Basics: Whole-Wheat Tortillas

When was the last time you flipped over a package of flour tortillas and checked out the ingredients?

It ain’t pretty.

I used to eat Mission Carb-Balance tortillas, thinking they were a better choice than the regular ones. Well, here’s the ingredient list:

Water, Modified Food Starch, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vital Wheat Gluten, Powdered Cellulose, Vegetable Shortening (Interesterified Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/or Palm Oil*), Wheat Protein Isolate** (Wheat Gluten, Lactic Acid, Sulfite), and contains 2% or less of: Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate and/or Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Cellulose Gum, Preservatives (Calcium Propionate, Sorbic Acid), Distilled Monoglycerides, Enzymes, Wheat Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Antioxidants (Tocopherols, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid), Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Sucralose, Canola Oil, Triglycerides, Dough Conditioners (Fumaric Acid, Sodium Metabisulfite and/or Mono- and Diglycerides)

Ho. Ly. Crap! Trans fats(*), MSG (**), more chemicals than you can shake a stick at — and there’s more “modified food starch” than actual flour?? I can’t believe they’re even allowed to sell these, let alone tout them as a “healthier” option.

Not to mention, they actually don’t really taste all that good.

And the whole-wheat varieties aren’t that much better. Just about all the major brands contain trans fats (in the form of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils). And they tend to taste awful. Not to mention they usually charge more for fewer tortillas!

So what is a real-food eater to do? Make your own!


It is much easier than you think and muuuuuch cheaper than store-bought. You can make them while the meat for your fajitas marinates! The aroma and flavor are an awakening compared to bland, tasteless store-bought ones. So serve these for your next taco night and feel good about yourself!


Whole Wheat Tortillas

I prefer to make these in smaller batches so that they are as fresh as possible. These should last for about a week in the fridge.

Yields 4-8 tortillas, depending on size. Time: 45 mins (15 active)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp oil (or lard if you’ve got it!)
  • About 1/3 cup water
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir gently combine until dough forms a ball. If it seems a bit dry, add another tablespoon or 2 of water.
  2. Wrap the dough ball in saran wrap and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  4. Cut the dough into 4, 6, or 8 equal pieces (4=small burrito; 6=fajita; 8=soft taco). Roll each piece into a ball, flatten, and shape into circles. I use my hands; you might prefer a rolling pin. Use flour on your hands or work surface as needed. I find a smooth countertop works better than a rough cutting board.
  5. Cook the tortillas for 3-4 minutes per side, until light brown spots appear.


  1. Those look like Indian Roti. Both are very delish. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Turns out, they basically are the same thing as roti! The difference is, Roti are traditionally made with whole wheat flour while tortillas usually aren’t any more. I guess I could have called this a Roti recipe if I was going to be eating chana masala instead of fajitas! 🙂

      1. 🙂 That’s good to know. I love roti’s and chana masala!:) Thanks for the recipe.

  2. It always shocks me how easy tortilla making really is!! These look great:)

  3. […] lamented a few posts ago about finding real-food flour tortillas without trans fats and other unnecessary ingredients. Corn tortillas are just as guilty in this […]

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