Easy Homemade Corn Tortillas

As you know, I very rarely post step-by-step pictures in my posts because I find it really difficult to cook while taking pictures and I hate to get food all over my camera. However, whenever I mention making homemade tortillas people look at me like it is the most impressive thing they have ever heard,  and then tell me that they’d never have the time to do that. Granted, I don’t have any kids so my idea of quick and easy may be a little distorted, but I feel like I just need to get the word out there that tortillas are nothing to fear!

Easy Homemade Corn Tortillas

How many times have you found yourself loitering in the kitchen with the fridge door hanging open, thinking that you have everything you need to make tacos or enchiladas if only you had some tortillas? Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like this happens all the time!

These are so, so, so easy to make. You just measure, stir, form a ball, cover it, let it rest for 30 minutes, press into tortillas, and fry.

Now, I don’t think I could really say that these tortillas are made from “scratch,” as they are made from instant corn masa flour.

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To make these from scratch I imagine you’d have to do something with corn and a big grinder or something which is just way outside the realm of anything I want to be doing with my Saturday.

Make sure you’r buying the right stuff – it needs to be INSTANT corn masa flour… not corn meal or any other crazy stuff.

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I’m going to be using my trusty tortilla press (you can find the link to purchase on my Kitchen Stuff page), but it is absolutely not a requirement to make these things.

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It used to be shiny aluminum, but somebody’s husband put it in the dishwasher. Oops.

Ready to go?

Okay, get out a big bowl, a tortilla press or pie plate, dry measuring cups, a liquid measuring cup, your instant masa, and a wooden spoon. Oh, and grab some salt! Forgot about it when I took this picture.

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Measure 1 1/8 c. water in your liquid measuring cup and set aside.

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Measure 1 3/4 c. masa …

Homemade Corn Tortillas 10 And add it to the large bowl…

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Add in about a teaspoon of salt, and then slowly drizzle in the measured water while stirring with the wooden spoon.

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The mixture may look a little crumbly…

Homemade Corn Tortillas 13 …but once you mix it together with your hands it will stick together nicely. Form it in a ball…

Homemade Corn Tortillas 14 Then cover it with plastic wrap and let it relax for 30 minutes to activate the instant masa.

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After 30 minutes, take off the plastic wrap and find yourself a large cutting board or other surface to work on. Divide the dough in half, then divide those halves in half, then divide those halves in half, and, finally, divide all of THOSE halves in half. You should have 16 portions… if my math is right. Fractions were really never my thing.

Homemade Corn Tortillas 16 Form them into pretty little balls, then preheat a skillet or large frying pan to medium-high heat.

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My kitchen is perpetually messy. Just ignore it…. I always do!

{Okay, so if you’re using a pie plate, you’re going to have to get your imagination cap because I don’t have pictures for how you’re going to press those balls into tortillas. Ready? Okay, get out a pie plate and a large plastic zipper-style baggie. Cut the baggie along the seam so you have two large sheets of plastic. Place a piece of plastic on your work surface, then plop down one of your balls of dough right in the center of it. Place the second piece of plastic on top of it, then use the pie plate to press down the plastic and dough. Go ahead and press all the way down until it hits the work surface. Remove the pie plate and pull off the first piece of plastic. Pick up the second piece of plastic while the tortilla is still attached to it, then slowly bend it away from the tortilla so it begins to peel off. Immediately toss the tortilla onto the pre-heated skillet. Resume following the regular instructions for cooking the tortillas below.}

Grab out your tortilla press and a roll of parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can cut a plastic zipper baggie along the seam to make two sheets of plastic and use those.

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Cut the parchment paper or plastic into circles or squares that are just slightly larger than your tortilla press.

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Place a ball of tortilla dough on the press, just slightly left of center.

Homemade Corn Tortillas 19 Set the second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough…

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…then set the round metal top down on top of the parchment.

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You don’t need to press it down hard, just let it rest on top of the dough.

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Now press down the round top of the press a few inches and press the handle down towards the middle of the press.

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Press it all the way down to flatten the tortilla, then release the handle and open the press by lifting the top metal plate.

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Take off the top piece of parchment or plastic, then pick up the bottom piece of parchment while still stuck to the tortilla.

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Slowly peel the paper or plastic away from the tortilla, then hold it over the preheated griddle so the tortilla falls onto it as you peel away all of the paper.

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Let it cook for about 30-45 seconds or until the bottom has brown spots and the edges are curving away from the griddle.

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Turn it over and let it cook for another 30-45 seconds, then use a pancake turner or large spatula to transfer it to a plate.

 

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Place the plate on a kitchen towel, then fold up the edges of the towel on top of the plate to cover it and keep it warm.

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Homemade Corn Tortillas 35 Keep repeating the process of pressing out the tortillas, frying them, and transferring them to a plate until all 16 tortillas are finished. I find it easier to work in batches of about 4 at a time so I can keep a close eye on them.

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They will be soft, warm, and full of incredible flavor.

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They freeze really well if you let them cool, wrap them in saran wrap, and place them inside of a freezer zipper baggie.

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Use them in Enfrijoladas, Tacos, or to dip in a Latin Stew.

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 Okay, you officially have NO excuses not to give these a shot. Maybe not on a busy Tuesday night, but a lazy Sunday afternoon would be the perfect time to whip these up. Your loved ones will be so impressed!

Here’s the handy printable version:

Easy Homemade Corn Tortillas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16 Servings
Ingredients
  • 1¾ c. masa harina
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1⅛ c. water
Instructions
  1. Measure 1¾ c. masa and add it to a large bowl. Stir in a teaspoon of salt, and then slowly drizzle in the measured water while stirring with the wooden spoon. Form it in a ball with your hands, then cover it with plastic wrap and let it relax for 30 minutes to activate the instant masa.
  2. After 30 minutes, divide the dough into 16 portions and form them into balls. Preheat a skillet or large frying pan to medium-high heat. Press a ball of dough into a tortilla, then turn the tortilla out onto the preheated griddle. Let it cook for about 30-45 seconds or until the bottom has brown spots and the edges are curving away from the griddle. Turn it over and let it cook for another 30-45 seconds, then use a pancake turner or large spatula to transfer it to a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm.
  3. Keep repeating the process of pressing out the tortillas, frying them, and transferring them to a plate until all 16 tortillas are finished. Serve warm.

 

 

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