Did you know that corn tortillas are made from two simple ingredients? Yup, just masa flour, and water. Corn tortillas are simple and easy to make from scratch. Hezekiah, Tucker, and I tried this out as a homeschooling project (Culinary Arts) and were thrilled with the results. We have also learned a few tips along the way to make it easier.
How to Make Corn Tortillas from Scratch
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Things you will need. There are two special items you will need to make corn tortillas. First of all, you need masa harina. Masa Harina is the type of cornflour used to make corn tortillas. It is different from what you use to make cornbread. Masa harina is dough flour made from specially treated corn. You can order it off of Amazon or pick it up at your local grocery store (possibly in the Mexican or International section).
Corn Tortilla Press
You will also need a corn tortilla press. I ordered this 8-inch cast iron tortilla press from Amazon. And yes, you really do need the press, so don’t try making this without it. If you homeschool, you can turn it into a lesson on the power of leverage.
How to Make Corn TortillaJump to Recipe
Combine 2 cups of masa harina and 1 1/2 cups of water. I like to add a little bit of salt, as well. Half a teaspoon should be fine.
Mix until you have a dough about the consistency of playdough. Do this by hand with a spoon or fork. There is no reason to use a mixer or equipment.
The masa harina and water should form a nice ball of dough.
Next, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Then roll each piece of dough into a ball.
Pro Tip: Cover your cast iron tortilla press with a plastic bag to prevent sticking.
Place one corn tortilla ball at a time in the center of your tortilla press and close to flatten tortilla.
How beautiful is this corn tortilla???
Make Sure Your Dough Isn’t Too Wet
If your dough is sticking to the press or to plastic, it is likely too wet. The dough has to feel almost dry to me to keep them from sticking. Just add more masa harina until the dough no longer sticks.
Care For Your Cast Iron Properly
I am embarrassed to admit that I ranted for years about what a pain cast iron was and how much I disliked using it. Now, not only do I use my cast iron every day, but I am hoping to swap my last couple of pots and pans to cast iron. Cast iron is so versatile. You can saute, boil, or bake in them. It really is all-purpose.
Why cast iron? It lasts forever (quality over quantity) and adds much-needed iron to our diets. It isn’t coated in nasty non-stick chemicals. Just make sure you care for it properly. My friend Linda, over at Food Storage Moms, has a great post on how to clean and restore cast iron pans.
This corn tortillas are easy and can be made in minutes!
- 2 cups masa harina
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- oil for cooking
Combine masa harina and water, and salt (if desired). Mix by hand into small bowl. Let rest for 20-30 minutes.
Divide dough into 16 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball.
Place one ball at a time onto tortilla press, press down lever.
Cook on medium heat in oiled pan for 1-2 minutes per side.
If cooking a large amount, keep warm on pie pan in oven on low heat.
Yum! I made corn tortillas every few weeks or so (I moved to New Mexico, so I figured it was a good way to assimiliate :-), and they really are so much better than the store ones. My dad is a woodworker, so he made me a press, but before that, I just used a flat-bottomed cake pan to press them. It takes a little bit of ab strength to bear down, and they aren’t quite as thin, but you can still make tortillas without a press!
Do you make them and store them for a few weeks? Or do you eat them right away? I guess I can see that working (with the cake pan)…but thankfully, tortilla presses aren’t expensive!