Recipe Soft Corn Tortillas from Scratch

JASOH1

Senior Member
Joined
12 May 2020
Local time
8:57 PM
Messages
1,038
Location
Akron, OH
Soft Corn Tortillas Recipe
Makes about 8 small (5-6 inch) tortillas

This was my first time ever making homemade tortillas! I have eaten made-from-scratch soft corn tortillas in Mexico many times and they are so delicious that I wanted to try it myself. You can probably find pre-made soft corn tortillas in the grocery store if you don't feel like making your own, but IMO, these taste so much better.

Regular corn flour will not work, you need to get a special masa harina: the corn flour has been treated with calcium hydroxide. This releases the niacin in the corn making them more pliable, more nutritious, and easier to digest. I Googled and researched a bit before coming up with a way to make these without a tortilla press. There are also some helpful Youtube videos you can find online showing various ways to make them.

Ingredients:
1 cup masa harina (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup hot water
1/4 tsp sea salt

Tools you need:
Mixing bowl
Measuring cup
Clear glass bowl or pan with a flat bottom for pressing
Plastic wrap
Non-stick cooking spray
Large rectangular piece of foil
Skillet or griddle (I used a cast iron skillet).
Spatula

42304


I followed the recipe amounts on the back of the masa harina packaging, except I cut the recipe in half to make 8 small tortillas.

What the recipe on the package doesn't tell you: making masa is not an exact science and you might need more or less of the water, so it's better to add most but not all at first and if you need the rest, you can add it in. Mix the masa with a spatula before you start mixing with your hands. As you mix with your hands, if it's too dry, add a touch more water. If it's sticking to your hands, it's too wet and you should add a bit more masa harina. It's important to mix it well until it's about the consistency of Play-dough (about 4 minutes). Let the dough rest for an hour, covered.
42305


Roll the dough into evenly sized balls, each about the size of a golf ball (if you want a larger tortilla than is typically used, adjust the size to your liking), and place one ball in between 2 squares of plastic wrap (make sure to spray the inside of both pieces pf the plastic wrap with non-stick spray first). You can reuse the same plastic wrap for each tortilla. Press down with the glass pan until the tortilla is thin and is the desired size radius. The dough might stick to the plastic a bit, so carefully remove it from the wrap and place in preheated skillet on high heat. Cook for about 1 minute on each side (if it puffs up and the edges curl a little, that's fine). After you remove each cooked tortilla, place it on the foil with the others and fold it over to keep them moist and pliable (no need to separate each one). You can use them right away or you can store your tortillas in the refrigerator for a day or two before using.

42306

42307


42308


Note: The first two I cooked were duds. I didn't have the dough at the right consistency on the first one and it was too thick. I had tried using wax paper first and didn't use the non-stick spray, either, so the second thinner one ripped as I pulled it off the paper. I also had grand ideas of using my large cast iron skillet and having 3 tortillas going at a time, LOL. That didn't happen. I was able to do one at a time, so in the future I will use a smaller skillet! Additionally, I would indeed use them right away, as I made them 2 days in advance of using them and they were a bit dry. I ended up making a fresh batch, which wasn't all that hard now that I have done it before!
 
Last edited:

CraigC

Veteran
Joined
1 Dec 2017
Local time
8:57 PM
Messages
3,718
Location
SE Florida
Soft Corn Tortillas Recipe
Makes about 8 small (5-6 inch) tortillas

This was my first time ever making homemade tortillas! I have eaten made-from-scratch soft corn tortillas in Mexico many times and they are so delicious that I wanted to try it myself. You can probably find pre-made soft corn tortillas in the grocery store if you don't feel like making your own, but IMO, these taste so much better.

Regular corn flour will not work, you need to get a special masa harina: the corn flour has been treated with calcium hydroxide. This releases the niacin in the corn making them more pliable, more nutritious, and easier to digest. I Googled and researched a bit before coming up with a way to make these without a tortilla press. There are also some helpful Youtube videos you can find online showing various ways to make them.

Ingredients:
1 cup masa harina (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup hot water
1/4 tsp sea salt

Tools you need:
Mixing bowl
Measuring cup
Clear glass bowl or pan with a flat bottom for pressing
Plastic wrap
Non-stick cooking spray
Large rectangular piece of foil
Skillet or griddle (I used a cast iron skillet).
Spatula

View attachment 42304

I followed the recipe amounts on the back of the masa harina packaging, except I cut the recipe in half to make 8 small tortillas.

What the recipe on the package doesn't tell you: making masa is not an exact science and you might need more or less of the water, so it's better to add most but not all at first and if you need the rest, you can add it in. Mix the masa with a spatula before you start mixing with your hands. As you mix with your hands, if it's too dry, add a touch more water. If it's sticking to your hands, it's too wet and you should add a bit more masa harina. It's important to mix it well until it's about the consistency of Play-dough (about 4 minutes). Let the dough rest for an hour, covered.
View attachment 42305

Roll the dough into evenly sized balls, each about the size of a golf ball (if you want a larger tortilla than is typically used, adjust the size to your liking), and place one ball in between 2 squares of plastic wrap (make sure to spray the inside of both pieces pf the plastic wrap with non-stick spray first). You can reuse the same plastic wrap for each tortilla. Press down with the glass pan until the tortilla is thin and is the desired size radius. The dough might stick to the plastic a bit, so carefully remove it from the wrap and place in preheated skillet on high heat. Cook for about 1 minute on each side (if it puffs up and the edges curl a little, that's fine). After you remove each cooked tortilla, place it on the foil with the others and fold it over to keep them moist and pliable (no need to separate each one). You can use them right away or you can store your tortillas in the refrigerator for a day or two before using.

View attachment 42306
View attachment 42307

View attachment 42308

Note: The first two I cooked were duds. I didn't have the dough at the right consistency on the first one and it was too thick. I had tried using wax paper first and didn't use the non-stick spray, either, so the second thinner one ripped as I pulled it off the paper. I also had grand ideas of using my large cast iron skillet and having 3 tortillas going at a time, LOL. That didn't happen. I was able to do one at a time, so in the future I will use a smaller skillet! Additionally, I would indeed use them right away, as I made them 2 days in advance of using them and they were a bit dry. I ended up making a fresh batch, which wasn't all that hard now that I have done it before!
If you plan on making these often, invest in a tortilla press. A press also comes in handy if you get into homemade Dim Sum. I can also see using it for hand pies and empanadas.
 

Morning Glory

Obsessive cook
Staff member
Joined
19 Apr 2015
Local time
1:57 AM
Messages
35,823
Location
Maidstone, Kent, UK
Soft Corn Tortillas Recipe
Makes about 8 small (5-6 inch) tortillas

This was my first time ever making homemade tortillas! I have eaten made-from-scratch soft corn tortillas in Mexico many times and they are so delicious that I wanted to try it myself. You can probably find pre-made soft corn tortillas in the grocery store if you don't feel like making your own, but IMO, these taste so much better.

Regular corn flour will not work, you need to get a special masa harina: the corn flour has been treated with calcium hydroxide. This releases the niacin in the corn making them more pliable, more nutritious, and easier to digest. I Googled and researched a bit before coming up with a way to make these without a tortilla press. There are also some helpful Youtube videos you can find online showing various ways to make them.

Ingredients:
1 cup masa harina (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup hot water
1/4 tsp sea salt

Tools you need:
Mixing bowl
Measuring cup
Clear glass bowl or pan with a flat bottom for pressing
Plastic wrap
Non-stick cooking spray
Large rectangular piece of foil
Skillet or griddle (I used a cast iron skillet).
Spatula

View attachment 42304

I followed the recipe amounts on the back of the masa harina packaging, except I cut the recipe in half to make 8 small tortillas.

What the recipe on the package doesn't tell you: making masa is not an exact science and you might need more or less of the water, so it's better to add most but not all at first and if you need the rest, you can add it in. Mix the masa with a spatula before you start mixing with your hands. As you mix with your hands, if it's too dry, add a touch more water. If it's sticking to your hands, it's too wet and you should add a bit more masa harina. It's important to mix it well until it's about the consistency of Play-dough (about 4 minutes). Let the dough rest for an hour, covered.
View attachment 42305

Roll the dough into evenly sized balls, each about the size of a golf ball (if you want a larger tortilla than is typically used, adjust the size to your liking), and place one ball in between 2 squares of plastic wrap (make sure to spray the inside of both pieces pf the plastic wrap with non-stick spray first). You can reuse the same plastic wrap for each tortilla. Press down with the glass pan until the tortilla is thin and is the desired size radius. The dough might stick to the plastic a bit, so carefully remove it from the wrap and place in preheated skillet on high heat. Cook for about 1 minute on each side (if it puffs up and the edges curl a little, that's fine). After you remove each cooked tortilla, place it on the foil with the others and fold it over to keep them moist and pliable (no need to separate each one). You can use them right away or you can store your tortillas in the refrigerator for a day or two before using.

View attachment 42306
View attachment 42307

View attachment 42308

Note: The first two I cooked were duds. I didn't have the dough at the right consistency on the first one and it was too thick. I had tried using wax paper first and didn't use the non-stick spray, either, so the second thinner one ripped as I pulled it off the paper. I also had grand ideas of using my large cast iron skillet and having 3 tortillas going at a time, LOL. That didn't happen. I was able to do one at a time, so in the future I will use a smaller skillet! Additionally, I would indeed use them right away, as I made them 2 days in advance of using them and they were a bit dry. I ended up making a fresh batch, which wasn't all that hard now that I have done it before!
Bravo for making tortillas for the first time. I made some once a while ago. I agree with CraigC that its worth investing in a press if you are going to make them regularly.
 

JASOH1

Senior Member
Joined
12 May 2020
Local time
8:57 PM
Messages
1,038
Location
Akron, OH
I'd thought about it but wanted to try it this way first. I love gadgets and I have room for them, but we only eat wraps about 4x a year, so hubby will shake his head, lol.
 
Joined
30 Mar 2017
Local time
8:57 PM
Messages
3,488
Location
Detroit, USA
Website
absolute0cooking.com
Very impressive, form on those tortillas, JASOH1, particularly considering that you didn't use a tortilla press. There's no comparison between freshly-made tortillas and the kind you get from the supermarket in a plastic bag.

You can also use the same process to make tortilla chips, except that you can cut the tortillas into wedges, brush them with oil, and bake them in the oven to crisp them up.

If you plan on making these often, invest in a tortilla press.
I totally agree. I have one like this, and it cost me about $15:

tortilla-press_wide.jpg


Just put some plastic wrap on both sides of the press so the tortillas don't stick.
 

medtran49

Veteran
Joined
3 Dec 2017
Local time
8:57 PM
Messages
3,919
Location
SE Florida
We have a stainless one. As Craig noted, it's good for other things as well like getting dumpling dough started, empanada dough started, even pie dough if you are making small pies.

I ordered more blue cornmeal so I can make chips for a meal next week. Ordered some dried blue posole/hominy too!
 

JASOH1

Senior Member
Joined
12 May 2020
Local time
8:57 PM
Messages
1,038
Location
Akron, OH
I was told by someone that Maseca brand is superior to Bob's. The Bob's Red Mill is pricey, but when you consider how many tortillas you can get out of a bag, it's not a big deal. But you can get a huge bag of Maseca for a lot less and the person I talked to said the tortillas taste even better than they do with Bob's. Also the amount of water used may vary by brand.

From what I read, you use plastic with the press, too.
 

medtran49

Veteran
Joined
3 Dec 2017
Local time
8:57 PM
Messages
3,919
Location
SE Florida
I've seen on TV shows where indigenous women use just the press, but they've been making them all their lives. You could probably use banana leaves though.
 

medtran49

Veteran
Joined
3 Dec 2017
Local time
8:57 PM
Messages
3,919
Location
SE Florida
As I was making the blue corn tortillas for chips last night, I realized I don't use plastic wrap. I use a quart plastic bag with the zip top cut off and the sides cut.
 
Top Bottom