09 December 2021

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Homemade Corn Tortillas / www.delightfulrepast.com


Homemade tortillas are easier than most people think. I first made flour tortillas nearly ten years ago, making up the recipe as I went along, and they turned out great. A rolling pin is all you need. But for corn tortillas, I really needed a tortilla press.

My friend Julia told me about the older generations of her family making them by hand. But that hand patting technique can take years to perfect, so I again looked into tortilla presses. 

Read great things about this tortilla press I found on Amazon. Beautifully made, heavy cast iron. It will turn your kitchen into a tortilleria! 

I used Bob's Red Mill organic masa harina. Just add hot water and a little salt, and that's it. Since I was just cooking for two, I made a half batch, six tortillas. You might need more or less water depending on your masa harina. These amounts are what worked for me.

There are varying opinions on the temperature of the water, some saying your hottest tap water. I pushed the 160F (71C) button on my electric kettle, then measured the water in a glass measure, which cooled it down a few degrees. It was just right. 

Have your tortilla press standing by, along with a 1-gallon Ziploc bag cut into an open-on-three sides 8-inch square "folder" to line the press. Save the bag for next time; it will last for many, many batches, I'm sure.

I used this batch for tostadas, but I'm looking forward to making more very soon for Chicken Enchilada Verde Casserole.

Do share any tips you might have for making homemade corn tortillas. 


Homemade Corn Tortillas / www.delightfulrepast.com

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Homemade Corn Tortillas

(Makes 12 6.5- to 7-inch tortillas)

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces/283 grams) masa harina
2 tablespoons (0.5 ounce/14 grams) non-GMO cornstarch, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (12 fluid ounces/355 ml or grams) hot water*
2 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, optional

* That was the amount of water that worked with every single batch of tortillas made with Bob's Red Mill golden masa harina. But then my order of King Arthur organic white corn masa harina arrived, and I found it took an extra 1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml or grams) of water.

1 In large bowl, stir together the masa harina and salt. I sometimes like to add that little bit of cornstarch; it seems to make the tortillas more pliable. While stirring with a silicone spatula, gradually add the water, then stir until the masa is evenly moistened. With one hand, knead the dough right in the bowl or on a smooth countertop for 5 minutes until it is smooth and springy, after a few minutes adding, only if necessary, a little more masa harina if the dough is too wet or a little more water if it is too dry.

Note: Some cooks like to add a small amount of oil if the corn tortillas are going to be stored for a day or more, but that is optional. If using, add it along with the water. 

2 Cover the masa tightly to keep it from drying out. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour. Divide total weight of dough in grams by 12 to portion out the dough, rolling them into smooth balls (about 50 grams or so each). As you make the tortillas, keep the dough balls covered to keep them from drying out.

Note: Test one dough ball first to make sure it presses well and peels easily from the plastic before portioning out all the dough.

3 Preheat your griddle well over moderate heat. Since I used my nonstick griddle, I rubbed a tiny amount, 1/2 teaspoon, of extra virgin olive oil on the cold griddle (because you are never supposed to preheat a nonstick pan empty or over high heat or use cooking spray on it). Then when I was ready to start cooking the tortillas, I wiped the griddle, removing nearly all the oil.


How to Make Homemade Corn Tortillas - with Tortilla Press / www.delightfulrepast.com


4 Place a smooth dough ball between the two layers of plastic in the center of the tortilla press. Then gently press the dough ball. Give it three 90-degree turns and presses to get the thinnest possible tortilla. Peel back the top layer of plastic, turn it on your hand, and peel back the other layer. Lay it on the skillet and cook for about a minute on each side. Transfer to a tortilla warmer or, as I do, a makeshift tortilla warmer—a clean kitchen towel in a glass pie plate. Repeat. Serve from the bottom of the stack first, as they'll be softest.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

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42 comments:

Lynn said...

Looks like fun to make your own. Almost like a crafting project.
Enjoy your meal with them and I'll think on the great flavor it must
make from scratch. Lynn and Precious XX

Richard Sheppard said...

I've recently discovered how great fresh made flour tortillas are over the store bought brand. Cooked to order tortillas are delicious! Now I have yet to try homemade corn tortillas. I know you've mentioned how great they are over the years. Going to have to give them a try. I just put that press on my wish list so fingers crossed!

Lorrie said...

Homemade corn tortillas are wonderful!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Sounds like a recipe I could follow. Tortillas (store bought) are one of my sub-ins for bread, and I use them for every kind of wrap from the traditional meats to peanut butter and jelly. When they get past their prime sitting in the refrigerator waiting for me to use them, I sprinkle a little water on them before nuking in the microwave, which – in my peculiar way of thinking – puts me one step closer to actually following your recipe!

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

I have always wanted to try making these from scratch and never saw one simplified enough this is perfect!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lynn, you've nailed it! Hadn't thought of it like that, but it really is like a crafting project!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Richard, you are going to have soooo much fun with that press. It's really a quality item for a very reasonable price. I read about one that costs twice as much, and it couldn't possibly be any better.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

They sure are, Lorrie!

Jeanie said...

Well, before I do this one, I need a tortilla press, I think! But they sound good!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, yep, one step closer to an actual recipe! Seriously, though, you would have a grand time with this gadget! It weighs a ton but is quite compact and easy to store, or just leave it on the counter since it's so decorative and such a conversation piece.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, WCISC, that's exactly the effect I was going for! It really is quite simple.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jeanie. Yes, you definitely need a tortilla press. I've seen a lot of flimsy ones, as well as a couple of ridiculously expensive ones; I recommend this one.

Sister in the Mid-west said...

I make corn tortillas for m time to time. I use the plastic bag trick in combination with a rolling pin. I have not bought a tortilla press yet. I would probably make a lot more tortillas if I had one. :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sister in the Mid-west, I promise you, if you tried this tortilla press just once you'd never roll out another tortilla! It is sooooo much quicker and easier. Effortless!

Mark said...

Hi Jean! There is nothing like homemade tortillas! As soon as I moved here to Tucson, I bought a tortilla press at our local Mexican grocery store — look just like yours! The woman at the checkout told me to use the grocery bag (in which she put the tortilla press) to make them. She said to wash it, then cut out two circles the same diameter as the press. Now going on 16 years, I’ve only replaced the bag once! So basically the same method as yours with a local twist!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Sounds yummy, I like the press! Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 62. Pinned and/or shared!

TONY said...

A quick Google search Jean. Tortillas were first made over 3500 years ago in Mexico. A true American indigenous food. Your Tortillas of course do not look at all 3500 years old, are they? Ha! Ha! I must admit its the fillings I like. I sometimes miss out the Tortilla bit. Maybe its just the ones I have had that are tasteless. I am sure yours are brilliant though Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mark, thanks so much for sharing your tortilla press story. I limit my use of plastic and try to get as much use out of it as I can. Let's see if my Ziploc bag will last 16 years!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dee, thanks so much!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, thank you for the bit of tortilla history! I've been pretty happy with the corn tortillas that I buy, but I must say, these have a lot more flavor.

ellen b. said...

I love finding Mexican restaurants where they make their own tortillas!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I do, too, Ellen. But it's been so long since I've been to a restaurant, I had forgotten! 😁

Kitchen Riffs said...

We like making corn tortillas. Only downside is we can never get them quite as thin as the commercial ones. That doesn't bother us, though, and the upside is they have more flavor! :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

You're right, John, sooooo much more flavor!

Sherry's Pickings said...

what fun to make your own. love the look of that tortilla press.

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

This is a great post Jean. I've been trying my hand at making homemade corn tortillas and I feel like I'm just not getting it quite right. I believe I need to let the dough rest after mixed. Thanks for the tip, will try that next time.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sherry. It IS a lot of fun!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lea Ann, thanks. I hope it helps. I'm sure I'll be adding to the post as I learn more.

Chatty Crone said...

You must really like corn tortillas to buy a press. They do look good.
You sent me an email - and I was just going to take a break, but then life got busy and I just never came back.
I'm still alive tho!
Thanks for missing me.
Sandie

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandie, yes, to both! Yes, I really like corn (and flour) tortillas. Yes, I miss you and your always uplifting blog.

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks for sharing the recipe.
Your tortilla press looks good.

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jan. I'm having such fun with the tortilla press. I have been making tortillas nonstop!

thepaintedapron.com said...

I have made flour tortillas, mainly because when I first moved to Alabama {years ago} you couldn't buy them in the grocery store! I bet homemade corn tortillas are wonderful!
Jenna

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jenna. I remember the first corn tortillas I had in Michigan years ago. They were just wrong! They were something like a corn-wheat hybrid tortilla that wasn't good for either! Seems like all the states now have access to proper tortillas of all kinds, but I still like making my own.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

That looks like a great gadget to have. I never realized how easy it could be to make your own. I love the idea because it is often hard for me to find tortillas that is NON GMO- Thanks for the idea and recipe.

Miz Helen said...

Homemade tortillas, what a treat. I have a press just like yours and we love it! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday, 567 and hope you have a very Merry Christmas!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, GFAZ! I just learned that King Arthur Baking Company also has organic (and, therefore, non-GMO) masa harina (My order hasn't arrived yet). I hope you'll make these very soon and let me know how you liked them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Miz Helen! I might have known you'd have a tortilla press there in Texas! Hope you have a wonderful 2022.

Tarahlynn said...

Thanks for sharing with us - I'm featuring you this week when the next To Grandma's house we go link party starts!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Taralynn, thank you so much! I can't wait to see your next home renovation project. (Readers, if you want some home inspiration, check out her blog!)

April Harris said...

I have never tried making homemade tortillas, Jean, and I didn't realise you could buy presses like this. I really enjoyed your post and am feeling inspired to try making them myself! I'm grateful you shared this post at the Hearth and Soul Link Party. I’m featuring this post at the party which goes live on Sunday (9th January) this week. Hope to ‘see’ you there! Take care and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you so much! Yes, I'll see you there. I think you're going to love homemade tortillas!

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