Gluten Free Flour Tortillas—plus how-to video

Gluten Free Flour Tortillas—plus how-to video

For the perfect soft, flexible gluten free flour tortillas, you need the right ingredients and the right recipe. Now, finally, you have that—and a complete how-to video that shows you exactly how it’s done.

For the perfect soft, flexible gluten free flour tortillas, you need the right ingredients and the right recipe. Now, finally, you have that—and a complete how-to video that shows you exactly how it's done.

Even though I love corn tortillas (especially when I D.I.Y. ’em), sometimes you just need a gluten free flour tortilla. And these are, hands down, the best flour tortillas I have ever had–gluten free or not.

This is the recipe from page 203 of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread. I had to share it with you here on the blog, since the thought of someone missing out on this perfect gluten free flatbread was too much for me to bear.

For the perfect soft, flexible gluten free flour tortillas, you need the right ingredients and the right recipe. Now, finally, you have that—and a complete how-to video that shows you exactly how it's done.

It uses Expandex modified tapioca starch (sources here), which makes the tortilla dough incredibly easy to handle, and the tortillas themselves stretchy and pliable like never before.

But if you don’t have Expandex and want to make them tonight, just replace the Expandex (gram for gram) with tapioca starch/flour. The texture won’t be exactly the same (raw or cooked), but the recipe will still work.

For the perfect soft, flexible gluten free flour tortillas, you need the right ingredients and the right recipe. Now, finally, you have that—and a complete how-to video that shows you exactly how it's done.

The step by step video above shows you exactly how to make the tortillas, but I couldn’t resist some step by step still photos, too. You do need something to Pin to Pinterest, after all. You’re going to want to save this one!

For the perfect soft, flexible gluten free flour tortillas, you need the right ingredients and the right recipe. Now, finally, you have that—and a complete how-to video that shows you exactly how it's done.

If you’re interested in what gluten free flour tortillas to buy, I’ve got 8 brands that I really like and recommend trying. You can visit my GF flour tortilla reviews right here.

And if you’re wondering how I get those clean, perfect circles on my tortillas, the secret is a cake cutter. One of those big old metal collars that look like really, really large cookie cutters?

Those. I used to think it was mostly for showing off, but it really does make for a more evenly-cooked tortilla.

Oh, and one more thing: They freeze perfectly. Just stack the cooked tortillas, wrap them tightly in freezer-safe wrap, and freeze until ready to use.

You can either defrost them in the refrigerator overnight, and then refresh them by softening them in a hot skillet (a few seconds on each side), or pop them in the microwave covered in a wet paper towel. (The skillet method is 1000x better.) You’ll be minutes away from a great meal.

Gluten Free Flour Tortillas raw held over a skillet and being flipped in a skilletFor the perfect soft, flexible gluten free flour tortillas, you need the right ingredients and the right recipe. Now, finally, you have that—and a complete how-to video that shows you exactly how it's done.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 10 to 15 tortillas, depending upon size


1 3/4 cups (245 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more for sprinkling (I used Better Batter)

35 grams (about 1/4 cup) Expandex modified tapioca starch* (or replace with an equal amount of tapioca starch/flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon (6 g) kosher salt

4 1/2 tablespoons (54 g) vegetable shortening

3/4 cup (6 ounces) warm water (about 85°F)

*For information on where to find Expandex, please see the Resources page. For information on how to replace Expandex with Ultratex 3, readily available in most countries outside the United States, in the gluten free bread recipes in GFOAS Bakes Bread, scroll to #6 in Resources. I have not yet tested Ultratex 3 in this recipe, but I would recommend trying a mix of 268 grams all purpose gluten free flour + 12 grams Ultratex 3 in place of the blend above. Ultratex 3 is at least 3 times as strong as Expandex.


  • In a large bowl, place the all-purpose flour, Expandex, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the vegetable shortening and toss it in the dry ingredients. With the tines of a large fork, break up the shortening into small pieces about the size of small peas. Create a well in the center of the mixture, and add most of the water. Mix to combine. The dough will come together and be thick. If there are any crumbly bits, add the remaining water by the teaspoonful. Knead the dough together and press it into a ball, cover with a moist tea towel, and allow to sit for about 20 minutes. The dough will stiffen a bit as it absorbs more of the water.

  • Heat a 10- or 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Divide the dough into five pieces. Begin with one piece of dough, and cover the rest with a moist tea towel to prevent them from drying out. On a lightly floured surface, with a rolling pin, roll out the first piece of dough until it is 1/8 inch thick. Cut out as many rounds as you can (should be three or four) with a 6- or 8-inch metal cake cutter. Stack the raw tortillas on top of one another, dusting lightly with flour between them, if necessary, to prevent them from sticking. Gather the scraps and set them aside. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, including gathering and rerolling all of the scraps together.

  • Once all the tortillas have been rolled out and cut, place them one at a time in the center of the hot skillet and 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). Flip the tortilla over with a wide spatula, and cook on the other side until more bubbles form and the tortilla darkens on the underside (about another 45 seconds). Remove the tortilla from the pan, place on a moist tea towel, and cover gently. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

  • 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.

  • From the book 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.


Comments are closed.

  • Cookingguy
    September 20, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    I think the passive time should be included somewhere up front.. I got started then realized I needed to wait 20 mins in the middle… Not sure how I’m expected to finish the entire thing in 25.

    • September 20, 2016 at 2:56 PM

      My recipe format does not include passive time, cookingguy. It is always a good idea to read through a recipe once first before you begin taking action.

  • Laura M
    September 2, 2016 at 7:10 PM

    These are SO yummy! The other day we had a combined success and fail. We didn’t have expandex, and only cup4cup flour, so made them with tapioca starch and cup4cup. We got 5 tortillas in total and they were very dry and hard to handle, but we ate them anyhow and they were a hit! I had also over cooked them so they didn’t roll very well. Since we knew these were going to be a regular thing, we ordered expandex, potato starch and powdered pectin (these can’t be found easily where I am) The expanded arrived and we tried again with that and a blend of better than cup4cup. We got 10 (7 inch) tortillas! They still rip very easily but when we have the better batter flour blend ready to go, I’m hoping that will solve the final issue. My only other question is can the recipe be doubled or tripled for making big bulk batches?

  • ber getty
    July 21, 2016 at 4:53 PM

    Can I use Bobs red Mill all purpose gluten free flour for this?

    • James Davis
      September 14, 2016 at 7:56 AM

      Mine come out great everytime. I use Expandex with Bob’s Red Mill all purpose BAKING flour. This is potato and rice blend. Anyone use the Bob’s all purpose (garbanzo bean flour blend with no xanthan gum) I would like to know.

      • September 20, 2016 at 2:57 PM

        Definitely not, James! You absolutely cannot use a bean flour blend successfully in any of my recipes. That is far from a true all purpose blend by any definition.

    • September 20, 2016 at 2:57 PM

      I’m afraid not, ber getty. You must use one of my recommend blends, and Bob’s is not one of them. Their blend is very, very gritty.

  • Sarah
    July 6, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    Was excited to try these and OMG what a big FAIL! So disappointed. Not possible to roll them, they came apart as I tired to lift them, so used my hands but were awful, like eating cardboard! Tried two and threw the rest away! Such a waste of ingredients and money!

    • July 6, 2016 at 10:56 AM

      It can be very frustrating when a recipe doesn’t turn out as you expected. This recipe is one of the best-tested on my blog and in my cookbooks, and I have made it many dozens of times successfully, so I can say with confidence that it works when made as written. If you did not use one of my recommended flour blend, Sarah, that is likely the issue right there. If you made other substitutions thinking that they were inconsequential, I’d look there, too. And if you’re measuring your ingredients by volume, not weight, that can lead to very inconsistent results. It sounds like your dough was very dry, which could be the result of any of the possibilities I mentioned. Better luck next time!

  • Josie Arnold
    June 7, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    Do you think this dough could be used to make sopapillas? I live in south Texas and have always wondered what sopapillas were like–this seems to be a similar dough to what traditional sopapilla recipes call for?

    • July 6, 2016 at 10:54 AM

      I have a recipe for sopapillas already on the blog, Josie. Just use the search function!

      • Josie Arnold
        July 7, 2016 at 10:17 AM


  • subduedjoy
    June 4, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    Have you tried alternative binding agents other than xanthan gum? And if so, how did your breads turn out in comparison. I have a digestive disease and cannot consume xanthan gum.

    Some alternative binding agents to xanthan gum:

    Xanthan gum – complex sugar molecules that are very difficult to digest. Xanthan gum increases stool output, bloating, and gas and may cause an allergic reaction in people allergic to corn, soy, dairy, or wheat because it is produced by bacterial fermentation of a sugar-containing one of those ingredients.

    Psyllium fiber – high in natural soluble fiber.

    Chia seeds – nutrient dense, favorable omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

    Flax seeds – high in omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Mimi Townsend
    June 4, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Oh my goodness! The Expandex came in the mail today. I jumped into the kitchen and made some tortillas… best thing I’ve ever tasted! Ordered your Bread, Biscuits and Bagels cookbook today. I await in eager anticipation! Thanks for all you do.

  • Diane Douglas
    June 2, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    These have become my newest addiction! They are very simple to make, don’t take too many ingredients, freeze perfectly and ready to snack on in an instant! LOVE them… thank you Nicole! I was wondering about using a tortilla press, and then I just read the latest comments, so I might try that next time (tomorrow?) with the Ziplock bag.

  • Mare Masterson
    May 31, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    I have yet to make these. I wish I could! Geesh – 1 year grain free – where did the time go? I have yet to try the grain free tapioca wraps you created. I will have to do that as soon as possible!

  • LindaK1661
    May 30, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    These sound amazing Nicole. I can’t wait to try them. Do they freeze well?

    • June 1, 2016 at 10:34 AM

      Yes, they do, Linda. I discuss that in the post above, right before the recipe.

  • Bebehealthycookingart
    May 29, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Hi Nicole! Can I replace it with rice flour? And replace tapioca flour for potato starch or arrowroot instead?

    • May 29, 2016 at 3:25 PM

      Hi, Bebe,
      I assume you are referring to the Expandex, and no, you cannot replace it with rice flour. Sorry!

      • Bebehealthycookingart
        May 29, 2016 at 3:50 PM

        Dear Nicol
        Thank you so much for your reply!
        My concern is that although we love tortillas, and I love your recipe, but my husband does not tolerate tapioca, has indigestion right away and by aurveduc medicine it’s not good for him. So that’s why I was wondering if I can use rice flour instead of gluten free mixes (because usually gluten free mixes contains it also) and replace expandex with healthy alternative. Appreciate your Advice.
        Love and Light

  • Adrienne
    May 28, 2016 at 8:07 PM

    Hi Nicole I live over in Australia, and the all purpose gluten free flour blends are just so expensive. For your recipes I have been using Plain flour instead and the recipes just don’t turn out the same. Is there any way I could make a flour blend using plain flour and other ingredients?

    • Victoria Donaldson
      May 29, 2016 at 9:22 AM

      Hi Adrienne,
      I live in Australia too, have you tried making your own flour blend? I have found that to be the best using Nicolas formulars you can find here on the site.

      • May 29, 2016 at 3:26 PM

        That’s good advice, Victoria! Adrienne, one of the main reasons I developed those copycat all purpose gluten free flour blends is for readers who live outside the U.S. and cannot purchase my recommended ready-made blends.

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