A Homemade Kitchen: Whole Grain Tortillas

A Homemade Kitchen series includes recipes that feature homemade versions of your favorite store-bought meals, snacks, treats, condiments and more. Homemade is better for your budget, body, and taste buds.

Store-bought, packaged tortillas are a sad fare. They’re flavorless, practically textureless, and often times don’t add anything to the dish unless they’re fried. Once you’ve had homemade tortillas, it’s hard to go back to the bland store-bought variety. Homemade tortillas actually taste like something on your tongue. They have a remarkable texture which makes you want to get down on your knees and thank our ancestors who first invented flatbreads.

You might also want to thank our ancestors who first utilized spelt as a flour. Although tortillas have been traditionally made with maize, spelt makes these tortillas a health food. Spelt flour is easier to digest than wheat and is a fabulous source of fiber, protein, vitamin B12 and also of manganese, niacin, thiamin, and copper. Spelt actually has four times the fiber of whole wheat flour.  It also has a lovely mild, sweet, nutty flavor and can be used in place of wheat flour in many recipes. It can be found at natural food and health food stores such as Whole Foods or wherever you buy your grains in bulk. 

Have I sold you on spelt yet? Now, before you think you can’t make this recipe, think again. It can be made with white whole wheat flour which might be easier to find. But if you can find spelt, I highly recommend trying it out! Your body will thank you. 

Recipe Rundown
Taste: Nutty, slightly sweet, and so much more flavorful than the white, store-bought kind.
Texture: Slightly thicker than the store-bought kind, chewy, soft.  
Ease: This recipe is a bit more hands-on but none of the steps are difficult. It would be a fun recipe to make with children.
Appearance: Rustically beautiful.  

Pros: Healthy, tastier than store-bought, can be refrigerated or frozen.
Cons: You really have to keep an eye on the tortilla as it baked and monitor the temperature if you have a finicky cooktop. 
Would I make this again? Yes.
I’ve got a batch in the freezer!

Whole Grain Tortillas
Makes 10-12 tortillas
From King Arthur Whole Grain Baking

  • 2 cups (8 ounces) whole spelt flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water is using spelt flour, 2/3 cup warm water if using whole wheat flour

Combine the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl or food processor and mix together. Add the oil and mix into the flour thoroughly. Mix in the warm water (with the machine running, if using food processor). You’ll want a dough that’s soft, the spelt or whole grain flour will absorb liquid as it sits. Once the dough is mixed, let sit, covered, for 20 minutes. 

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead it a couple of times, and pat into an even disk. Cut the dough into 10-12 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let them rest for 20 minutes. If you have a tortilla press, use it to flatten each ball. If you’re rolling the tortillas by hand, take one of the balls and flatten into a small disk. Using a floured rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface, roll the tortillas into a very thin, flat round about 6-8 inches in diameter. 

Heat a heavy, ungreased griddle over medium-high heat. Toss a tortilla onto the griddle and let it heat on one side for about 1 minute, until it begins to brown in spots, then use tongs to lift and flip the tortilla to bake it on other side, about 1 minute. While the first tortilla is baking, roll the second one out. Transfer the baked tortilla to a plate and toss the next tortilla onto griddle. Repeat until all tortillas are rolled and baked. You may stack the tortillas and cover them with a towel to keep them soft and warm until you’re ready to use. You may also refrigerate tortillas for up to 1 week or freeze tortillas in an airtight container for up to 2 months.  

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23 Responses to “A Homemade Kitchen: Whole Grain Tortillas”

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    1
    Maris — June 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    This is awesome! have a great weekend!

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    Csilla — June 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I have tried making tortillas with whole wheat spelt flour mixed with maize…Well…it was just not pretty nor good at all :D And was soo thick and hard! But yours seem like a recipe worth trying! Even though that last attempt made me shy away from home made tortillas…

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    Linds@TheLeanGrnBean — June 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    can't wait to try these. so glad they don't have lard in them

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    4
    Erin — June 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Ooo I love making things at home that I would normally buy, because everything I've made so far is so much better than in stores! Can't wait to try these

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    Lauren — June 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I've made tortillas before, but didn't love the recipe – the dough was tough to work with, and the result wasn't ideal. I will absolutely be making these however, because they look great! I've baked with spelt flour with fantastic results… but I didn't know it had so much more fiber than whole wheat flour. That is impressive!

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    6
    fooddoodles — June 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Mmm, I love this. I make my own flour and corn tortillas because there really is no comparison but I never thought to try spelt. Awesome! Can't wait to try it :)

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    zenzeroni — June 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Oh, these are very exciting! I can actually get spelt flour where I am, and this seems like the perfect way to break my 'defrost a frozen pitta bread in the toaster' habit.

    -Sarah

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    Maria — June 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    whole wheat tortillas are my favorite. Can't wait to try this recipe!

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    Zafar — June 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Never knew about spelt flour before thanks for that. Just wanted to point out that a Wheat Tortilla is the same thing as Indian flatbread called 'chapati' or 'roti'. Cheers.

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    DessertForTwo — July 7, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I've been searching for new recipes for breads that don't require the oven since it's too hot to bake! Thanks for this :)

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    11
    Dawn B — July 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Tried them this evening using spelt flour, and we absolutely loved them. MUCH better than store bought!

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    12
    Dawn B — July 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Tried them this evening using spelt flour, and we absolutely loved them. MUCH better than store bought!

    • handleheat replied: — July 8th, 2011 @ 6:06 am

      So glad you liked them!!

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    13
    Fernanda — October 22, 2011 at 2:21 am

    It might be a silly question but… I store it in the fridge cooked or uncooked? If cooked, how do I warm it later?

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    14
    Malisia — March 9, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I just made these and they came out so good! Thanks!

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    15
    memeinge — April 18, 2012 at 12:18 am

    I've made these three times now with the white whole wheat flour, and they are soo delicious!! They beat store bought tortillas any day, and they have no preservatives or other weird ingredients!

    • handleheat replied: — April 26th, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

      That's why i love them! Glad you like them too :)

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    Jenni — April 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I just made these last night and they are amazing!!! My husband and I decided we will never again buy tortillas! Thank you for the great recipe!

    • handleheat replied: — April 26th, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

      Fantastic! I'm so happy you enjoyed the recipe.

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    Carrie Gaston — May 21, 2012 at 12:17 am

    I've made whole grain spelt tortillas and always have trouble with them being too hard and brittle when I go to reheat them. I want to use them as a wrap. I've tried, olive oil, canola oil, and coconut oil. I cook them in a cast iron skillet. The tortillas look like yours, so the temp is most likely the same. Do you think it's necessary to use a lower flame to cook them.or try butter or some other oil?

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    Mrsblocko — March 16, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I made these and wrote about them here. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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