A Taste of Northern Mexico: Flour Tortillas

Mexico has different types of tortillas, but the main ones are corn or flour.

The northern zone is renowned for its unique flour tortilla, a culinary star that adds a distinct flavor and aroma to any dish.

A recipe and five ingredients are required, plus a rolling pin to knead the dough, a clean and flat surface, a deep bowl, another one with a lid, a small one, and a steel comal or flat pan.

The following recipe is originally from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.


  • 1 kilo or 35 oz. of wheat flour
  • 250 grams or 1 cup of vegetable shortening (at room temperature)
  • 1 handful of salt
  • 2 cups of hot water

Procedure for flour tortillas

Set aside some flour in a small bowl to flour the testalitos (small balls of dough to roll with the rolling pin).

  • Put the flour in a deep bowl. Add the shortening at room temperature so that it is soft and can be mixed with your fingers. Blend both ingredients as much as possible. Add the salt and combine evenly with the flour and shortening mixture.
  • Gradually add the hot water at the highest temperature your hands can withstand—first one cup and then the other. The result should be a soft but not chewy dough. The dough is expected to feel chewy at the beginning, so it is necessary to continue blending the ingredients until smooth.
  • Now it is time to make the testalitos, the little dough balls of the same size.
  • Cover the testalitos in a bowl so they are not in the open air. Store them in the refrigerator or at room temperature if it is not hot. Let stand for 30 minutes.

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  • Place the testalito, on both sides, in the small bowl with a bit of flour to flour the dough ball.
  • On a smooth, flat surface, sprinkle some flour and place the testalito on top. Roll each dough ball until flattened with the rolling pin on one side and then on the other, making sure that the tortilla is round. A tip is to turn it only three times. Ensure it is not too thin so that the flour tortilla is soft during cooking.
  • Place the comal or flat pan over medium-high heat and wait until it is hot. Then, place the tortilla on the first side and wait for the other side (the raw side) to fill with bubbles. Flip and wait for the other side to cook. Only flip once.