A complete guide to making delicious authentic corn tortillas at home.
- 1 ½ cups masa harina
- 1 cup warm water, more or less
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- Cast iron tortilla press or a flat bottomed glass pie plate
- Large ziploc bag, cut open along the side seams
- Small or large cast iron skillet
- Clean dish towel
- Put 1 ½ cups masa harina in a large bowl. Pour in about 3/4 of the water. Mix and knead the dough with your hands for a minute or so, slowly adding more water until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. If the dough sticks to your hand, knead in a bit more flour. If the dough ball cracks when you give it a gentle squeeze, knead in a bit more water.
- Once you have a smooth ball of dough that doesn't stick or crack, divide into ten equal pieces and roll each piece into a golf-ball-sized ball.
- If using a tortilla press, open the press and lay cut-open plastic bag over both sides. Place a dough ball in the center of the press and smush it down into the press a bit with your hand. Fold the plastic over the dough so it's between plastic. Close the press and fold back the arm to flatten to about 1/8-inch thick.
- Heat skillet over medium heat until hot. Carefully remove tortilla from the plastic by pulling off the top layer, laying your hand over the tortilla and flipping it over so it sits on the palm of your hand. Peel off the remaining piece of plastic.
- Set the tortilla in the hot skillet. At first it will stick to the bottom of the pan. Use a pot holder to hold the pan and shake it until the tortilla dries enough to loosen and slide around the pan. Flip it over using a spatula.
- Cook for 60 seconds or so until lightly browned in spots. Flip a second time. Cook for a final 40-60 seconds until browned in spots and puffed up a bit. As you press and cook tortillas, stack them up, keeping them wrapped loosely in a clean towel.
Make Tortillas Without A Press: Use a flat-bottomed glass pie plate as a tortilla press. Lay the plastic bag on your work surface, folded over the dough ball. Put the pie plate on top and press it down to smush the dough into a pancake. Gently tilt the plate from side to side until the tortilla is as thin as you like. For more details, see photos and explanation in post.
Make Tortillas ahead of time: Corn tortillas are extra delicious when they're freshly made but they can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight plastic bag in the fridge for up to three days. For best results, reheat them, one at a time, in a hot skillet, for about 15 seconds per side. To keep them warm, stack them and wrap with a clean towel.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Category: How To
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size: 1 tortilla
Keywords: authentic corn tortilla recipe, corn tortillas from scratch