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How to make the best gluten free flour tortillas | vegan, too

July 7, 2021
At a Glance

Summary

These easy gluten free flour tortillas are made with gluten free flours, baking powder, salt, a bit of fat, and warm water. They’re perfect fresh out of the skillet, or you can freeze them to use any time.

Categories

Prep / Cook Time

30 minutes / 10 minutes

Rating

 5/5 (31 votes)
How to make the best gluten free flour tortillas | vegan, too

Soft, flexible gluten free flour tortillas are easy to make in any size, and they’re perfect anywhere you’d use a corn tortilla, plus for burritos, tacos, and wraps. Roll them out with a rolling pin or a tortilla press, if you have one.

Medium stack of tortillas on black pan

What makes this gluten free tortilla recipe special

The gluten free products market has really grown, enough that there are a number of packaged gluten free flour tortillas you can buy. But none of them equals the taste and texture of a homemade flour tortilla.

With this simple recipe, you can make these gluten free wraps as small as you like, and up to 10-inches in diameter—or as big as your skillet can hold. With these detailed step-by-step instructions, photos, and even a how-to video, you’ll see that the dough is stable enough to shape however you like.

How to make gluten free burrito wraps

Think back to when you’ve bought a burrito at a restaurant, and imagine folding that tortilla around those fillings, like at Chipotle. To make gluten free burrito wraps, you need a larger tortilla. 

Try to make a burrito with a 6-inch or even an 8-inch tortilla. You’ll see that you can barely place anything inside the wrap and still fold the burrito closed.

The best way to make a burrito wrap is to begin with a 10-inch tortilla. Place it, open, in front of you on a flat surface.

For a 10-inch tortilla, you should be able to add a generous 13-cup of your filling across the center of the round. Pile the filling high, rather than spreading it out flat to make it easier to wrap, and leave a 1-inch border clean on both sides of the filling.

Then, fold the sides of the tortilla in toward the filling, using that 1-inch clean border without filling and press down. Fold the bottom part over the filling, too, and roll away from you until the filling is completely enclosed.

To keep the burrito closed, a little shredded cheese can act as an adhesive. Just microwave your burrito, seam-side down, or heat in a hot skillet until the cheese begins to melt.

Hands folding top tortilla on a stack into a burrito shape, on blue cloth

Tips for handling the dough from gluten free flour tortilla recipe

How do you get such clean lines on your flour tortillas?

The secret to getting round tortillas with a clean, round edge is to use a cake cutter. One of those big old metal collars that look like really, really large cookie cutters.

It isn’t necessary at all, but it does make for a more evenly-cooked tortilla. Once the rolled-out dough is very smooth, I use a 6-inch or 10-inch cake cutter to cut out rounds.

You can also use the lid of a large pot if it has sharp edges. Then, cut out the round cleanly, and remove the scraps to reroll with any remaining dough.

Raw flat tortilla dough folded over somewhat with a brown rolling pin and white jar in background on marble

Can I use a tortilla press to shape the dough?

You can shape this gf flour tortilla dough with a simple tortilla press, if you prefer that to a rolling pin and a smooth, floured surface. Try slicing a quart-size zip-top bag in half and lining the top and bottom of your tortilla press with each half, to prevent the dough from sticking.

I prefer to roll out the dough using a rolling pin, since a tortilla press won’t press the dough thin enough, or make a larger round than about 7-inches. So you’ll still need to roll out the dough with some tapioca starch and a rolling pin after it comes out of the press.

I still like using a tortilla press, but only for thicker tortillas. It’s great to use when I make fresh gluten free corn tortillas, which are naturally thicker.

White dough cut into a round on marble with some scraps around

More frequently asked questions about gluten free flour tortillas

Are flour tortillas gluten free?

No, flour tortillas aren’t gluten free unless they specifically say that they’re gluten free flour tortillas. Even if they say that they’re gluten free, read the label carefully to be sure that you’re buying the best brands of gluten free flour tortillas.

How do I make my gf tortillas soft and stretchy?

This tortillas recipe is very simple, and the most important ingredients are the gluten free flours. Here, you’ll need both a high-quality all purpose gluten free flour like Better Batter, since these are primarily rice flour tortillas, plus more tapioca starch/flour (even though your blend already contains tapioca starch as one component).

Why is my gf flour tortilla dough crumbly?

For soft tortillas, make sure your raw dough is wet enough that you can use plenty of additional tapioca starch to roll out and shape the rounds. If your dough is crumbly, continue to add more warm water by the tablespoonful until it holds together and almost feels a bit greasy.

After the dough comes together, be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes. Then, working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, shape it with plenty of extra tapioca starch, rolling it repeatedly until it’s smooth and stable enough to lift from the rolling surface.

Should I grease the skillet I cook the tortillas in?

These flour tortillas are cooked in a hot, dry skillet. The best skillet to use is cast iron, but you can also use a nonstick skillet at a slightly lower temperature.

Make sure the skillet is very hot before you add the first raw, shaped round. If the skillet isn’t hot enough, the raw dough will stick to the skillet.

Can I freeze these fresh gf flour tortillas?

These gluten free corn free tortillas freeze very well, after they’re cooked. I don’t recommend freezing the raw tortilla dough, since it’s quick and easy to make, and is a relatively wet dough, so it will freeze quite solid.

To freeze the cooked flour tortillas, let them cool completely, then stack them one on top of the other. Then, wrap them tightly in freezer-safe wrap, and freeze until ready to use.

How do I defrost frozen gf tortillas?

You can defrost them in the refrigerator overnight, and then refresh them by softening them in a hot skillet for a few moments on each side. Be sure the skillet is very hot before you place the tortilla on it, or the moisture on it will cause sticking.

You can also cover the frozen tortillas in a wet paper towel and pop them in the microwave until they’re just pliable. It usually takes about 30 to 45 seconds, depending on your microwave’s wattage, the size of each tortilla and how many tortillas are in the stack.

Hands picking up a large round of raw flour tortilla dough, on marble

Ingredients and substitutions

Which gluten free flour blend is best for gf flour tortillas?

I highly recommend using Better Batter all purpose gluten free flour blend in this recipe, or our “mock Better Batter” DIY blend if you can’t or don’t want to buy Better Batter itself. That is the blend that has the best moisture balance and protein content to make these tortillas.

Assuming that you use an all purpose gluten free flour blend in this recipe that’s dairy free and gluten free, this recipe makes tortillas that are vegan and gluten free. If you use Cup4Cup gluten free flour, a high starch blend, you will probably need more water or your dough will be crumbly.

Do I have to use the tapioca starch/flour?

In addition to an all purpose gluten free flour blend, this recipe needs added tapioca starch. Tapioca starch is also sometimes referred to as tapioca flour.

Every all purpose gluten free flour blend I recommend already has tapioca starch in it as an ingredient. You still need to add the additional tapioca starch called for in the recipe.

You may already have Expandex modified tapioca starch, which is chemically modified tapioca starch, because you bake yeast bread with our gluten free bread flour. If so, you can use Expandex in place of the additional tapioca starch, but you’ll need less.

To use Expandex in place of the added tapioca starch, please use the following amounts in place of the all purpose gluten free flour blend and tapioca starch/flour in the recipe as written. You’ll then use the remaining ingredients as written:

  • 1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour
  • 35 grams Expandex modified tapioca starch

Virgin coconut oil

This recipe calls for virgin coconut oil, which is the kind of coconut oil that is cold processed, preserving much of its antioxidant properties. It’s solid at cool room temperature, about 72°F, which is what makes it appropriate for this recipe. 

If you’re sensitive to a slight coconut aroma that some solid coconut oil has, you can use triple-filtered coconut oil. It has no aroma at all.

In place of virgin coconut oil, you can use vegetable shortening. I like Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening.

3 burritos folded in half on marble

Gluten Free Flour Tortillas

Course: Bread
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: gluten free tortillas, gluten free wraps
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 tortillas
Author: Nicole Hunn
Soft, flexible gluten free flour tortillas are easy to make in any size, and they’re perfect anywhere you’d use a corn tortilla, plus for burritos, tacos, and wraps.
Print Recipe Save Pin Recipe

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour blend I used Better Batter; click for more info
  • ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your blend already contains it
  • cup (75 g) tapioca starch/flour plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (48 g) virgin coconut oil
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) very warm water (about 90°F) plus more by the tablespoon as necessary

Instructions

Make the tortilla dough

  • In a large bowl, place the all purpose gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum, tapioca starch/flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine.
  • Add the coconut oil, and toss it in the dry ingredients. With the tines of a large fork, break up the fat into small pieces about the size of small peas.
  • Create a well in the center of the mixture, the water, and mix to combine. The dough should be thick. If there are any crumbly bits at all, add the remaining water by the tablespoonful.
  • Knead the dough together and press it into a ball, cover with a moist tea towel, and allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes. The dough will stiffen a bit as it absorbs more of the water.
  • Heat a 10- or 12-inch cast-iron skillet (or a nonstick skillet over medium heat) over medium-high heat. The skillet should be hot enough to sizzle when you drip water on it.

Shape the tortillas

  • Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Work with one piece of dough at a time, and cover the rest with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.
  • Sprinkle at least 1 tablespoon of extra tapioca starch on a flat surface, place the first piece of dough on top, and sprinkle again with more tapioca starch. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough about ¼-inch inch thick.
  • If the dough seems smooth, proceed with the next step. If it doesn't seem smooth, but instead has what appears to be cracks, gather the dough together again, sprinkle with more tapioca starch, and roll it out again until it appears smooth.
  • Using a cake cutter or freehand with a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut out a round the size you'd like. If you're making 9-inch or 10-inch rounds, you'll only cut out one from each piece of dough. Gather the scraps and set them aside with the other pieces of remaining dough.

Cook the tortillas

  • Place the rounds one at a time in the center of the hot skillet. Cook on one side until bubbles begin to appear on the top surface and the tortilla darkens in color a bit on the underside (about 45 seconds).
  • Using a wide spatula, flip the tortilla over, and cook on the other side until more bubbles form and the tortilla darkens on the underside (about another 45 seconds). Press down on the top of the tortilla to help it sear a bit. Remove the tortilla from the pan, place on large tea towel, and cover gently.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of dough, including gathering and rerolling all the scraps together.

Make-ahead instructions

  • If you don’t plan to use the tortillas right away, place them, still wrapped in the towel, in a plastic bag to seal in the moisture. Use within a few hours.
  • To freeze the tortillas, allow them to cool completely to room temperature. Stack them, wrap tightly with freezer-safe wrap, and freeze until you're ready to use. Allow to defrost at room temperature and refresh in a hot, dry skillet before serving.

Notes

Adapted from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2013;
Originally published on the blog in 2016. Recipe changed slightly to replace Expandex with tapioca starch and shortening with virgin coconut oil. Some photos and most text new.
Gluten Free Flour Tortillas raw held over a skillet and being flipped in a skilletFlour tortillas on gray towel and flour tortillas on white towel

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