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There is nothing better than a corn tortilla fresh from the griddle and still warm.
Add some salt and roll it up… That first bite is heavenly!
Making homemade tortillas is very easy. Only three ingredients, and you have a Mexican food favorite ready to enjoy.
What are corn tortillas made of?
Making corn tortillas involves 3 ingredients:
- Masa Harina
- Warm water
That’s it. Add all the ingredients in large bowl.
Masa Harina is a type of corn flour that is made up of ground corn and lime.
Corn is processed differently in the US. That’s why you CANNOT substitute corn flour for masa harina.
Look for masa harina in the Hispanic aisle at the grocery store. MASECA is the most well-known brand, but I also recommend Bob’s Red Mill. If you can’t find them in the Hispanic aisle, try the gluten-free area or even the baking aisle. All else fails, you can buy masa harina on Amazon. (AFFILIATE)
By the way, Masa Harina is also used to make masa for tamales, gorditas, and tlacoyos.
- Add the warm water, little by little.
- Only use the water necessary to form a soft dough.
Heat the water for 20 seconds in the microwave. Even warm water from the tap will work too.
You only want to use the water necessary to form the dough. You might be left with extra water.
- If it’s too wet, add a little more masa harina.
- If it’s too dry and looks like it’s about to break, add more water to the dough.
Word to the Wise: Do not use hot water. It will burn your hands.
Are corn tortillas bad for you?
Corn tortillas are better for you than flour tortillas. This is because corn tortillas are made of corn which is a whole grain, and they are lower in calories.
What to make with corn tortillas: Homemade Tostadas, Chilaquiles Verdes, Potato Taquitos, Enmoladas.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes.
- Place a kitchen towel on top of the corn dough.
I was taught to let the dough rest to produce the best masa (or dough).
Tortillas de Maíz (or corn tortillas) are more popular in certain parts of Mexico. Depending on where you are in Mexico, they might serve you one over the other, or both.
- Once the dough has rested, form small balls.
- About the size of a golf ball.
How to Make Corn Tortillas Using a Tortilla Press
- Open the tortilla press. Add plastic wrap (or a cut up plastic bag) to the center of the tortilla press.
- Place the dough ball in the center of the tortilla press.
- Close the other half of the tortilla press.
- Press the lever down.
- Open up the tortilla press.
- Remove the tortilla from the plastic.
The fun part about making corn tortillas is flattening the dough with the tortilla press. Here’s the tortilla press that I recommend from Amazon. (AFFILIATE)
You can use regular plastic wrap or cut open a large gallon-size Ziploc bag.
If you mess up and the Tortillas de Maíz are not a perfect circle, form the ball of dough again and press into a circle again.
Homemade tortillas are not perfect. They are not supposed to be all the same.
How to Make Corn Tortillas without a tortilla Press
- Place the dough ball in the center of a piece of plastic wrap, or a cut up plastic bag.
- Cover the dough with the other half of the plastic wrap. Make sure that the dough stays in the center.
- Using a pie plate, press down.
- Remove the tortilla from the plastic.
Using something clear like a glass pie plate or a glass casserole dish works best. That way you can see what you are doing.
Are corn tortillas vegan?
Yes, corn tortillas are vegan. Serve with your favorite Mexican vegetarian recipes and enjoy!
Here are some ideas of Mexican vegan recipes: Refried Beans, Salsa de Aguacate, Sopa de Habas.
How do you cook corn tortillas?
- Heat a pan or a griddle.
- Cook the tortilla for about 20 seconds.
- Flip the tortilla for 30-40 seconds on the other side.
- Remove from the pan.
Why did my tortilla not puff up when I cooked it?
- Turn the tortilla when the top is still not fully cooked.
- Once flipped, carefully tap the top of the tortilla with your fingers. This will help the tortilla to puff up evenly.
- Also, knead the masa well. This will help with the puffing.
Here are some yummy taco fillings: Carnitas, Mexican Picadillo, Pollo Pibil
How to Keep Tortillas Warm?
- In aluminum foil
- In a kitchen towel
- In a tortilla holder
All Mexican homes have a tortilla holder like the one in the pictures. You can also buy tortilla holders online. (AFFILIATE)
How long do tortillas last?
- Fresh corn tortillas will last 7-10 days in the fridge. They need to be stored in an airtight plastic bag.
- Frozen tortillas will last 6-8 months in the freezer. Be sure to store them in an airtight plastic bag, removing as much air as possible.
Homemade Corn Tortillas are much better than the ones that you buy at the stores. Simple and delicious any day of the week.
- Tortilla Press (or glass pie plate)
- Plastic Wrap (or large gallon-size plastic bag)
- 1 1/2 cups masa harina
- 1 1/4 cup water warm (as as much is needed to form the dough)
- 1/2 tspn salt
- In a large bowl, combine the masa harina, salt, and water.
- Mix well until the water is absorbed and a ball of dough forms. Only add the water that is necessary.
- Let the masa rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the griddle (or heavy skillet) to medium heat. You want the griddle to be ready when you begin flattening the tortillas.
- Knead the dough slightly. About 2 minutes.
- Form a small ball from the dough, the size of a golf ball.
- Open the tortilla press and add a large piece of plastic wrap. You can also use a cut up large gallon-size Ziploc bag.
- Place the ball into the center of the tortilla press (or a pie dish), between the two pieces of plastic wrap.
- Cover the ball with the other half of the plastic wrap.
- Close the tortilla press.
- Flatten the ball to shape the tortilla.
- Carefully peel the tortilla to remove from the plastic.
- Place the tortilla for 30 seconds on the hot griddle. The edges should begin to dry out.
- Flip and cook the tortilla for 30-40 seconds more. You will see brown patches begin to form.
- The tortilla will begin to puff up. Tap carefully and gently the top of the tortilla for the puffing to be occur evenly.
- Remove from the griddle and continue until there is no more dough.
- Store in a tortilla holder or clean kitchen towel.
Such a great recipe and instructions! I found your step by step photos very helpful, it looks like it’s an easy process. Can’t wait to try making some tortillas at home!
It’s time I put my hands into some masa harina and made these fantastic tortillas! Can’t wait! They look incredible. Thanks for sharing.
I had no idea how easy and fun making my own tortillas at home could be. Saving this one for taco night!
These tortillas look so perfect. Thanks for sharing all the tips and tricks.
Marisa F. Stewart
There is nothing like homemade. I know a lot of people relish the convenience of buying in the grocery store but it simply is not the same. Your tutorial is excellent. Anyone wanting to make their own tortillas will find it easy to follow your instructions.
How fun!!! I never thought it’d be so easy to make my own tortillas!! Thank you for all the tips and info!
Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer
When I traveled throughout Mexico I was taught how to make these from scratch. ever since then, I’ve been hooked! I love this recipe and the fact that it’s so simple to follow!
I LOVE the idea of being able to make my own tortillas. There are so many recipes I use with tortillas. My family will love these!
I prefer corn tortillas over wheat so this is perfect for me. And corn tortillas are sometimes hard to come by around here, so I’ve always wanted to make my own. Thanks for the recipe!
Your instructions and photos are so helpful, and these tortillas are so perfect and easy! After putting in the effort of making slow-cooked shredded beef all day, it’s only right to eat them in hand made tortillas, too. Thank you for the recipe!
Making tortillas never looked easier! Thanks for clearing up the misconception about tortillas being bad for you. I feel better now.
Eden | Sweet Tea and Thyme
Fantastic recipe! Nothing like a true classic tortilla (I just wanna know who said tortillas are bad for you! I have some questions for them! lol)
These were so easy to make, who knew? Delicious too. I’ll never buy store bought tortillas again.
Easy and delicious!
I love making my own corn tortillas, my family just got me a press for Christmas this past year. I have run into a problem of the tortillas being very stiff and hard. I’ve even tried adding a little lard to the masa in hopes of softening them up. However, after reading your recipe, I’m thinking I might have the heat to low, and cooking them too long, as mine end up cooking for 3-5 minutes to try and get a little color on them. I’m’ going to try raising the heat, and doing the 20 seconds, then 45 seconds, and see if that does the trick.
Yes. That would do it. 3-5 minutes it too long. Try changing the heat level.
I agree. Tortillas are so easy to make!