How To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

Homemade Breakfast Tortillas with Refried Black Beans, Scrambled Eggs, Mole and Queso Fresco
By now it shouldn't be a surprise that homemade is always, always, always best and the tortillas that we pressed ourselves this weekend were no exception. We had bought a tortilla press months ago and never seemed to get around to actually making them and it took a lazy, grey day at home to give us that push we needed. On a last minute whim, we decided to devote the weekend to brushing up on our Mexican skills and have ourselves a little fiesta. 

Our brand spankin' new Tortilla Press
Ready for the press!
There's really on two things that you must purchase to make homemade tortillas work: 1.) A tortilla press (while I'm sure you could rig something up that would work, tortilla presses are very simple to use and a good one can cost as low as $20) and 2.) Masa Harina, which can be found in the Latin American section of most grocery stores. Masa Harina starts out as corn that is dried and treated with slaked lime and water and made into a dough when wet. Finally it is dried and ground into a powder, perfect for making tortillas and tamales. 

Prepare to be flattened...
Pressed Tortilla heading for the stove
The process of making the tortillas is simple, mix Masa Harina with enough water to form a dough, roll into a little ball and flatten the dough using the tortilla press. Then, you simply place your little dough circle into a hot, dry pan (it makes a playful little hiss when you do this) and then you simple cook them for about 15-30 seconds on one side, flip them, cook for another 15-30 and then flip again. At this point, they start to puff up a bit, which means they're done. The whole process takes about 3 minutes and the results are well worth it. 


Homemade Corn Tortillas 
Makes about 12-15 tortillas

- About 2 cups Masa Harina
- Enough water for a dough to form (about a little more than a cup)

In a medium bowl combine the Masa Harina with just enough water for a dough to form. The dough shouldn't be wet and sticky or dry and crumbly. Keep adding water or more Masa Harina until you reach the desired texture. Line the tortilla press with plastic wrap and heat a skillet to medium-high heat. 

Roll the dough into a ball, about the size of a golf ball. Place in a plastic wrap lined press and shut the top and use the level to flatten the dough as much as possible. Carefully remove flattened dough and place in a hot skillet. Cook for 15-30 seconds and then flip. Cook for an additional 15-30 seconds and then flip one last time. The dough may puff up a bit and start to get brown spots and edges. Remove from heat, cool until you can handle the tortillas without burning yourself. If there's leftover tortillas, wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Reheat quickly in a skillet before enjoying. 


Raquel (Thoughtful Eating) said...

I have been curious about making tortillas at home. Especially after watching a cooking show from Mexico and they always use freshly made tortillas, never packaged ones. I would love to have a tortilla press! Those kind of kitchen gadgets are so much fun.

Thanks for the recipe!

Michelle Collins said...

I have a lot of leftover Masa from when I made tamales a while back - I will definitely have to try making my own tortillas! Good to know it's so easy.

Federal Way Painter said...

These are perfect! I recently had to go gluten-free, and I can't find corn tortillas anywhere near me. I can definitely make these, yet I was expecting them to be much more finicky.

Elina (Satisfied Cravings) said...

I have a tortilla press but still can't seem to get the tortillas thin enough. I'm going to have to give your recipe a try because I looooove corn tortillas and I hate the store bought stuff - they just taste so stale.

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