Sunday, May 8, 2011

Homemade White Corn Tortillas

After having such delicious, fresh and always homemade tortillas in Mexico, I knew it was only a matter of time before Nate and I would attempt to make them from scratch. Luckily, my parents happened to have a tortilla press they bought at El Rey's years ago that was just collecting dust in their basement.

I had looked up a few tortilla recipes (including one from Pam Mehnert's A Year of Inconvenience blog), and they seemed really easy to make and just included three ingredients: maseca (instant corn masa flour), salt and water.

We ended up following the recipe on the back of the maseca bag, as we wanted to make quite a few tortillas so we could freeze them for future use. Here's how much of everything we used and what we did:

  • 2 cups maseca (we used white corn, but you can buy yellow corn maseca, too)

  • 1.25 cups water

  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Combine all three ingredients. Mix thoroughly for about two minutes, forming soft dough. If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 Tbs. at a time (I think we added 1 or 2 Tbs.).

Divide dough in 16 equal balls (we weighed the entire mound of dough on our food scale and then divided by 16). Cover with a damp cloth to keep dough moist.

Line a tortilla press with two sheets of thick plastic wrap (we took a quart-sized resealable bag and split the seams. This worked very well). Place each ball between the plastic and press down until the tortilla measures 5-6 inches in diameter (this is pretty much the diameter of our tortilla press). Carefully peel off plastic wrap.

Preheat ungreased griddle, skillet or cast iron pan (very important--I don't think the skillet was warm enough for the first few we cooked). Cook tortillas one at a time (well, we ended up cooking two at once in our big skillet--it worked fine), for about 1 minute per side (we generally cooked them until they browned just a bit). Cover tortillas with cloth napkin (or keep in warm oven) to keep them soft and warm.

These were fantastic, and I doubt I'll ever use store-bought tortillas again. The size is great, too--I much prefer having one or two small tortillas or tacos to one giant one. Yeah, it takes more time to make these than going out and buying some from the store. But the process was not complicated and really only took us about half an hour. Now that we at least kind of know what we're doing, I think it will go even faster next time.


  1. I'm always looking for a new gadget and I think my next one will be a tortilla press! I'm so glad you did the post. I never thought tortillas would be so easy.

  2. They seem kind of intimidating, but they're really pretty easy! I'm not sure how much the press was, but I can't imagine it's too pricey. Let me know how they turn out if you make them!