Why Are My Flour Tortillas Hard? (How to Fix)

Are your flour tortillas hard? How disappointing could that be? But before you throw it in the trash, it will please you to know that as hard as they may be they can still be saved. Flour tortillas are almost everyone’s favorite dish, they can be used to make a wide variety of meals from tacos to burritos and enchiladas.

Some flour tortillas can be store-bought while many prefer them homemade. 

However, making flour tortillas, even as simple as it may appear to be, comes with its problems. Sometimes it might turn out to be too dry or hard. What then could be the reason?

Flour tortillas could get too hard or stiff as a result of overcooking, lack of moisture, over kneading the dough, not adding enough water and shortening, and leaving them out for too long without proper storage. However fixing them shouldn’t be hard, you can try to add moisture to the tortilla and store them properly in a tortilla warmer.

Flour tortillas will require a good amount of attention when making them and a lot of things could go wrong if care is not taken. Let’s get you started on why flour tortillas are hard and how you can fix them.

5 Reasons Why Your Flour Tortillas Are Hard

So the final result of all your struggles in the kitchen turns out to be what you didn’t hope for. Your flour tortillas are far too hard for your liking and you are wondering where it went wrong. Most times the issue can be traced to how the dough was made. Let’s examine some of the reasons why flour tortillas can get hard;

1. Not enough fat and water

Flour tortillas are a composition of flour, water, and fat (don’t forget to always add fat or shortening). When the water and fat in tortilla dough is not enough it ends up becoming hard. 

It doesn’t matter what recipe you are following, always ensure to add proper water and fat to the content.

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Image: Envato Elements

2. Over Kneading

Kneading is a very important part of making flour tortillas. It provides strength and structure to the final result of the tortilla. Over kneading, however, ruins the texture and causes the flour tortilla to be dry, brittle, and hard.

3. Overcooking

One of the major reasons why your tortillas become too hard or dry is because they have been overcooked. It is a general rule that flour tortillas shouldn’t be cooked for more than 60 seconds and when they exceed this stipulated time they become overcooked, hard, and dry.

4. Lack of moisture

This can be associated with overcooking the flour tortillas, it becomes hard and dry because most of the moisture has been cooked out of the dough. Moisture is also vital for flour tortillas, be sure to leave those tortillas hydrated.

5. Flour tortilla wasn’t properly stored

If flour tortillas are not properly stored when they’re still warm or they are not kept in a warm condition to maintain the moisture they begin to dry out and become hard. Do not leave your flour tortillas unattended after making them. 

How To Fix Hard Flour Tortillas

If you have hard tortillas in your hands to deal with and you are probably wondering if they can still be fixed, well the good news is that they don’t have to end up in the trash can, they can still be saved. The logic is to introduce moisture into the tortillas to soften them.

Here are steps on how to make them perfect for dinner;

  • Dampen paper towels with enough water.
  • Wrap dampened paper towels around hard flour tortillas. Ensure tortillas are fully covered with damp paper towels.
  • Put them in the microwave. The heat from the microwave will help the flour tortillas to absorb enough moisture from the dampened paper towels as it begins to steam.
  • Wait for 15 seconds and then bring them out of the microwave.
  • Properly store your now softened flour tortillas in a tortilla warmer or an airtight container.
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Image: Envato Elements

7 Tips On How to Make Soft Flour Tortillas

We don’t want hard flour tortillas happening a second time. You’ll find these few tips useful for making a perfect flour tortilla; 

  1. Use a food processor or a mixer to quickly put the dough together.
  2. Always use water hot enough for you to handle to knead the tortilla dough.
  3. Try not to over-knead the dough. One or two minutes is enough to knead it. 
  4. Do not skip any ingredients and make sure to use enough water and shortening. As they will determine how soft your flour tortillas will be.
  5. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. It’s always best to cover it with a damp towel so the exposed part won’t dry out.
  6. Cook tortillas preferably in a cast-iron skillet. 60 seconds(30 seconds on both sides) is enough to cook them. Do not overcook them.
  7. Always wrap cooked tortillas in a damp towel to keep them moist or store them in a tortilla warmer.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you soften hard flour tortillas?

You can soften hard flour tortillas by warming them in a microwave. The heat from the microwave will help the flour tortillas to absorb enough moisture. Also, it’s best to wrap them in dampened paper towels so that the hard flour tortillas can absorb enough steam that could soften them.

How do you keep flour tortillas from getting hard?

You can do this by lining an airtight container or tortilla warmer with dampened paper towels.  Then put the cooked flour tortilla into the container or warmer and wrap with another dampened paper towel to ensure that your tortilla remains soft. If you don’t plan on eating them immediately you can store them in the refrigerator.

Why do my flour tortillas get hard?

Several reasons can make your flour tortillas get hard. Flour tortillas tend to get hard when they get over kneaded and overcooked; if there’s not enough water, fat, or shortening in the dough; when they lose their moisture due to overcooking; and when they are not properly stored.

Are flour tortillas hard or soft?

Flour tortillas are meant to be very soft and with a neutral sweet taste. They are mostly used for a variety of dishes like burritos, soft tacos, and enchiladas. And once they go stale, dry out, or get hard, they can be used for quesadillas or migas, but they can not be used as tortilla chips as they don’t taste so good when fried, only corn tortillas are the best option for chips.

Final Thoughts

Making hard flour tortillas can happen every now and then but don’t be worried, those hard flour tortillas are redeemable.

However, it’s good to note that this happens as a result of over kneading or overworking the dough, overcooking the dough, not adding enough water and fat, loss of moisture, and improper storage.

Do not throw your hard tortillas away because adding moisture to the tortilla can fix them and this can be done by simply wrapping the tortilla in damp paper towels and heating it in a microwave for about 10-15 seconds.