How To Make Corn Tortillas From Scratch

Until a few years ago, I would have told you how much I hated corn tortillas. Those cardboard disks they sell in supermarkets, so bland, tasteless and rubbery were not my bag.

I wondered, to myself, how anyone could pick those during the “corn or flour” debate. Really, corn? What am I missing?

It turns out that homemade corn tortillas, with their seductive softness and slightly sweet flavor (don’t even get me started on the amazing smell) changed my taco-making life.

Like the difference between baloney and Filet Mignon, homemade corn tortillas are an entirely different beast. Once I made my own from scratch, I was shocked – shocked I tell you! – at how much I’d been missing out on.

How is it that no one told me that it only takes a few minutes to throw these together and they are somewhere around a billion times better than the crap in stores? Seriously friends, what the hell?

Like the revelation of discovering how insanely brainless it is to make homemade whipped cream, I’ll never go back to store-bought.  Plus, it’s about 3 cents per tortilla, gluten-free and vegan, making it a perfect choice for a large get together when who knows what kind of food aversion people will have.

Look how accommodating you are, AND you make your own tortillas?!

They’ll never know.

You need a few supplies, but don’t worry, you’ve got this.

  1. Tortillas press. You can buy one online, at Mexican markets or you can fashion your own.  I have this aluminum one, and my Mexican friends tend to prefer this wood one.

(I have also heard that you can use two very heavy books wrapped in plastic wrap or try your hand with a rolling pin and some parchment paper. )

  1. Masa, also called Masa Harina, which most stores sell in the “ethnic foods” aisle, or you can buy online.
  2. Water, salt and a bowl.
  3. Griddle or cast iron skillet.

That’s it. Not too bad, right?

4.47 from 13 votes
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How to Make Corn Tortillas

It turns out that homemade corn tortillas, with their seductive softness and slightly sweet flavor (don’t even get me started on the amazing smell) changed my taco-making life.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 3 servings
Calories 138 kcal
Author Jackie Dodd

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Masa
  • pinch salt
  • ¾ cup water I’ve also used beer, which turns out great as well

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add the Masa and the salt, stir to combine.
  2. Add the water and stir to combine. If the dough is too dry to hold together, add additional water. If it is too wet, add more Masa.
  3. Form into balls a bit larger than golf balls.
  4. Prepare a tortillas press by wrapping in plastic wrap or covering with parchment paper. Place one ball in the center.
  5. Press, rotate and press again until thin.
  6. Heat a griddle (or cast iron skillet) to a medium high heat (about 350 for electric griddles).
  7. Cook until slightly brown on the bottom (about 30 seconds to a minute) flip and cook on the other side. Don’t overcook.
  8. Serve warm, impress your friends.

How to make corn tortillas from scratch

About the Author

The Craft Beer Bites CookbookJackie Dodd’s beer-infused recipes earned her a spot as a finalist for Saveur Magazines Best Original Recipes, 2014 as well as crowned winner for Best Beer Coverage in 2015 (yes, craft beer is unprocessed). The Beeroness was also a finalist for Better Homes and Gardens Best Food Blogs, 2015. She has been seen on The Today Show, Lifetime Network, CBS News, as well as interviewed in print publications such as Imbibe, Bite and The San Francisco Chronicle. She also writes for Parade Magazine, Draft Magazine and Whisk Magazine. Jackie is the author of The Craft Beer Cookbook and The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook, and you can connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

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61 Comments
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Jennifer
Jennifer
October 2, 2012 8:34 pm

Adding this to my “prep” cooking day this weekend!

patty-leigh
patty-leigh
October 2, 2012 4:12 pm

can these be turned into corn chips? our biggest challenge to eating unprocessed is corn chips (eaten with fresh salsa) and i’ve been trying to think about how i can make my own and as a result eat less. 🙂

Phreaq
Phreaq
October 7, 2012 8:22 am
Reply to  patty-leigh

Yes, I cut them into triangles with a pizza cutter and thrown them in my deep fryer, very tasty

Amanda
Amanda
October 2, 2012 3:17 pm

Thank you for sharing this! I have been looking for a recipe like this. I had no idea there was a tortilla press…I’m going to consider buying one!

Jennifer M.
October 2, 2012 3:08 pm

5 stars
I am doing this!!

Mariah K
Mariah K
October 2, 2012 2:41 pm

I´m living in El Salvador right now and practically living on homemade corn tortillas. I will definitely never be buying tortillas in a store again. They make them thicker here, so you don´t even need a press or a rolling pin, just your hands!

Jennifer
Jennifer
October 2, 2012 2:40 pm

To those who commented that you already make your own flour tortillas, I’d be very grateful if you’d share your recipe. These corn tortillas sound fantastic, but my son can’t eat corn products, so I’m hoping to try my hand at making a whole wheat flour version instead. Anyone? Thanks in advance 🙂

Andrew
Admin
October 2, 2012 2:57 pm
Reply to  Jennifer

Hey Jennifer – try this recipe (from Dr. Freedhoff’s guest post last year!):

http://www.eatingrules.com/2011/10/easy-homemade-fajitas/

Jennifer
Jennifer
October 2, 2012 3:11 pm
Reply to  Andrew

Perfect! Love the name, too… Stupid-easy, indeed 🙂 Thanks, Andrew!

Paula Perez
Paula Perez
October 3, 2012 8:27 pm
Reply to  Jennifer

I just made these and they are easy and taste fantastic! I didn’t have avocado oil so I used coconut oil.

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/05/26/recipe-whole-wheat-tortillas/

Tami M.
Tami M.
October 2, 2012 12:37 pm

Tim and I were discussing what in the fridge would be eligible for unprocessed October and I pulled out the corn tortillas. And after looking at the ingredients, we though they would be okay. But this recipe makes those store bought ones look awful. Great post!

Jessica Marie
October 2, 2012 12:13 pm

That’s it? I thought it would be much more difficult. I am definitely going to have to try these.

Erin @ Texanerin Baking
October 2, 2012 11:51 am

I have to admit that I’m one of those people who thinks, “Eww… corn tortillas.” They just look so rubbery! I haven’t even tried one. Shame on me. I make flour tortillas all the time but now you’ve convinced me to try making corn!

Tina @ MorePleaseRecipes
October 2, 2012 4:49 pm

Good for you! I love your blog, by the way (just a side note.)

Arthur in the Garden!
October 2, 2012 11:36 am

I love homemade totillas!