Homemade Corn Tortillas


We have started making our own corn tortillas. While it takes a little practice to become proficient (notes below), it is a fun and tasty way to upgrade your tacos.

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mix the ingredients well until there are no dry spots left. If your masa harina is more a more coarse grind (like corn meal), you will want to cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes to fully hydrate.

Next I like to use a cookie scoop to portion it into about 25 portions. Then I roll each portion into a smooth ball. You are ready to press and cook.

My husband and I tackle this together, he presses and I cook, but I am sure with patience you could do both. We use parchment rounds to line our tortilla press. Place the ball of masa between the parchment sheets and give it a press. Remove the uncooked tortilla from the parchment carefully (can be tricky) and place it on the hot non-stick griddle. You will need to cook it on both sides and if the stars align your tortilla will puff and fill with air, which is the sign of a well-made tortilla. Put the tortilla in a lidded vessel (can be a casserole dish, tortilla warmer, etc.) lined with paper towels to catch any condensation.

Fresh tortillas can be eaten just like this with your favorite taco fillings, or you can opt to griddle them with olive oil for a crispier version. Enjoy!

Notes and Tips

  • The amount of water needed can vary based on your masa and your environment. You can add more water if your masa feels crumbly, but be careful about adding too much as it will make handling the masa much more difficult. You want it to be pliable but not sticky. If it’s too sticky try letting it dry out a bit.
  • If you don’t have a tortilla press you can use parchment sheets and a glass pie plate or a book, to press the tortillas. The real tortilla pros can even press them by hand!
  • The tortilla puff is elusive and can seem impossible. Here are things that may help you catch that puff. You need to set both sides of the tortilla for it to puff. So place it on the griddle and cook one side for about 15 seconds, then flip to the other for 15 seconds, then back to the first and here is where the puff should happen. Sometimes, putting light pressure on the edges with your spatula can get it started.
  • You can make a larger batch and freeze the leftovers that haven’t been griddled with oil. Just put parchment sheets between them and place in a zipper lock bag and freeze for the next taco adventure.

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