Friday, January 24, 2014

How To Make Brown Rice Flour Tortillas (gluten-free, vegan)

Making your own gluten-free brown rice flour tortillas is so simple! With just a few ingredients you can make healthier tortillas at home. My recipe is egg-free and xanthan-free as well. I use a cast iron tortilla press to quickly press all of the tortillas, and then I cook them in a hot cast iron skillet on my stovetop. My children love to help with the entire process of making homemade tortillas too…otherwise I probably would not make them very often!

If you don't own a tortilla press you can roll the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper using a rolling pin. I've made so many versions of this recipe to try to figure out the best method for getting flexible tortillas. I've found that using boiling water works far better than cold or warm water. It makes a BIG difference in how pliable the tortillas are after cooking so don't skip this step! Beyond the boiling water, you can vary the amount of arrowroot powder to brown rice flour. More arrowroot equals really flexible tortillas, but they end up on the chewier side.

I'd love your feedback! So please let me know what ratio of brown rice flour to arrowroot you used and how they turned out for you in the comments section below. Thanks! :)

Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour Tortillas

I use organic sprouted brown rice flour (from Planet Rice) in these tortillas (you can also use regular brown rice flour). I buy it in 25 pound bags from Azure Standard. You can also buy gluten-free sprouted brown rice flour from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. Sprouted flours are easier to digest and more nutritious. The recipe below is my favorite way of making brown rice flour tortillas, but you can also try this variation (which is really flexible): 1 cup of brown rice flour and 1 cup of arrowroot powder (salt and water stay the same).

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup boiling water
virgin coconut oil, for cooking

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, arrowroot, and sea salt. Add the water and mix with a wooden spoon. Knead the dough a little in the bowl, then let it rest for a few minutes while the skillet heats up. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough feels too dry.

Preheat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Divide the dough into six equal-sized balls. Place a piece of unbleached parchment paper on the bottom of a tortilla press then place one of the balls in the center, cover with a second sheet of parchment, and press to form a thin, round tortilla.

Add about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to the hot skillet. Gently remove the top sheet of parchment, place the tortilla into skillet, then remove the second sheet of parchment. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Repeat making tortillas with the remaining dough. Transfer the cooked tortillas to a plate and flip another plate over the top to keep the tortillas warm and soft. Let them sit for about 20 minutes inside the plates; this way they will be nice and pliable for serving.

Yield: about 6 tortillas

Using a tortilla press

More Gluten-Free Recipes:
Sprouted Brown Rice Flour Bread
Cinnamon Rolls
Gingerbread Muffins

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  1. Hi Ali! Thanks for the recipe and all your great tips. I am going to purchase some sprouted brown rice flour from To Your Health (and maybe if I get a chance I'll try to grind the rice I sprout!).

    I just got my press yesterday (we were talking about the press on Facebook), so I am going to try a batch this weekend!

    I am wondering what the best way to store them would be. I'd like to make a large batch and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. And, once taken out of storage, how should I heat them? I learned from you that steaming works best for the store bought rice tortillas. Is that still the best way for these?

    Excited to try all your other tortilla recipes, too! Thank you!

  2. Ali,
    This (old-school tortillas) is the one thing I really miss. I lived in Taos, NM and had lots of wonderful homemade tortillas. I haven't found a decent replacement, but yours look like it might do the trick. I just followed your link and bought the tortilla press! I'll keep you posted. Thanks for all the great work you do! Much appreciated.

  3. Hello Ali, thanks so much for posting a GF flour tortilla!! I just made it and they are delicious with no after taste as sometimes some GF flours have and I followd your instruction and did cover them and they are soft and pliable!

    I did use 1 1/4 cup brown rice flour and 3/4 cup arrowroot starch .. I divided the dough to 6 balls and noticed after few minutes that the became dry and cracking and when I rolled it it was sticking to the parchment paper so I floured it and it was ok and when I put it in the pan they were cracking ! Any clue what causes the cracking?! The dough itself was very pliable and I even added more water.

    Every recipe I try from your website is very delicious. Thanks again for all your wonderful recipes.

  4. It won't be super hot to knead the dough once the boiling water goes in?

  5. Hello Ali,

    I'm looking forward to trying your tortillas. I love homemade tortillas. One concern I have is the newer information about arsenic in brown rice. I've researched this a bit and have found a rice I like in Chico that I think is ok. Do you have any info about safe rice? thanks in advance


  6. Made these this weekend. Love them! Really nice, easy dough that is pliable. I think the boiling water really is key. In response to Serene in Singapore…the boiling water makes it hot but not so hot that you can't work with it. :)

    Thank you so much for the recipe!

    It took me about 4 tortillas to really get the hang of it and roll them not too thick or too thin…thinking about getting a press but it certainly wasn't too hard without it. I used a cast iron skillet to cook them in but also used a cast iron pan to press them into a nice circle. They weren't thin enough with the pan alone pressing the ball of dough down but it was easy to roll them out the rest of the way with a rolling pin. I also got the hang of peeling the top parchment paper off the tortilla once it was on the hot skillet by pressing down with a spatula and slowly moving it while peeling off the parchment paper (make sense?). I had a few tortillas leftover and wanted to see what they would be like frozen. I laid them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and froze them for a few hours. Then I transferred them to a ziplock bag. I reheated them the next day in a warm oven and they came out great (directly from frozen into the oven). Actually ended up using them as a crust for individual pizzas for my kids. Thanks again for the great recipe! Your recipes are always a hit! As another reader commented, I'd be interested in your thoughts on the arsenic issues with rice.

  7. Jessica, thanks for your thoughts on freezing the tortillas! Ali, I'd also be interested to hear about your thoughts on arsenic. Thank you!

  8. I halved this recipe exactly as written and made some tortillas to go with last night's dinner. They turned out wonderfully! I was so impressed by the end result. They were pliable and so completely delicious! I wish I would have made the full recipe! I will never go back to store bought! Thank you for this recipe!

  9. Very easy and very tasty! This is one I will definitely make again, thanks.

  10. I made these for my family last night and was amazed at how fabulous they were! My kids thought they were even better than the best wheat flour tortillas they have had. I doubled the recipe and they were all consumed. Although, I don't know how this recipe only makes 6--I got a lot more than that. Maybe my tortilla press is smaller.

    I used a blend of oat and sorghum flour (2/1 ratio) that I ground in my blendtec and I also added a little sweet rice flour (mochiko) because I have to admit, I was scared they wouldn't be soft and bendable. But they were amazing. Thank you for this recipe! And I am so excited for your book!

  11. can this dough be baked.. was thinking of making cinnamon swirls with it..
    baking in strips dusting with cinnamon and date sugar

  12. I have been searching for a gluten-free tortilla recipe for a long time. I didn't have enough of the brown rice flour (only 3/4 cup), so I made up the difference with King Arthur gluten-free all purpose flour, the arrowroot powder and sea salt. I also decided to try making this in my food processor. I added the 1 cup of boiling water and the dough was very loose, though as it sat, it become easier to work with. I could not get it to work rolling it between the parchment paper, though. It stuck to both sides of the paper, so I formed the tortillas by hand - which was much too thick. However, I liked the taste - would make a fabulous flat bread or pizza crust. I will try again when I get more brown rice flour and will try making it by hand next time. Thank you so much for the recipe. It is the best one I've tried to date that meets my gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free requirements and has a good taste.

  13. Has anyone made these without the coconut oil? I currently have high cholesterol due to a previously not-taken-seriously food allergy, and I need to avoid saturated fat until that is under control. I have a non-stick frying pan, so do I need the fat for frying?

  14. Mary,

    Coconut oil won't bother your cholesterol. Read up on it. Best, healthiest dat there is

  15. Coconut oil will help lower your cholesterol as it goes in and helps remove the bad fats that are stuck.

  16. What will happen if I don't use any Arrowroot? I want to try this but don't want to buy an ingredient I won't need often.

  17. This turned out really bad for me. The end product broke apart easily and didnt even look like tortillas D;


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