These homemade almond flour tortillas are tender, soft, pliable, and flavorful. You can use them as a replacement for traditional tortillas, turn them into sandwich wraps, bake them into chips, or roll them out thicker for almond flour naan bread. They are vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and sugar-free.
What do you appreciate the most about tortillas? How soft and pliable they are? Their slight chewiness? Fluffy texture straight off the griddle? Or perhaps the slightly nutty, neutral flavor? Believe it or not, all these amazing qualities come from gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, rye, barley and triticale. Gluten is actually made up of two smaller peptides, or proteins, called glutenin and gliadin. When gliadin and glutenin are combined with water and mixed or kneaded, the bonds between the proteins become longer and stronger. More compact gliadin proteins allow the dough to flow like a fluid, whereas glutenins contribute strength. As mixing continues, the chains of protein organize into sort of a webbing that has both elasticity (the ability to stretch) and extensibility (the ability to hold shape). During fermentation gluten helps dough rise by trapping gas bubbles. It also absorbs and retains water, preventing baked goods from turning dry and powdery. Without this little protein tango, bread would be a very different thing: flatter, crumblier, denser, and less chewy.
So, as you can imagine, when you remove gluten, you add challenges. Without gluten, tortillas tend to be dry, powdery, rubbery, and tasteless. Doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it.
To get around this problem, commercial gluten-free products tend to use a combination starches and flours, and one or two hydrocolloid sources (such as xantham gum, guar gum, cellulose gum, alginates, or psyllium). Using the right combination of key functional ingredients can indeed replace gluten without compromising the taste and texture of gluten-free tortillas. Here’s how it’s done.
Tips for Making Almond Flour Tortillas
As the title suggests, the main ingredients in these almond flour tortillas is almond flour. I know that almond flour is not cheap, but homemade almond flour works just as well. The most important thing is that the almond flour is finely ground. If you’d like to replace the almond flour with coconut flour, please, follow this recipe.
What makes the almond flour tortillas soft and flexible is psyllium. Psyllium is a form of soluble fiber that provides not only elasticity and structure, but also binding. It works a bit like gluten in traditional baking, and makes it possible to handle the dough. Also, know that psyllium comes in different grades of purity. The higher the purity level, the lighter the psyllium husk. This is why psyllium ranges from brown to off-white color. So, whenever you’re purchasing psyllium, get the highest purity level you can find (so your tortillas turn out light-colored).
A little bit of baking powder for fluffiness, olive oil for moisture, and salt.
To make the dough, mix the dry ingredients first. Then add the oil, water, and stir until you get a pliable dough. It does take a little bit of time for the psyllium husk to absorb all the water, so the dough is moist at first. However, it gets dryer after about a minute and is really easy to work with.
I like to let the dough rest for a few minutes to let the psyllium absorb all the moisture and create a soft, elastic, and slightly sticky dough. If the dough is too dry or doesn’t bind well, add more water, 1 Tbsp./15 ml at a time.
When you’re ready to cook the tortillas, divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Pick up one piece and shape it into a smooth spherical shape. Place the dough ball on a piece of parchment paper, cover it with another piece of parchment paper and flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. Place the rolling pin in the middle of the dough (a handle-less rolling pin allows for more control than a pin with handles) and roll halfway away and halfway toward you. Turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat. As the tortilla goes from disk to roundish shape, you may need to use a varied technique to form it into a clean circle.
If this is your first time making low-carb tortillas, I recommend that you roll out the dough a bit thicker and smaller, no larger than 8 inch/20 cm in diameter. The thicker and smaller the dough, the easier it is to handle. However, a great texture tortilla comes from about a 1⁄16-in/1.6-mm thickness.
Keep the outside dough to reform a ball and roll out 1-2 more tortillas – that is how I make 1-2 extra tortillas from the 4 balls above.
Finally – and most importantly – use a non-stick skillet to cook the tortillas. I have only tested this recipe with my well-seasoned cast iron skillet, but I would imagine that any non-stick surface will work. A stainless steel surface will not work!
More Low-Carb Tortilla Recipes
A very similar recipe to these almond flour tortillas is coconut flour flatbread. I usually use that recipe for thicker naan, but it works for tortillas as well. If you’re all about quick and easy recipes, another great high-fiber alternative are flaxseed tortillas.
If you try this recipe, please, let me know! Leave a comment, share your feedback, rate the recipe. It always means a lot when you do.
Tools You’ll Need
1. Skillet (12 Inches, Lodge, Cast Iron) | 2. Knife Set (6 Pieces, Utopia, Stainless Steel) | 3. Mixing Bowls (Set of 3, Pyrex, Glass)| 4. Rolling Pin (French, Wood) | 5. Measuring Cup (1 Cup, Anchor Hocking, Glass) | 6. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Stainless Steel) | 7. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)
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Almond Flour Tortillas
- Prepare the dough. Add the almond flour, psyllium, baking powder, and salt into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the olive oil and water, and mix to combine. Using your hands, knead the dough until soft, pliable, and elastic, about 1 minute. If the dough is too dry, add more water, 1 Tbsp./15 ml at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add more psyllium, 1/2 tsp./2.5 g at a time. The dough will always be a bit moist but it shouldn't stick to your hands at all. It must come together as a soft, elastic dough.
- Roll out the dough. Cut the dough into four even pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball. Place one of the dough balls between two pieces of parchment paper (not wax paper!) and press the ball with the palm of your hand to flatten it out a little bit. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough as thinly as you like. My tortillas are usually 1⁄16-in/1.6-mm thick.To make perfectly round tortillas, you can use a cutter, a bowl, or a small plate (and cut around it). Keep the outside dough to reform a ball and roll out 1-2 more tortillas - that is how I make 1-2 extra tortillas from the 4 balls above.
- Cook the tortillas. Preheat a well-seasoned cast iron (or non-stick) griddle over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp./5 ml olive oil and rub the surface of the skillet with a piece of an absorbent paper towel to get rid of any excess oil. Flip over the tortilla on the hot skillet and peel off carefully the second piece of parchment paper. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side, flip over using a spatula and cook for 1-2 more minutes on the other side. Repeat the rolling and cooking for the next 4 tortillas. Make sure you rub the oiled absorbent paper onto the skillet each time you remove a tortilla, so the tortillas don't stick to the skillet.
- Store. Leftover tortillas keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. For longer term storage, freeze in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper in between each tortilla (so the tortillas don't stick together as they freeze) for up to 1 month.