Best Homemade Sourdough Tortillas (Quick and Easy)

Introduction

These quick sourdough tortillas are easy to make and perfect for taco night. They use simple ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and are ready in under an hour. These delicious tortillas are an easy way to use your sourdough discard, but can also be made with active starter (see notes below). I crafted this recipe by adapting New Mexico style tortilla techniques for that authentic taste and style you are looking for in a tortilla. If you’ve never made homemade tortillas before, you are going to be hooked by the flavor and freshness of these tortillas. You won’t find anything like them in the grocery store.  

Cooked sourdough tortillas wrapped in a towel on a plate. There is a rolling pin next to the plate.

Sourdough Tortilla Ingredients

Flour

You need regular all-purpose flour for this recipe. You can make these tortillas more hearty by substituting in some whole wheat flour in place of the white flour. I wouldn’t add more than 1/3 of the total flour amount of whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour tends to make baked goods and breads taste more dry. If you add too much, the proportions of ingredients will be off and the resulting tortillas won’t taste very good. 

Fat

There are several types of fat that work well in tortillas. Traditional tortillas are made with lard, which is refined pork fat. Many grocery stores do not carry this product, however there are several great substitutions for this ingredient (which I have a whole post about here!)

This discard tortilla recipe uses olive oil because it is commonly found in most people’s kitchens. The oil helps create a rich taste to the tortillas and makes them more sturdy and filling. 

If you do not have olive oil on hand, you can also substitute another cooking oil such as vegetable oil, avocado oil, or even a solid fat like butter, coconut oil or shortening. 

Sourdough Starter

You can use both fed and unfed sourdough starter discard for this recipe. The resting time for this dough is very short and is not enough time to allow the dough to rise from an active starter.

Baking Powder

Unlike other sourdough tortilla recipes, this quick tortilla recipe does not require a long rest or fermentation time. Instead, we use baking powder to give the tortillas that little bit of rise. 

If you do plan to make this dough ahead of time you can just leave out the baking powder and use active sourdough starter. The long fermentation process will allow the dough to rise over time from the wild yeast in the starter. 

Other Ingredients 

  • Water
  • Salt
  • Baking Powder

How to Make Sourdough Discard Tortillas 

Get Separate Ingredients Ready            

Step 1: Start by mixing all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. 

There is a yellow bowl that contains the dry ingredients and a whisk.

Step 2: Combine the sourdough starter and water in a separate small bowl and whisk until smooth. This step helps incorporate the sourdough discard evenly throughout the dough. 

Now for the Messy Part

Step 3: Pour the oil over the dry ingredients and use your hands to combine the oil and flour. You want to continue to mix the oil into the flour until it feels slightly crumbly and there are no big chunks of oil. 

Step 4: Pour the discard/water mixture over the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together until they form a shaggy dough. Wet your hands with some water, and mix the dough with your hands until the dough appears smooth. You can do this directly in bowl, or you can transfer the dough to a flour surface if you are having trouble kneading the dough in the bowl. 

There is a large ball of tortilla dough in a yellow mixing bowl. The dough appears slightly shaggy.

Step 5: Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about the size of a golf ball, and roll into round balls. If you want larger tortillas, you can make slightly larger dough balls. Place the dough balls back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Allow the dough balls to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. You can shorten the rest time, but it is helpful to let the dough rest when you are rolling them out. You want to get these tortillas very thin and if you skip the rest period, they will have a lot of recoil and will be hard to work with.  

There are several round dough balls on a lightly floured cutting board.

Step 6: On a lightly floured work surface,  use a rolling pin to roll the dough balls into circles that are 1/4” thick. If you are in a pinch for time or plan on making these tortillas often, I highly suggest a tortilla press like this one. Tortilla presses are great because they are super quick and easy to use and result in perfectly round tortillas. It can actually be quite challenging to roll out round tortillas. Don’t worry if your tortillas don’t look perfect though. I just refer to them as “rustic.” 😉

There are three tortilla dough balls on a wood cutting board. In the center of the cutting board, there is a rolled out uncooked tortilla on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin next to it.

Step 7: Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You want to cook these tortillas at a high temperature so they develop those beautiful brown spots and don’t dry out. 

Step 8: Place the tortillas in the preheated pan and cook for 30-45 seconds per side. You want them to develop golden brown spots on the surface, but they should not be black. You want to make sure the pan is hot before cooking or your first couple of tortillas will look pale might turn out stiff and dry. If the pan gets too hot and starts to smoke, reduce the heat to medium heat.

Transfer to a plate lined with a small towel that can be folded over the cooked tortillas. This keeps the tortillas both warm and soft until you are ready to serve. If you leave them out in the open air, they will dry out and get hard. Once you are done serving these tortillas, transfer them to a storage container. 

Cooked sourdough tortillas wrapped in a towel on a plate.

How to Store Sourdough Tortillas

These tortillas keep well if you store them in an airtight container such as a gallon-sized zip-loc plastic bag. 

Most store-bought tortillas contain preservatives that prevent mold growth. Because these made from scratch sourdough tortillas do not contain any of these preservatives, they are more likely to grow mold. To prevent this, store them in the refrigerator and use within 1 week. 

How to Freeze Sourdough Tortillas

You can store these in the freezer in a gallon-size freezer bag. If you think you will only take out a couple at a time, you can separate the tortillas by layering sheets of parchment paper between them. If you freeze them without the parchment paper between them, you will have to defrost them all at once. Ideally, you want to use frozen tortillas within three months.   

Serving Suggestions

These sourdough tortillas are so good on their own but there are several ways to enjoy them: 

  • Fresh off the pan (let the cool a minute before eating though)
  • Served warm with a spread of butter
  • Quesadillas
  • Burritos
  • With Calabacitas (Best Recipe HERE!)
  • Use these sourdough wraps as a sandwich wrap and fill with your favorite sandwich ingredients. 

Can I Make Sourdough Tortilla Dough Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can let this dough rest in the refrigerator overnight and cook them the next day. Just make sure you cover them with plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t dry out.

Can I Make Sourdough Tortillas in a Stand Mixer?

Yes, you can whip up the dough in a stand mixer. Follow the order of adding the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer in the order listed in the original recipe. Mix the dough with a dough hook until the dough comes together and appears smooth, rather than shaggy. Then, follow the rest of the instructions as written.

If you loved these homemade sourdough tortillas, check out these other sourdough recipes:

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Blondies

My BEST Sourdough Brownies Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sourdough Discard

Cooked sourdough tortillas wrapped in a towel on a plate. There is a rolling pin next to the plate.

New Mexico Style Sourdough Tortillas

These easy sourdough tortillas are light and fluffy and have that authentic flavor with a subtle tang from the sourdough starter.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Rest Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, New Mexican
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 Rolling pin or Tortilla Press
  • 1 Rubber Spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil, lard, shortening, or coconut oil
  • 1 cup sourdough starter fed or unfed is fine
  • 1 cup room temperature water

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Pour the oil over the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula or your hands to stir until the texture is slightly crumbly and the oil is well mixed and evenly distributed into the flour.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk the sourdough starter and water until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to mix the dough into a shaggy ball.
  • Wet your hands and knead the dough directly in the bowl several times until the dough appears smooth (about 1 minute of kneading). You can also knead the dough on a floured surface if you find that easier.
  • Pinch off golf ball sized pieces of dough and roll into balls. You should have enough dough for 8 tortillas.
  • Cover the dough balls with a slightly damp tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll out the tortillas on a lightly floured surface until they are ¼ inch thick. You can roll them out as you cook them or prep them first and layer them with parchment paper between them to separate them.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure the pan is hot before you start cooking the tortillas.
  • Place a single tortilla in the pan and cook on each side about 30 seconds. There should be golden brown spots on each side when ready. (The tortillas will puff up, but don't flatten them or you will release all the steam, which can affect the texture).
  • Remove tortilla from pan and place on a plate. Cover with a towel to keep the tortillas warm and soft until ready to serve.
Keyword Breads, Easy, Flatbread, Quick Bread, Sourdough, Sourdough Discard
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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