a peek inside the fishbowl

03 Aug, 2009

No fail recipe for flour “tortilla pitas”

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - iKnead

I’d felt the need to bake something fresh and bread-like but sadly didn’t have enough yeast to pull off an actual loaf. While flipping through my worn copy of Joy of Cooking I found upon a recipe for flour tortillas. It looked easy, didn’t require a lot of mixing/rising time and best of all, no yeast required.

I’ve made these three or four times now and they’ve turned out really well every time.

Tortilla-pitas, fresh from the oven

Part of the fun is the poofing up that happens during the baking process. Emma bit into an air bubble the other day and exclaimed: “it looks like a cave in here!”

I’ve taken to calling these things “tortilla pitas” because although the recipe is officially described as a flour tortilla recipe these things seem rather pita-like to me. If you cover them with a clean dishtowel to keep warm they’ll become more pliable … i.e. better for folding and making a sandwich. 

The last time I made these I filled mine with salsa, tomatoes and lettuce. They are perfect for dipping in soup or mopping up some sauce. Or maybe as a base for mini pizzas. The possibilities are endless!

This recipe is vegan/vegetarian friendly too (unless you’re like Sarah who spread hers with butter and ate it with a sprinkle of cheese). It makes eight small tortilla pitas.

Easy pita bread type recipe

You will need,

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)

Place a baking stone or inverted baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450°F. (I use a baking stone. It is wonderful.)

Mix all ingredients by hand or on low speed in a mixer until the dough comes together. Continue to knead until smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Divide the dough equally into 8 equal pieces and roll them into balls. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Roll out each ball of dough into a 6-8″ circle, about 1/8 inch thick. (Do not panic if you can’t achieve a perfect circle. I prefer ovals anyway!) Place as many as will fit onto the baking stone and bake for three minutes on one side only. The tortilla will puff up during baking. (Hang around and watch the excitement!) Use tongs to remove the tortillas to a rack to cool. For crisper tortillas, flip them over and bake on the other side as well.

Let me know if you try this recipe. I’d love to hear how yours turned out!

8 Responses to "No fail recipe for flour “tortilla pitas”"

1 | Scattered Mom

August 3rd, 2009 at 12:57 pm


These look great! Jake and I had something called a “Navajo Taco” when we were in Colorado. It’s a Flat bread that is deep fried, topped with chili, cheese, lettuce, onions, fresh salsa and a bit of sour cream.

I think I may try making them at home with your tortilla recipe. Hmmm.

2 | Erica

August 3rd, 2009 at 7:30 pm


Thanks for the recipe! I have a bad habit of modifying recipes in my first go-through, so I made these with whole wheat bread flour instead of white. I’m pleased to report that, while the shiny shortening-filled dough was a wee bit off-putting and they didn’t puff up like yours, they were totally edible and certainly easy. They looked just like the small whole wheat tortillas that we usually buy at the grocery store, and they behaved very well – totally pliable and sturdy while I assembled my wrap (baked falafel, lettuce, edamole, tomatoes) then firmer/crispy as they cooled.

3 | BeachMama

August 3rd, 2009 at 8:05 pm


I’ll keep this recipe for J, he loves tortillas and pita, so this would be a win-win.

4 | andrea

August 3rd, 2009 at 10:16 pm


Scattered Mom: Next time I’m making these it’ll definitely be as the “base” for a soft taco.

Erica: Thanks for your note! Glad they behaved. :)

BeachMama: J. might like to roll his own too!

5 | Scattered Mom

August 27th, 2009 at 3:37 pm


Mmmm…munching on one right now. They are delicious! Serving them with marinated chicken and a cuke/yogurt salad tonight. The post will be up on my blog in the next couple of weeks with links back to here.

Note: at lower altitudes (ie-Vancouver), probably best to go 2 min per side and watch careful. I burned a couple.

Thanks for sharing!

6 | andrea

August 27th, 2009 at 3:42 pm


Scattered Mom: great tip about the baking time for lower altitudes. Ya definitely gotta watch these guys (but who cares, it’s fun to watch them puff up)!

7 | Scattered Mom

August 27th, 2009 at 9:29 pm


I ended up making these early and then coming home to eat them with dinner and…OMG. It was SO GOOD, and I popped the marinated chicken and onions in, topped it with cuke salad, and felt like I was eating Greek. Jake said it was hard to leave me leftovers, he wanted to just polish it all off.

Used the rest of the pita/tortilla to sop up the juices. DELISH.

I’ll post the chicken/cuke salad recipe soon :)

8 | Karen

April 17th, 2011 at 11:11 am


These look really good! Is that Fiestaware? :)

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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