Making Authentic Corn Tortillas at Home: A Beginner's Guide

corn tortilla

If you're looking to make your own tortillas from scratch, you've come to the right place! Whether you're using powdered masa harina or fresh masa, the process is straightforward and requires minimal equipment.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Approximately 7-8 tortillas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 3/4 cup¬†hot tap water
  • Plastic bags or parchment paper (for pressing)

Step 1: mix your dough. For powdered masa harina, measure it into a bowl and add 1 cup of masa plus 3/4 cup of hot tap water. Mix with your hand, kneading until thoroughly combined, and then cover and let stand for 15 minutes. If you're using fresh masa, scoop it into a bowl, break it up, and knead it a few times until it's smooth.

Step 2: heat up your griddle or skillets. Set a large griddle (one that stretches across two burners) or two skillets on your stovetop. Set the heat under one end of the griddle or one skillet at medium and the heat under the other end or the other skillet at medium-high.

Step 3: Adjust the consistency of your dough by gently squeezing it. If it's stiff, knead in water 1 or 2 teaspoons at a time until it feels like soft cookie dough. Divide the dough evenly into 7-8 pieces and roll each one into a ball. Cover them with plastic.

Step 4: Press out the dough balls, cut two pieces of plastic bag 1 inch larger than your tortilla press. Open the press and lay in one piece of plastic. Lay a dough ball in the center and gently mash it. Top it with the second piece of plastic and close the press. Press gently to mash the dough into a 1/8-inch disc. Pull off the top piece of plastic.

Step 5: Unmold your uncooked tortilla by flipping it onto your right hand (if you're right-handed). The top of the tortilla should line up with the top of your index finger. Lay it on the medium-hot griddle or skillet by letting the bottom of the tortilla touch the griddle and then lowering your hand slightly and moving it away from you. The tortilla will stick to the hot surface so you can roll your hand out from under it as it rolls down flat.

Step 6: Fist flip, after about 30 seconds, the edges of the tortilla will dry slightly and the tortilla will release from the griddle. Before this moment, the tortilla will be stuck. Using a metal spatula or callused fingers, flip it onto the hotter side of the griddle or skillet. After about 30 seconds, the tortilla should be browned underneath.

Step 7: Second flip, Flip it and cook for another 30 seconds. The tortilla should puff in places or all over. A gentle press with a metal spatula or fingers encourages puffing. Transfer it to a basket lined with a towel.

Step 8: Continue to press and bake your remaining tortillas. Stack each baked tortilla on the previous one and keep them well wrapped in a towel to keep them warm.

If you're not sure where to start with ingredients and equipment, check out our Tortilla Starter Kit (coming soon) that includes everything you need to make delicious, homemade tortillas.

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