with water, flour, salt and oil. 4 ingredient list. Pretty simple!
Photo above shows some of the dough balls before they get pressed.
You can make these by hand rolling them out with a rolling pin, which is what I used to do but I found a cast iron tortilla press (Amazon affiliate link) makes my life easier. I’m so glad my sister got me a press for my birthday last year! She is the best. I think they only cost around $20 on Amazon. I do recommend using a ziplok bag cut down the sides to press the tortilla with so it doesn’t stick to the cast iron, see photo below.
If using a cast iron tortilla press (Amazon affiliate link) I divide the dough into 12 pieces because this helps to make nice thin tortilla shells, I found that 10 pieces yielded shells that were too thick.
After I make these and they cool down, I store them in a large ziplok bag in the fridge and keep them for about a week. They also freeze well.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup warm water
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil (or 5 Tablespoons of butter, lard or shortening)
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup add salt to the warm water and stir together until the salt is mostly dissolved.
- In a large bowl, stir flour, salt water and oil together. If the mixture seems dry, add a bit more of the water, if too wet add a little more flour. Dough might seem a little dry but once you knead it it will come together more.
- Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Cover with a clean dish cloth and leave for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours. (Resting the dough makes it easier to roll out.)
- Divide the dough into 10-12 equally sized pieces and then shape into balls. (I prefer 12 for thin shells)
- Take a gallon sized ziplok bag and spit it down the sides, grease the inside lightly with vegetable oil. Use it to line the inside of the press. Place one ball inside the cast iron press and press it down, open the press, rotate it 90 degrees, press it again. Carefully open the ziplok bag up and peel the tortilla out.
- Place in a nonstick large skillet or griddle on the stove top over medium or medium-high heat and cook about 20-30 seconds on each side. They will start to bubble up on each side. Repeat with the next dough ball. (I usually press another shell while the other is cooking.)
- If using a rolling pin, roll each ball out to about 8" circles on a lightly flour surface, you want them to be very thin.
- Transfer each shell to a dinner plate and keep them covered with a clean dish towel, this helps to keep them soft as you cook them or use a tortilla warmer if you have one.
- If you are making the shells ahead of time, then roll/press each shell and stack them in between parchment paper. Then cook them one at a time.
- If making dough ahead of time, you can put the dough balls in the fridge in a ziplok bag and use them within 3 days, remove from fridge about 30 minutes prior to pressing/cooking tortillas.
- Store leftover tortilla shells in a ziplok gallon sized bag in the fridge. They reheat well in the microwave or you can reheat in a skillet on the stove. They can also be frozen.