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How to Make Flour Tortillas (with Limited Resources)

How to Make Flour Tortillas from Scratch

How to make flour tortillas with limited resources

Tortillas are quite expensive in Korea. Since I speak Korean, I can easily order tortillas from the internet.

But still, it seems quite expensive to pay about 4 dollars (US) to get 12 sheets of tortillas, then pay the delivery cost which is another 4 dollars.

So I researched a little bit on the weekend to came up with this simple tortilla recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

P.S Here are some of my recipes using tortillas. You might like to try them! Korean BBQ Chicken Pizza and Chicken Bulgogi Burrito

Ingredients for 4 wraps

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 Tbsp starch powder (corn starch or potato starch)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp plain flour (Anti stick purpose while rolling)

How to Make Tortillas from Scratch

1. Sieve the flour, salt and starch powder.Add the water and olive oil. Kneed the dough. (The recipe I found recommend to leave it like that for about 1 hour in the fridge, but I didn’t have much time to spare, so I just kept going to next step without having any break.) Divide the dough into 4 pieces.

Making tortillas1

2. Spread the plain flour (2 Tbsp) on the rolling board. One dough at a time, roll the dough lightly on the board into a ball shape.

3. Roll one piece of dough with a rolling pin to flatten and make a thin round shape. (Repeat this for the rest of the dough.)

4. Preheat a skillet / pan for 10 seconds. (No cooking oil is used)

5. Place one tortilla sheet and cook it for 20 – 30 seconds. Turn it over and cook the other side for 20-30 seconds. Remove from the heat.

6. Serve.

Making tortillas2

Also, if you have better ideas or suggestions to make tortillas with limited resources, I would like to hear about it from you too. 🙂


How to Make Flour Tortillas (with Limited Resources)

How to Make Flour Tortillas from Scratch
Print Pin Rate
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 287kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 Tbsp starch powder (corn starch or potato starch)
  • 1 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp plain flour Anti stick purpose

Instructions

  • Sieve the flour, salt and starch powder.Add the water and olive oil. Kneed the dough. (The recipe I found recommend to leave it like that for about 1 hour in the fridge, but I didn’t have much time to spare, so I just kept going to next step without having any break.) Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
  • Spread the plain flour (2 Tbsp) on the rolling board. One dough at a time, roll the dough lightly on the board into a ball shape.
  • Roll one piece of dough with a rolling pin to flatten and make a thin round shape. (Repeat this for the rest of the dough.)
  • Preheat a skillet / pan for 10 seconds. (No cooking oil is used)
  • Place one tortilla sheet and cook it for 20 – 30 seconds. Turn it over and cook the other side for 20-30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
  • Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 589mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 3.2mg
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

 

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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19 thoughts on “How to Make Flour Tortillas (with Limited Resources)”

  1. Does anyone know where I can find corn kernels?
    Korea has corn in everything but am having a hard time finding the dry corn kernels, or even limestone for that matter.

    Thanks!

  2. what do you do with tortilla in Korea? Korean food is delicious, are you making your own Mexican food with these?

  3. This is very similar to indian bread call chapati but using wheat flour call Atta which is very nutritious with lot of fiber and protein.

    3 cups atta flour
    1 cup water
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tsp olive oil

    1.reserve 1/2 cup of flour for rolling.
    2.mix everything to firm but not stiff dough
    3.Knead dough for at least 10 minutes.
    4.Shape dough into balls about the size of a large walnut.
    5.Roll out each one on a lightly floured board (using reserved flour) to a circular shape as thin as a French crepe.
    6.Put chapati on griddle let it cook encourages bubble to form and make the chapatis light.
    7.Serve immediately with butter, dry curries or vegetable dishes.

  4. I live in Texas in the United States. We’re very close to Mexico so tortillas are sort of a staple here. You can always make tortillas with limited resources because in Mexico they didn’t have many resources either, which is probably why they became so popular. Here is a basic recipe for flour tortillas (you’ll have to convert the measurements):

    2 1/2 cups white flour
    1/2 cup of lard or vegetable shortening or softened butter
    1 teaspoon of salt
    1 teaspoon of baking powder
    1 cup very warm water

    In a bowl whisk together the salt, baking powder and flour. Add the butter or lard or shortening and cut it into the flour (breaking up the pieces of fat until it resembles coarse crumbs). Add the water and knead together until you have a ball of dough. Put a clean towel over the top and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Then roll dough into 1 and 1/2 inch balls. Coat each ball with flour and roll into large flat circles with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Roll them as thin as you can because as soon as you begin to cook them, they will shrink. Keep the excess dough covered as you work so it doesn’t dry out. Cook each tortilla as you make them in a hot skillet on each side until the dough begins to form bubbles and brown a little. Not too hot though or your tortillas will be bitter from burned flour.

  5. I find it humorous that i had to find the recipe for Mexican food in Korea; but, I’m very glad to have found this generous sharing, here. Thank You all and I’m going to try these. I am also going to try and find a pita bread recipe. That should be interesting, at that!

  6. I make tortillas often here in Korea. Similiar to how Jo makes them. I don’t have a rolling pin – I just use a wine bottle. The more that you knead the dough, the more flexible the tortillas will be, and the easier to make them thinner…

  7. I found this recipe for corn tortillas on amazon.com, while looking for a tortilla press (but you don’t have to have a tortilla press for this recipe):

    Making Corn Tortillas
    Corn Tortillas – So very simple, but read this whole article first. Much grief and disappointment can be avoided if you practice first before presenting these at a major meal. These will be thicker than store bought ones.

    Equipment:

    – Tortilla Press if you have one Or
    – Rolling pin
    – Plastic wrap or plastic bag cut open on two sides. The stiffer the plastic the better.
    – Griddle – cast iron – Or wide flat pan – The thicker the better
    – A thin flat metal spatula. Use plastic at your great peril.

    – No oil is required in the ingredients or on the griddle/pan

    The are two types of ingredients you can use: WET or DRY.

    WET MASA

    This is the easiest. You buy the dough already made at a mexican market. Freshness is important as the dough, known as Masa, is highly perishable. It can go sour in a day or sooner and if you keep it overnight in the fridge it will be sour the next day. To store it or extra masa, you must freeze it. Freeze in small portions for quicker thawing. I freeze 1 lb portions by flattening them to 1/2 inch thick disks. Takes about 2-3 hours to defrost evenly. Don’t freeze as a ball. The outside will turn sour before the inside is thawed.

    EXAMINE the Masa: Ask to taste the raw dough. It should taste slightly sweet and have only the slightest tang if any. Strong odors and sour taste means it’s old. They may insist it’s fresh, but they may not have chilled it well. Don’t be fooled. Call or ask about the delivery dates of fresh masa. It will be made off site. If it’s good, I buy several pounds and freeze what I don’t use. Take it home immediately and chill.

    One Pound of Masa: yield is about 9 standard size tortillas. Cost 99 cents/lb.

    ADD to the masa: Nothing is required

    PRE-HEAT the griddle on med to medium high depending on your stove. Pancake temperature should be fine. First couple of tortillas will be wrong just like pancakes until you get the heat right.

    ROLL: Roll entire dough batch into pingpong size balls flattening each a bit into thick disks like pucks. Keep everything covered under plastic to prevent drying.

    PRESS: If you have a press, press dough puck between the plastic until flattened.

    PEEL: Peel the plastic wrap back on one side, place the raw side half on your hand and half hanging down. Carefully peel away the rest of the plastic. DO NOT keep this on your hand for very long otherwise IT WILL stick to your hand because the masa will start kind of melting. DO NOT invert or flip your hand palm down with the masa onto the griddle otherwise the tortilla will fold, rumple, pile up or be unhappy. It will partially leave your hand and when the rest follows a split second later it will be a torn heap or like curtains that fell off the rod. Voila! A Picasso sculpture.

    It should never be dropped from your hand or be thrown onto the griddle. Do not fling it because a portion will remain with you. It’s not pizza dough. Because the griddle is hot, the inclination is to get rid of the raw tortilla quickly and this is where grief begins. Get close to the griddle and DO lay it down carefully by doing a kind of brushing away with the back of your hand. In a way you are peeling your hand away from the masa as it clings to the hot surface. As the masa lays on the griddle, you “brush away” and rotate or roll your hand. Let it peel and fall away. Brush and Roll, not Flinch and Recoil. I have never burned myself. You’ll be using quick movements, so you won’t burn your hand. You may use the other hand to help position and lay the masa down like a blanket which I do.

    COOK: When you place the masa on the hot surface, it will sizzle ever so slightly. If it sounds louder, it can’t be a good thing.

    Cook about 30 seconds on the first side. It should release. If it hasn’t released, wait a few seconds. If it still has not released, your griddle may be too slick like glass. RESIST adding oil to the surface. RESIST – Resist – resist – the griddle/pan is wrong – get rid of it. Try a nonstick surface or something that has a rougher surface like cast iron. (Cast iron must be seasoned first.) Flip tortilla after about 30 seconds. DO NOT flip it like a pancake. You’ll get a rumpled tortilla or it will tear and a piece will fly off into oblivion. DO NOT slide the spatula under the exact middle with the sides flopping over – more grief. It’s still fragile at this stage and the sides will break off which is okay if you prefer a tortilla rectangle – a tortangle.

    Gently move the spatula under the entire tortilla first to make sure it has completely released. This is why a thin metal spatula is important. Plastic spatulas are too thick and will catch on the tortilla edges. Lift from off center where only one edge hangs delicately and vulnerably, quivering ever so. Lift it up and gently turn it and lay it down.

    Here’s the cooking steps:

    1 – First cook 30 seconds.
    2 – Flip and cook about 45 seconds.
    3 – Flip and cook about 20 seconds. Remove.

    It may puff up which is a good thing. DO NOT walk away and if the edges start to curl you’ve allowed it to cook too long or the griddle is too hot. You will have shoe leather the next day if it’s left too long on the griddle. It takes about 1/2 hour to make 18 tortillas.

    DEVOUR: Slather with butter, inhale. Slather, inhale, slather, inhale.

    REMEMBER: Go slow. A quiet, meditative, unhurried approach works best at the beginning. This is an art that takes a few tries to develope a deft, quick hand. At first the masa may tear so re-roll it. It’s not a pie dough and won’t toughen if reworked. Yes, there is a split second timing from press to griddle/pan and it takes practice. After a few tries, you’ll get it. Make them smaller for easier handling and graduate to larger sizes if you dare.

    – You may get a rumpled or folded up tortilla on the griddle. Don’t try to salvage it. Once the dough warms, it becomes melty/mushy before cooking through. Too late. Don’t feel sorry for it. It has no feelings: Scrape and toss.
    – It burns: Adjust heat, get a thicker pan or pay attention.
    – It takes longer than a minute and half to cook. It’s drying out. Increase the heat.
    – Practice the movements with a napkin. Practice with playdough. DON’T cook the playdough.
    – Tortilla press warps the thickness: Before removing the plastic, even it out with a rolling pin.
    – It’s not perfectly round: Your stomache won’t care and it’s not a cooking show.
    – Gas stoves adjust heat well. Electric can be tricky unless you have a thick iron griddle/pan. Electric griddles work fine.
    – Don’t try this on a grill. It will fall through the grate.

    Tortilla presses are not all equal. Many of the aluminum models are not properly gapped or they are just made poorly and they press masa unevenly. Cast iron is better. Examine the gap. If the Wet Masa is pressed to thin, it will stick to the plastic and your hand and tear. Wooden models may be better ONLY if its made of hard wood. NOT pine which warps with time. Shop online for about 30-40 dollars. Gourmet Sleuth has wooden ones.

    DRY INGREDIENTS:

    Use Maseca, Masa Mixta or Masa Harina – corn tortilla flour. This recipe is very forgiving and can’t be ruined because the masa holds together unlike the fresh ground stuff which falls apart easily unless handled properly. It’s easy to adjust the flour to water ratio.

    MIX: 1 Part corn flour to about 1/2 part water. Mix and knead a bit until soft like playdough. Test it. Make a small ball and smash it between your palms. If the edges crack and crumble, add more water a spoonful at a time. Test. When smashed, the edges may crack just a tiny bit and that’s okay. If it’s sticky or gooey, add some corn flour. It should be slightly tacky. Let it rest covered for a half hour. The granules are absorbing the water. It may even be dryish after resting. Work in a bit of water.

    One cup corn flour makes about 1/2 dozen.

    Press and Cook as the WET masa. You’ll find you can handle this longer and be more rough with it. It’s stiffer and won’t rumple or tear.

    I DON’T HAVE A PRESS

    Method 1: Place dough between plastic and roll out with a rolling pin. NEVER use wheat flour to dust anything. Lightly roll once, turn one quarter turn, roll lightly, turn, roll, turn, roll until you get the thickness you want. Press down LIGHTLY with the rolling pin when you roll and you will make a circle and not an amoeba though amoeba shapes are tasty and have less calories ‘cuz they don’t count.

    The WET masa, if rolled too thin, will not release from the plastic. The DRY ingredient masa can be rolled very thin and will release.

    Method 2: Place dough between plastic. On a flat surface waist high or lower, flatten the dough with a flat bottom object like a pan or board. Be sure the pan is exactly flat. Bear STRAIGHT down for a few seconds. Don’t rock back and forth otherwise you’ll get uneven thickness. Let your weight press the dough slowly into a perfect disk.

    • Wow! Thanks for your detailed descriptions. I am in Korea now, and very hungry for corn tortillas. It took me a while to find cilantro, which is called go su in Korean. Now that I’ve got it, salsa is a snap! I’m searching for a place in Seoul that can ship masa to me cheaply. Again, thanks for your detail.

      Mary

  8. you know i’m doiing a research about korean bread.. but it seems like you don’t have it’ . argh it is so hard to find PICTURES of them like how you do it. oh well it’s due tomorrow. good info though.

  9. Greetings! I use a similar recipe for both tortillas and for communion bread. I think my version may be a bit easier. Maybe you can give it a try and see what you think. I’m not a measurer so quantities are flexible, these amounts should give you 4 nice size tortillas:
    1 c. flour (I use “bread” flour exclusively but “all-purpose” will be just fine
    1 t. salt
    Mix salt into flour with your fingers.
    1/2 to 3/4 c. very hot water (not so hot that you can’t touch it)

    Mix with fork until it makes a ball. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead till smooth. About 3 to 5 minutes.

    Wrap in plastic and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

    Unwrap, roll into short log, and divide into 4 portions. Roll portions out as thin as desired.

    Cook 1 to 2 minutes on both sides either on a hot oven stone or on a griddle on a stove. The grill will leave little browned spots. The oven will not color the bread. Personally, I like it better on the grill.

    For communion bread I use exactly the same process but I add 2 T. of good olive oil with the hot water.

  10. TW, It was a bit hard for me to make perfectly round shaped tortillas 🙂

    It is hard to find whole wheat flour in Korea. I’ve never seen any at all. (It is one of Michael’s biggest complaints in Korea.)

    Thanks for the tips, I should try some butter on the top next time.

  11. Your end product has a striking similarity to /chappati/ or roti – a common bread in India, also made by hand, though with whole wheat flour. That tastes so much better than naan and tandoori roti in Indo restaurants.

    You could try a bit of butter on it and it should taste similar to a village home-made puffed-up chappati from India!

    That tortilla looks almost round & perfect! Good show!!

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