Homemade Corn Tortillas
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- 2 1/2 cups (231g) masa harina
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 2/3 cups warm water plus more as needed
To make the dough:
- In a large, shallow mixing bowl, combine the masa harina and salt. Gradually add the warm water, stirring with your hands to make a cohesive dough.
- Using your hands, mix and knead the dough in the bowl until it’s smooth and somewhat firm, about a minute or so. If the dough sticks to your hands and feels wet, add more masa harina a teaspoon at a time. If it crumbles when you roll a piece into a ball, add more water a teaspoon at a time.
To shape the tortillas:
- Preheat a comal, a cast iron or nonstick pan, or a griddle, over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until evenly hot.
- Cut two round or square pieces of food-safe plastic – from a plastic produce or zip-top bag – to a size about 1/2" larger than the diameter of your tortilla press (see “tips,” below). Set aside.
- Divide the dough into 16 pieces (about 35g to 40g each) and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls on a clean work surface and cover them with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel to keep them moist.
- Working with one ball of dough at a time, place one piece of plastic on the bottom of the tortilla press, place the ball of dough, and top it with the second piece of plastic. Gently, squeeze the handle of the press until the dough is about 1/16” to 1/8” thick and about 5” in diameter. To achieve a nicely round tortilla, jiggle the handle of your press just as you near the bottom. You may need to press it a couple of times to get the desired thinness.
To cook the tortillas:
- Open the tortilla press, peel off the top piece of plastic, and then take the tortilla on the bottom piece of plastic next to the comal, so that you can pass the tortilla to one hand as you remove the bottom plastic with the other hand and quickly but gently lay the tortilla on the hot pan. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly flat (you’ll get better as you practice), and don’t try to move it, which will cause it to tear. Return the piece of plastic to the bottom of the tortilla press.
- Cook the tortilla until it releases easily from the pan and its color has lightened and become opaque, 40 to 45 seconds; you don’t want the tortilla to brown or become freckled at this point.
- Using a spatula or your fingers, flip the tortilla and cook it until the bottom starts to brown and freckle, 70 to 90 seconds more.
- Flip the tortilla one more time and cook it until it puffs, 10 to 15 seconds. If the tortilla doesn’t puff on its own, gently poke it a few times near the center. Once it puffs, let the tortilla cook for 15 seconds longer, until fully set and soft.
- Remove the tortilla from the heat and wrap it in a clean kitchen towel, or transfer it to a cloth-lined tortillero.
- Repeat the pressing and cooking process with the remaining dough.
22comments inHomemade Corn Tortillas
Pati, I made these tonight and have to tell you that not only did we enjoy eating them, I really appreciated how detailed your instructions are. I did end up with two dud tortillas, because I clearly didn’t let them cook long enough on the second side, but when I timed them right, the tortillas did exactly what they were supposed to do. I am really glad that I invested in a cast iron tortilla press – it works way better than the aluminum one I used to own. These were so simple to make and are so good, that I will not be buying corn tortillas again. I’ve also figured out that I can set the timer on my phone for cooking the second side, since that is clearly crucial to having them turn out right. Live and learn! Thank you for transforming me into a corn tortilla maker.
And thanks to you for giving this recipe the time it needs to master it Susan, bravo, you go girl!
Hello I’m not much of a baker, but i want to make the corn tortillas i don’t have a tortilla press is it ok is a cast iron pan (small) to flatten the tortillas. I enjoy show especially when your sons join you growing into very handsome young men…
Thanks for your kindness Joann! Yes, you can use your cast iron pan to flaten the tortillas, or a rolling pin or even do it using your hands 🙂
I’ve seen it done using a clear glass pie plate. Put the ball of dough centered, between the two pieces of plastic bag. Place the center of the pie plate over the dough and start pressing down slowly on the edge in a circular type motion. You can see your tortilla take shape. When you’re happy with the shape and thickness, repeat.
Great trick Linda, thanks for sharing!
Any tips if they aren’t puffing? I got about 1.5 to puff and not the rest.
Love your recipes and show!
Try teasing them a bit pressing with your fingers softly while they are still cooking, it works!
Susana from Liberty, Texas
What is corn flour? Maseca? Thank you
Yes, that works 😉
LOVE YOUR SHOW!!
Thank you so much Dolores!
How long can you store extra Tortillas and can they be frozen? Thanks!
Yes Diane, you can freeze them, but if keeping them in the fridge, try to eat them in 2 to 3 days tops. Enjoy!
Pati I love your show!!! I very much like all the places and people you meet!
Can I just use what i need and freeze the rest?
Absolutely, enjoy the tortillas Melinda!
Thank you! My husband misses traditional Mexican tortillas and never learned how to make them when he lived in Mexico. I did not start learning how to make Mexican food until I married him and these corn tortillas with this recipe turned out perfect! I have tried them many times with other recipes and I could never make them Right. I tried the recipe today and everything went smoothly my 1st 10 tortillas didn’t turn out the best, But now I’ve got the hang of it thank you!
My pleasure Samantha, so glad you master the tortilla making, yay!
Can you let the tortillas sit in the refrigerator after first cooking them overnight to fry them the next day for tacos?
Absolutely yes Susan!
Do you let the masa sit for 1/2 hour before making the tortillas? Thanks
It is not necessary Maria 🙂