These Homemade Corn Tortillas are easy to make and need only 4 ingredients! Soft and flexible, these tortillas have a fresh natural corn flavoring that will pair perfectly with your favorite tacos and enchiladas.

All about these Homemade Corn Tortillas…

These freshly made corn tortillas are soft, flexible, and full of real corn flavor. Only 4 ingredients are needed to make these authentic tortillas! No bending or cracking, these tortillas are soft and pliable, making them the perfect option for your favorite tacos or enchiladas.

  • Only 4 ingredients: simple and straightforward the natural flavor of corn shines in these tortillas.
  • Soft and flexible: no dry, cracking tortillas here! Thanks to a small amount of oil we will ensure that these tortillas stay nice and flexible to handle all your favorite dishes.
  • Fresh & warm: the best way to enjoy these tortillas is fresh off the skillet, they are so good you could eat them on their own, or simply spread a small amount of butter on them. But of course, they are best when holding your favorite taco filling!

Ingredients Needed:

Ingredients needed for homemade corn tortillas

Notes on some ingredients:

  • Masa Harina: this is corn flour, or dried corn dough. It is corn that has been soaked in calcium hydroxide and then ground. What we are using in our recipe today is the dried corn flour. The most popular brands you will find is Maseca, Bob’s Red Mill, and King Arthur’s Flour. Both Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur sell an organic version of Masa Harina. You can find both yellow and white versions of this flour, for this recipe we use white. You can easily swap it out for yellow though if you prefer, it has a slightly stronger corn flavoring.
  • Water: should be a warm temperature, not hot since you will be handling the dough by hand and you don’t want to get burned, but just warm enough to make handling the masa easy.
  • Oil: not required, tortillas can easily be made without any oil, but adding the oil does help the tortillas remain soft even when cooled, so if you are making these tortillas in advance you may want to consider adding it.

How to Make (step-by-step):

How to make corn tortillas, showing dry ingredients in a bowl, then warm water being poured in.
  • Step 1: Combine the masa carina with the salt and stir this together to combine the two.
  • Step 2 & 3: Gradually pour in the warm water and stir to combine until the dough sticks together.
  • Step 4: Gently knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until it becomes smooth and can be formed into a ball. Notes included below if you are dealing with crumbly or sticky masa.
Masa coming together then being kneaded to make smooth to make homemade corn tortillas.
  • Step 5: Once the dough is formed into a smooth ball, place in a bowl and cover with a clean towel to let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Step 6: Divide the dough into equal size portions approximately 2 tablespoons each, you should have 16 portions of dough.
Smooth ball of corn tortilla masa dough, then divided into equal size portions to press into tortillas.
  • Step 7: Place the dough ball between two pieces of plastic (or a large plastic bag cut in half, and press with a tortilla press, or use a large flat surface such as a baking dish, skillet or cutting board, until the dough is approximately 5 inches in diameter and 1/8 of an inch thick.
Corn tortilla masa dough pressed into a circle for cooking.

Expert Tips:

  • Store the prepared masa for easy tortillas on demand: if you are only wanting a few tortillas a day, you can easily prepare the masa, wrap it nice and tight in some plastic wrap to keep it from drying out, and store in the refrigerator. This will store for 3-4 days. Simply pull of the pieces of masa, press and cook up for fresh tortillas.
  • Dry crumbly dough/sticky wet dough: getting the consistency just right can take a bit of adjustment. This is why the recipe calls for the last bit of water to be added incrementally, adding it in slowly allows you greater control over the texture. If your dough is crumbly and not coming together, add a bit more water. If the dough is sticking to your hands and not kneading into a smooth ball sprinkle a small amount of masa harina into the dough until it forms a smooth ball.
  • Cooking Temperature: you may find that the first tortilla cooked is a trial tortilla. This is the tortilla that will help you to figure out the right temperature you need your skillet to be heated to. You should see brown spots forming on the cooked side in 60 seconds, the tortilla will release from the skillet and easily be able to slide around with your fingertips. If there are no brown spots and it’s not releasing, increase the temperature slightly. If you are finding blackened spots before the 60 seconds is up, then you will need to decrease the temperature.

FAQ’s:

Why is my masa sticking to the plastic when I press them?

The most likely reason for any sticking is going to be from a little too much water in the dough. Next time use slightly less and you should have no issues!

Do I need a tortilla press to make homemade tortillas?

No! While a tortilla press is a handy tool when making this recipe, it’s not required. You can get similar results by using any flat surface, such as a cutting board, skillet or flat bottomed dish, to press the tortillas.

How to keep tortillas warm while cooking the whole batch?

If you have a tortilla warmer, this will handle the job, if not simply wrap them up in a clean towel while you continue to work your way through cooking them. Corn tortillas are always best served fresh.

Stack of fresh homemade corn tortillas.

More Essential Tex Mex Recipes:

Stack of homemade corn tortillas folded over.

Homemade Corn Tortillas

5 from 2 votes
Soft and flexible, these homemade corn tortillas are quick and easy to put together. Only 4 ingredients needed. These tortillas are the perfect complement to your favorite tacos and enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups masa harina, white
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½-1¾ cups water, warm
  • 1 tsp oil, optional, but helpful if making tortillas in advance, it helps keep them flexible

Instructions

  • In a medium size bowl combine the masa harina with the salt, stir with a fork to combine completely. If using oil, add the oil and mix together.
  • Gradually pour in the warm water and stir to combine until dough sticks together. Use your hands to knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until smooth and formed into a ball.
  • Cover the dough with a clean towel and let sit for 30 minutes. 
  • Divide the dough. Scoop the dough using a 2 tablespoon size portion. Roll the dough into a ball shape between your hands.
  • Place the dough ball between two pieces of plastic (use a cut in half ziploc bag) inside a tortilla press. (Notes below if you don’t have a tortilla press) Press until the tortilla is approximately 5 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. 
  • Heat a comal or non stick skillet over medium heat. When pan is preheated, place one tortilla flat on the skillet. Cook for 45-60 seconds, the tortilla will release from the pan once the side is cooked. Look to ensure there are brown spots forming on the tortilla. Flip the tortilla and cook the other side for another 45-60 seconds. The tortillas may puff up while cooking, that is perfectly fine, they flatten when removed from the heat. 
  • Place the cooked tortillas into a tortilla warmer or on a clean towel and cover with the towel to retain heat while continuing to cook the remaining tortillas. 
  • Repeat the process of pressing the tortillas and cooking until all the dough is used.

Video

Notes

  • Masa Harina: The most popular brands you will find is Maseca, Bob’s Red Mill, and King Arthur’s Flour. Both Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur sell an organic version of Masa Harina. Yellow Masa Harina can easily be used in this recipe also.
  • Water: should be a warm temperature, not hot since you will be handling the dough by hand and you don’t want to get burned, but just warm enough to make handling the masa easy.
  • Oil: not required, tortillas can easily be made without any oil, but adding the oil does help the tortillas remain soft even when cooled, so if you are making these tortillas in advance you may want to consider adding it.
**Tortilla Press: this is a handy tool, but not required. If you don’t have a tortilla press, still place the dough between the two sheets of plastic and set on the counter. Use a small cutting board or other completely flat surface to press the tortilla. Apply equal pressure over the top of the dough ball and press down until 1/8 inch thick. 

Nutrition

Calories: 54kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 111mg, Potassium: 38mg, Fiber: 1g, Vitamin A: 30IU, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg
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Photography done by the talented @KJandCompany.co