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Homemade Corn Tortillas (Without a Tortilla Press)

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.

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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

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