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Homemade Corn Tortillas (Without a Tortilla Press)

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Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

A tender stack of homemade corn tortillas

A tender stack of homemade corn tortillas

You Can Make Corn Tortillas at Home

Corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free and provide an earthy flavor to tostadas, street tacos, and lots of Mex-Tex dishes. But they're difficult to work with. Steam them, fry them, or warm them in the microwave but they still tear, break, crumble, and disappoint.

There is a way to solve this problem—did you know that you can make your own corn tortillas? And (despite what you might have been led to believe) you don't need a special tortilla press.

Homemade Corn Tortilla Recipe

Corn tortillas are usually brittle and tasteless—unless you make them in your own kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fine-ground masa flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Instructions

  1. Combine the masa and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  2. Scrape the masa dough onto a clean work surface. Using your hands shape it into a block about 1-inch high, 5-inches wide, and 4-inches long.
  3. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the block into 20 equal portions (remember your math: 5 x 4 = 20).
  4. Roll each cube into a round ball.
  5. Working with one at a time, place a masa round on a sheet of plastic wrap (saran wrap). Place a second sheet on top. Using a clear glass pie plate (so that you can see what you're doing), press down on the ball to flatten it. Your flattened masa should measure about 4 to 4 1/2 inches across.
  6. Repeat with the remaining masa cubes.
  7. Cook each flattened masa round on an ungreased griddle or shallow frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 30 seconds and then flip. After 30 seconds flip the tortilla again, and then two more times for a total of 2 minutes cooking time. The tortillas should begin to puff slightly but they won't color.
  8. Eat the cooked tortillas immediately, or cover to keep fresh. Each within two days.

© 2021 Linda Lum

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 23, 2021:

Flourish, it's easy-peasy lemon squeezy.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 23, 2021:

You are living up to your name. Who ever thought of making this themselves? But you prove that it's easy enough!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 21, 2021:

Thank you Sp Greaney. "Just add water" is about as easy as it gets, and yes, they DO taste better than store-bought. Thanks.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on May 21, 2021:

A two ingredient recipe has to be the simplest one ever to make. These turned out great. Bet they taste nicer that prepackaged one too.

I think there is no excuse to not attempt making these ourselves.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 21, 2021:

Devika, thank you. They are easy and taste so much better than anything you could buy at the store.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 21, 2021:

I prefer your homemade corn tortillas. Love the idea and sounds a perfect try for me,.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 21, 2021:

Audrey, I honestly have no excuse for waiting seven decades to make these. I do hope you'll give them a try. (I'll bet your mom's were delicious).

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on May 21, 2021:

My mother made corn tortillas and oh, how I enjoyed these. Now, with your recipe, I can whip up my own. Hallelujah! Big thanks.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 20, 2021:

I'm glad I could help. I think also using the fine grind masa (that doesn't require the addition of lard) is also important. The dough comes together without being dry or crumbly and is easy to work with.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on May 20, 2021:

Well, that helps a lot. I was using waxed paper to flatten them with a rolling pin and it was awful. I eventually gave up. Thanks for this!

Blessings,

Denise

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 20, 2021:

Brenda, they taste so much better than the cardboard that poses as corn tortillas in the grocery store.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 20, 2021:

This sounds easy enough to make & probably taste better.

I do love my Mexican food now & then

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 20, 2021:

Bill, I don't like the store-bought corn tortillas either. It's like eating cardboard. But trust me, these are totally different. It's like the difference between your homemade meatloaf and the kind you buy in a $1.00 frozen dinner tray.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 20, 2021:

Peggy, you are very welcome.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 20, 2021:

Shauna, I used my non-stick griddle. The dough is quite firm. It doesn't feel sticky (on the plastic wrap or on your hands) so I don't think sticking on even a stainless steel pan would be a problem.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 20, 2021:

I'm a flour tortilla guy myself. Perhaps the store bought corn ones are just bad, but so far I haven't liked them. I'll have to take your word that they can be tasty if made at home. :) I'm too busy outside to be cooking and baking.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 20, 2021:

Your instructions sound simple enough to follow. I'll have to give this a try. Thanks!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 20, 2021:

I had no idea corn tortillas are so easy to make! How do they not stick to the griddle/frying pan? There's no oil in the batter. If I were to make these, should I lightly spray the (cast iron) skillet first?

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 19, 2021:

Chitrangafa, you are so very welcome. Not my typical article (very short) but I hoped it would be helpful.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 19, 2021:

This sounds delicious and easy to make, and I am going to try it. Thank you for sharing the detailed instructions with helpful pictures.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 19, 2021:

Dora, one of the things I like about these is that they are gluten free. My godson is gluten intolerant so I'm always looking for things to make for him.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 19, 2021:

John, it was short but sweet. Thanks.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 19, 2021:

Misbah, I'm glad this reminded you of your grandmother

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on May 19, 2021:

Pamela, they are easy, and they taste so much better than store-bought.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on May 19, 2021:

Seems possible and since its gluten-free, I'm interested. Thanks for the lesson.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on May 19, 2021:

Wow, Linda that would have to be the simplest recipe you have ever shared. Even I could do that. Thanks.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on May 19, 2021:

Thanks for sharing this recipe, Linda. I love the flavor of corn tortillas we use to call it Makai ki Roti in Pakistan. You made me remember of my grandmother. She was an expert in making them.

Blessings and Love

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 19, 2021:

I never considered making corn tortillas myself. It sound so simple. Your instructions and pictures were great, Linda. Thank you for this EASY recipe!

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