Make Your Own Corn Tortillas

Homemade corn tortillas
Wanwisa Hernandez / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Resting Time: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
69 Calories
1g Fat
15g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 69
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 2g
Calcium 29mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This is where it starts. Making your own tortillas is a gateway of sorts because it gets you hooked on cooking and making food from scratch. Homemade corn tortillas are also easy—all you need is water and masa.

Once you make the dough, you can form tortillas with a rolling pin or use a cast-iron tortilla press, which is much easier and fun to do. Stick with cast iron when it comes to presses. The cast-aluminum versions are cheaper but they start to warp and your tortillas will end up weirdly misshapen.

A quick word on masa harina. It's a flour made from ordinary field corn (maize) that's simmered in an alkaline solution in a process called nixtamalization, which is what allows the cornmeal to stick together and form a ball after water is added to it. Nixtamalization also unlocks certain nutrients in the corn, making it more nourishing than ordinary corn. The nixtamalized kernels are then dried and ground. Depending on what part of the country you're in, you'll either find it at the supermarket or you'll have to visit the mercado. It might also be labeled masa harina de maiz, or corn masa mix.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the flour and water in a large bowl and mix to form a dough.

  3. Knead for a minute until smooth and then cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

  4. Roll the dough into small balls between the palms of your hands and press firmly in a tortilla press. It helps to line the press with plastic wrap so the dough doesn't stick. You'll likely adjust the size of the balls as you get the hang of it.

  5. Heat a griddle to medium-high. Once each tortilla is pressed you can warm it on the griddle for about a minute on each side, or maybe a bit longer depending on how light or dark you want them.

  6. Serve as a wrapping for your favorite tacos!

Tips

  • If the dough is thick and grainy a little more water may be needed.
  • If the dough sticks to the plastic or your hand, it is too wet and a little more flour may be added.
  • Always keep hands damp with water when handling the dough to prevent sticking.
  • To form the tortillas without a press, place a dough ball in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the tortilla into a thin circle.

How to Store

  • If you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for a few days or fry them to make tostadas or tortilla chips.