Gluten-Free Brown Rice Flour Tortillas

Ali Segersten Jan 24, 2014

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 gum-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! Use this recipe during Phase 2 and Phase 3 of our Elimination Diet!

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! :)

Comments

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!

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.
Melissa

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.

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

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

Em

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.

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

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!

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

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!

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

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.

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?

Mary,

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

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

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.

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

Great recipe, thanks! Mary, I also don't eat oil. Made these without oil in my non-stick pan with no problem. :)

Hello,
I have a student doing a project of baking using substitutions. She looked into substituting flour, sugar, butter and eggs. She needs to know why the culture has shifted to wanting switch to these healthier ingredients. She used your books for each individual ingredient but that did not explain the cultural shift. I was wondering if you knew why this shift is happening?
Thank you,
Jackie

That's my issue!!! I used the wooden spoon to knead it as best I could!

Hello! I just got your new cookbook and have loved it so far! So many wonderful recipes and such great information. I think my youngest son has a gluten intolerance. So, I am eager to go GF in our home. We already eat a whole foods, mostly vegetarian diet, but I believe the gluten is the problem. However, I am concerned about all the information about arsenic in rice, and particularly brown rice. You both are so knowledgeable and highly qualified in nutrition and whole foods - can you speak to this? It seems like many recipes in your book use rice and brown rice flour. Should I be concerned? Thank you!

I've tried several times to make tortillas with brown rice flour, and they always fall apart. If they managed to make it through rolling out and in the skillet, then they would fall apart when trying to eat them. I will try adding some arrowroot and see if that helps.

I used olive oil when I was out of coconut oil and they turned out fine.

These are fabulous! Thank you so much for this recipe. The first time I made them, I tried rolling the dough between parchment with a rolling pin; they came out in funny shapes and with uneven thickness. Then I tried flattening the dough on the floor with a book on top that I stood on :) . That worked quite well. After a few batches made that way, I ordered a tortilla press. Just got it yesterday, tried it today, and love it! It must be a bit smaller than yours, because I can make 8 tortillas with it. I follow your recipe exactly and it turns out perfectly every time. Much nicer than store-bought gf tortillas.

I made these brown rice flour and arrowroot tortillas this morning, and to keep the parchment from sticking to the tortillas. I sprayed the paper with coconut oil. It worked like a charm, and the tortillas are the best GF food I've ever tasted!
This recipe is a definite keeper. Thanks for posting it!

I feel like the arrowroot is necessary as it provides the flexibility and gluten like texture that regular flours will not.

Most people substitute for health reasons. Some to avoid GMO's. And quite a few shift away from animal based ingredients for ethical reasons.

I made these today and the taste was good, but it was hard to get them thin enough and it took so long to make such a small amount of tortillas. Homemade tamales are easier! Perhaps a tortilla press would make the difference. If I get one, I might try them again; otherwise, they are not worth the trouble.

Hi Ali, i made the tortilla's yesterday and they had a bitter aftertaste to me. I have noticed that whatever i am making with tapioca starch tastes bitter. do you know why that is? and how i can avoid it. Thank you

I have tried this twice and both times it was a disaster. I bought tortilla press and cast iron skillet specifically for this. They stick to the parchment paper and are a mess. I am surprised at how others find this easy. The eventual torillas tasted and looked horrible!!!

I don't think it's tapioca flour. I've never noticed that. Brown rice flour can have a bitter aftertaste if it's rancid.

That's a bummer! You need to make sure your water is boiling hot. If they stick, it can be one of two things. 1. Your water was not boiling. 2. The flour to water ratio is off….too much liquid. We all measure differently so I would try the recipe with 3/4 cup of boiling water next time. The dough should feel like playdough before you begin rolling them. Hope this helps!

Great idea!

Hi Mary, not everyone increases their cholesterol from eating coconut oil. There is a lot of great research out there on the benefits of healthy saturated fats. There is so much more going on with high cholesterol issues…..like oxidative stress. I'd be much more concerned about cooking in non-stick pans than I would about eating coconut oil in terms of oxidative stress.

Arsenic in rice is one of 87,000 compounds that we are exposed to now more than ever due to our industrial lifestyle. We are concerned about the arsenic yes, but we are also concerned about all of the other chemicals. This is just one small part of a much greater issue. We choose to use sprouted brown rice and sprouted brown rice flour for everything. Soaking and sprouting has shown to greatly reduce arsenic levels. We also don't eat rice or rice flour everyday, instead relying on lots of veggies! I know this issue deserves a full blog post and it is something we've been slowly working on behind the scenes…gathering as much research as possible before we post anything. Hope this helps! :)

Hi Jennifer- I would freeze of refrigerate them between parchment paper in a glass or stainless steel container. Yes, steaming them on a wire rack placed over a pot of boiling water is great! :)

Thanks so much for the feedback! :)

It is hot! Try to mix with the spoon as long as possible. I'm fine with the hot dough on my hands after a few minutes. :)

Hi Em- I just answered this below. They key to remember is to eat less rice and less often and make sure it is sprouted and coming from California. :)

Thanks for your feedback! :)
Briefly answered the arsenic in rice issue above and below in other comments.

Thank you for the comment! Glad you enjoyed them! :)

Boiling water=genius! These are fantastic!

You might be able to buy arrowroot powder in bulk at a local natural grocery store. that's how I buy mine. I happen to have some on hand, as I always used it in my homemade deodorant. Bulk is such a good way to buy a variety of items for recipes

I was diagnosed with Celiac disease recently, I am struggling to find new foods that don't have gluten in them. Now I read that rice isn't healthy for you, this only adds to my feeling overwhelmed!

I made this recipe with the exact items and quantities called for. Here's some tips:
1. Use a tortilla press.
2. Brush a bit of coconut oil on the parchment before pressing.
3. lay the tortilla in the hot pan, let it sit for just a second and then the top parchment peels right off.

I found that some tortillas seemed more pliable than others, but the flavor and texture was as so close to a flour tortilla, I couldn't believe it. Next time I will try increasing the arrowroot a little bit to get a little more pliability. All in all, this recipe is excellent and a keeper.

badly

Organic brown rice is not unhealthy. What is unhealthy is white rice. I am following a microbiotic diet for cancer, and rice is one of the ingredients.

I made these today and was hopeful that they would be easy and good (my first time to ever make gf tortillas). Wow! They were so good. I doubled the recipe, used freshly ground brown rice flour and cooked them in my electric tortilla maker. I did spray the top and bottom of the tortilla maker, for each one, with olive oil. I'm still not sure how long to cook them exactly but tried 25-50 seconds per side (longer was better).

Hmmm. I really wish I knew what I did wrong. Followed the recipe and couldn't get them off of the parchment. Sprinkling with rice flour before pressing didn't help. I managed to get a couple using heavy plastic from zip lock bags, but they ended up crumbly and didn't stay together. I was so hopeful and not sure where I went wrong.

We just made them..there is a learning curve..they need to be the right thickness or they will fall apart being too thin. If they are sticky,add a little more flour. I used spray as well to make an easier release from the parchment. Also u have to wait several seconds when peeling the second sheet off of the cooking tortilla. Hope this helps the last commenter..they were great btw. :)

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