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Homemade Corn Tortillas

June 25, 2010

I have been playing with the thought of making homemade tortillas for a while.  I’ve been a nervous wreck about it because I just knew if anyone could mess these up, I could. 

I’ve also been hesitant because I don’t have a tortilla press and I just know that it would make it so much easier.  Okay, that was really just an excuse.  I mean, really?  If you HAD to have a tortilla press than there wouldn’t be tortillas in history.  People did not always have tortilla presses, right?

It was a process that was only slow because I didn’t know what I was doing.  As I went through the process on each one, it got much quicker and easier.


Mixing bowl

Electric griddle (or a skillet will work, I liked my electric griddle for this one just because I feel like I can control the temperature a bit better with it than with my stove…I’m still working on learning to cook on an electric stove)

Plastic wrap – two pieces

Flat bottom pan, skillet, anything

Rolling pin



2 cups Masa

1 1/4 cup Water (plus a little more)



I have had a bag of Masa sitting in my cupboard for a little while.  Partly because I have had store bought tortillas to use up and partly because I was chicken to get started.  Turns out?  VERY simple.

In case you are wondering, Masa is a corn flour mixture that pretty much just has you add water and mix, then flatten and cook.  So, I kind of feel like I’m cheating when I write this, but I’m guessing I’m not the only one nervous to get started on this.  So, here goes:

Measure 1 1/4 cup water:

  Add 2 cups of the Masa

Mix with a wooden spoon:


Realize that you’re kidding no one, go ahead and put your hands into it:

Realize that it was absolutely insane to try and do this in a little measuring cup and dump it out on the counter (sorry no picture of this insanity)

Realize that dumping it on the counter top was NOT the wisest move you’ve ever made because, really, how are you going to add one tablespoon of water at a time until you get the right consistency when it’s spread out on the counter?

Put it all into a bowl (again, no pictures, let me tell you I was insane to the point that I forgot there was a camera there to document this.  I mean, I would have picture evidence to show the loony bin why I was there in a straight jacket).

Mix with your hand and, add one tablespoon of water at a time until it is a solid consistency. 

Realize that you’re not exactly sure WHAT the consistency should be but you know that at least the dough should stick together, but it shouldn’t be too wet.  You should be able to roll it into a ball:

So, now what?  How to get that flat, round shape?  Well, when I make pizza I roll the dough out and that works well for me:

Yeah, not so much when making tortillas.  It kind of stuck to the rolling pin and was not pretty.

Then I got an idea:

Plastic wrap…two pieces…place the dough between the two pieces (I got this idea because the directions said to put two pieces of plastic wrap on the tortilla press, don’t think I’m a genius or anything).

Then, get out a cake pan and place on top of the dough:

Press down…real hard:

There it is!

Place on the medium-high heat griddle: 

I have to tell you…this one did NOT turn out.  Why?  Because I quickly learned it wasn’t thin enough.  You want to get these things T   H   I   N! Pressing with a pan wasn’t working.

Next try?  Press with the pan and then break out the rolling pin again…worked wonders: 

THAT was a perfect tortilla!

So, heat on the griddle about 3-5 minutes on one side, then flip:

  Heat for another 3-5 minutes   Then take off and set aside: Look at those!  Those are Heaven on Earth!  I was very surprised.

The recipe makes 16 tortillas.  Depending on the size and thinness, you could probably make even more than that.

My comments:

This was very simple to make.  It was a challenge at first and took me longer to make this time that usual.  The dough is very delicate and somewhat dry so it easily dries out as it sits.  I would not suggest making dough ahead of time.  HOWEVER, I would suggest just using a quarter cup of masa at a time if you only want to make one or two tortillas and not an entire stack.

Also, I am hoping to make some of these into baked chips.  You can’t crisp them up enough on the griddle.  all that really happens is they just keep getting warm.  Maybe if there was some butter or oil on the griddle they might crisp and brown up.

I’m also going to play with adding some different flavors in there for other purposes.  Different seasonings for chips or even adding some cinnamon and sugar in the mix for a dessert tortilla.  What do you think?

This was definitely worth it and, since tortillas are a staple in our life, we will be using these often.  It works out much cheaper than the store bought ones too!

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