The Real Reasons Your Homemade Flour Tortillas Aren't Soft

Tortillas can be used for anything: pizza crusts, taco shells, casseroles, enchiladas, you name it! The tortilla is a beloved kitchen staple, a flatbread made so simply, that anyone with flour, fat, salt, and water could try it. If you grew up in a home that made them fresh, you know how amazing warm tortillas can taste in the morning with your eggs or as a wrap for lunch. And, maybe your family passed down the techniques they used to make the perfect tortillas. For those who didn't though, the tortilla-making process may be a bit trickier. 

One of the biggest complaints beginners make is that their tortillas aren't turning out soft and pliable. Instead, they end up with something difficult to chew and dry. Tortillas seem deceptively simple because of their minimal ingredients, but that means that the methodology becomes all the more important. If you don't make your bread in the right way and use the right tools, you will encounter a few problems.

It's All About Balance And How You Cook Them

The kind of flour you use is very important. You should use all-purpose, but if need be you could substitute it with bread flour although Simply Homemade Bread warns that kneading will become a bit more complicated. Additionally, all-purpose flour develops more gluten which will make your tortillas more flexible.

Ana Frias, the creator of Muy Delish, goes into more detail about what the dough should feel like in your hands before cooking. She is adamant that the dough should not be tacky. If the bread is sticking to your fingers, add a small amount of flour until it stops sticking. She does warn that going too far in the other direction — adding too much flour during this process — will make the tortillas hard. It's about striking the right balance.

When it comes to the physical cooking process, you must be attentive. If you overcook them, the tortillas will become hard, but you also don't want to undercook the dough. As a safety net, you can place your tortillas in tin foil to let them gently continue to cook after you've removed them (via Baking Needs). So, if you're hesitant as to whether they are done or not, pop them in some tin foil instead of possibly overcooking them. There is no hard rule for how long you should cook your tortilla, it varies from recipe to recipe, but we would highly suggest doing a few "test runs" to see what works best for you.