How to Make Homemade Corn Tortillas From Scratch

Updated on December 31, 2019
CleanFoodLiving profile image

If I can DIY-it in the kitchen over buying it at the store, that's what I'm going to do! Here's how to make your own corn tortillas at home.

How to Make Easy Homemade Corn Tortillas From Scratch

I was inspired to make my own corn tortillas because I live my life based on a Clean Food Living lifestyle. The store tortillas are loaded with ingredients that, in my opinion, shouldn't be ingested by humans. Even the organic brand tortillas often have extras added to the ingredient list such as binders and thickeners like guar gum. Although guar gum is the lesser of food wrongs out there, it gives me terrible digestive problems which is my body's way of saying, I don't want that! Whereas, if I have corn tortillas made without the 'extras', I've got a happy taste buds and digestive ease! Are you the same?

No matter where you are at in your food journey, let me show you how to easily (and quickly) make your own homemade corn tortillas!


You will need 2 ingredients. Yep, only 2 simple ingredients!

  • Organic masa harina
  • Water

Step 1: Add 1 Cup Masa Harina to a Bowl

Add organic masa harina to a bowl. I strongly encourage using organic instead of conventional for these two reasons:

  1. Corn and soy are the two most common GMO crops in the United States. If you are using conventional corn products, the likelihood that the corn is GMO is very probable.
  2. Conventional food crops, like corn, are spayed with chemicals dangerous to humans. (If you need sourcing, simple google search "Are pesticides harmful to humans?")

Step 2: Add the Water and Knead

Add 3/4 cup filtered water to the masa harina in two parts. First, add about half the water and incorporate it into the flour with your freshly washed hands. Then add the second half of the water. Continue incorporating the water into the masa until a dough ball forms. The dough should feel form-able in your hands without being slick and slimy, nor dry and crumbly.

Tip: If too much water is added the dough ball will be shiny and will make for gummy tortillas. If too little water is added the dough ball will be crumbly making for tortillas that fall apart. 3/4 cup water seems to be the perfect amount, but if you find yourself with either a shiny or crumbly masa dough ball, simply add a little more masa or water to balance it out.

Step 3: Make Dough Balls

Break off pieces of the main dough and make mini dough balls! A 1" dough ball makes a 4.5" tortilla. If you want a 6" or 8" tortilla, simply make the dough balls bigger.

While making your dough balls, pre-heat a fry pan or griddle at medium heat. No need to add oil or butter to the pan. You will be cooking the tortillas dry in the pan. This of course means the torts are low fat making them great for weight loss and gallbladder diets too!

Step 4: Press the Dough Balls

It's time to press the dough balls into round tortillas! A tortilla press is very handy for this step not only for time efficiency reasons, but it will make a perfectly round and even tortilla. Tortilla presses cost around $20-$25 on Amazon.

When pressing the tortillas, you will need either two pieces of parchment/wax paper or two pieces of durable plastic. Place one sheet of liner on the bottom and the other sheet atop the dough ball, then press! If you don't use a top and bottom liner with the press, you will have a mess and a ruined tortilla so be sure not to skip using a liner!

Brute strength is not needed. Simply press down firmly one time, then open up the press, rotate the tortilla 180 degrees, and press once more. Viola! You have a perfect tortilla!

Tip: If you do not have a tortilla press yet, you can roll out the dough balls with a rolling pin. Be sure to still use a top and bottom liner or the dough ball will affix itself to the rolling pin and turn into a mess! The tortillas will not be as perfectly round nor as thin, but if you are okay with that, then go for it!

Step 5: Cook the Tortilla

You are now ready to cook the tortillas. Place the tortilla in the dry pan or on the dry griddle and turn the heat up to medium-high. Allow the tortilla to cook for approximately two minutes. You will know the tortilla is ready for flipping when the edges begin to lift off the pan.

While each tortilla is cooking, you can continue pressing the remaining dough balls so each is ready to go.

Once the tortilla has been flipped, continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Golden brown spots will begin to appear on the tortilla. Also, a hot air dome will form under the tortilla creating a 'bouncy' spot in the tortilla center when pressed.

The perfect done-ness of the tortilla is not only its browning, but its flexibility. You want it tender enough to be able to fold (like a taco) without breaking in half, yet have enough firm-ness as to not be limp, unable to hold a taco shape.

Step 6: Place in a Warm Towel Bed

As each tortilla finishes its cooking period, keep it warm in a kitchen towel bed until you are ready to eat!

Step 7: Eat and Enjoy

No explanation needed for this step, right?!

Video Tutorial

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 CleanFoodLiving


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      • CleanFoodLiving profile imageAUTHOR


        4 months ago from Montana

        It's my pleasure Liza, let me know how it goes! Bests,

      • lizmalay profile image


        4 months ago from USA

        Such a good recipe! I've learned how to make authentic tortilla from my husband's grandmother. This can be another thing that I would want to try! Thank you for sharing the recipe with complete illustrations.


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