cook at home/ Vegetarian

How To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

How To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

Have you ever though of making homemade corn tortillas? It’s actually easier than you’d think!

Living in Europe means that you don’t have much contact with the real Mexican food, not to mention the real corn tortillas.

Inspiration came a few months ago when we visited our Mexican friend and her Italian husband and we cooked homemade corn tortillas. It was my first experience with real Mexican food and I knew then this is something I must try at home too.

This was also the first time I saw and worked with a tortilla press and I found out that this is the traditional way of making them very flat and thin so you can then fold them in a burrito or a taco.

Clearly nothing to do with the tortillas you buy in the supermarket!

Also, if you are visiting Munich, you can also try, and I really recommend it, Tacos y Tequila. The food is delicious and they serve the tortillas in a special tortillero which keeps them steamy while you serve your fajitas. Mmm, delicious!

After the dinner with our friends I came home and the next day I ordered my first tortilla press and the special flour needed for the homemade corn tortillas.

Reading a bit about how to make the dough and listening to my friend’s instructions I realized that the process is much easier than I initially thought, and you only need a few ingredients and basic utensils.

What are the ingredients for homemade corn tortillas?

To make corn tortillas you need MASA HARINA, WATER and SALT.

How To Make Homemade Corn TortillasHow To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

So now, what is masa harina, you will ask. And I am sure this is not a common term, especially not here in Europe.

First you need to know that masa harina is NOT polenta or corn flour.

Masa harina is made from field corn (different than the one you boil or roast in the summer) dried and finely ground.

After drying, the corn kernels are treated with a solution called limewater (not to be confused with water infused with the lime fruit). Limewater is a diluted solution of calcium hydroxide, which softens the corn and helps the nutrients in the corn kernels to easily be assimilated by the digestive tract. Don’t worry, there’s nothing dangerous for our bodies in this process. You can read more about this in here.

After this process, the corn is washed, dried and ground into what we now have, masa harina.

For my corn tortillas I used the yellow masa harina, but the normal white one will yield the same results.

For my Romanian readers, you can find it online here and for the rest of you, the brand Maseca which I am using, it’s very easy to find on Amazon or at the special Mexican stores.

Remember that masa harina can’t be replaced with corn flour if you want to make the traditional tortillas.

What utensils do I need to make homemade corn tortillas?

For making the corn tortillas you will need a bowl, measuring cup, a tortilla press and a cast iron skillet , grill or griddle.

Using the tortilla press can now be optional if you don’t want to invest in one, or it’s hard to find it. This can be substituted with a heavy pan, rolling pin or even using your own hands.

How To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

I personally found the tortilla press very helpful, and easy to use and you can find one quite cheap online.

How to use the tortilla press?

You will need a freezer plastic bag to add in between the tortilla plates. I cut the sides of my plastic bag to have a large rectangular one.

You add the plastic bag so it completely covers both sides of the press.

Add your tortilla dough shaped into small rolls on the bottom part of the press. Cover it with the remaining plastic sheet, close the press and push down, keeping it like that for a few seconds.

Open the press and gently peel the tortilla from the plastic sheet and transfer it to your hand.

How To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

How to cook homemade corn tortillas?

You can use either a cast iron skillet, grill or a griddle. I chose to cook mine over the grill.

Place the shaped corn tortilla over the preheated grill (on medium heat) and let it cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side.

How To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

How to enjoy soft corn tortillas immediately after cooking?

Because the cooking time is very short, the tortillas will only be cooked on the outside. And now comes a very important step in order to finish the cooking process of the tortillas.

Prepare a plate and a clean kitchen towel. Stack the cooked tortillas on the plate and cover them with the towel. If possible, add a big bowl on top of the covered tortillas so they won’t lose the steam.

This way they will cook through and you can enjoy them with your favourite Mexican dish, but not only that.

How To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

Give this recipe a few tries, and you’ll see that the process is so simple and fast, that you’ll probably need 30 min or so to make a good stash of corn tortillas. After that, I promise you won’t ever think again about those you used to buy at the supermarket.

I’ll leave you now with the recipe.

Don’t forget to drop me a comment if you try out this recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Love,

Cori

How To Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

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By Cori Costache Serves: 18-19 corn tortillas
Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins

Have you ever though of making homemade corn tortillas? It's actually easier and more fun than you'd think!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions

1

Mix together the ingredients in a bowl. The dough is very forgiving, so if you feel it's too dry, add a bit more water, if it's too wet, add more masa harina.

2

Knead the dough until the ingredients are well incorporated, for 1-2 minutes. It should be ready when it's smooth, no longer sticky and it should feel a bit springy.

3

Let it rest for 10-15 minutes with a tea towel on to prevent it from drying.

4

Roll the dough into small balls, about 18-19 of them.

5

Prepare the tortilla press. Cut the sides of a freezer or zip top plastic bag and add it in between the tortilla plates, so it completely covers both sides of the press.

6

Add your tortilla dough shaped into small rolls on the bottom part of the press. Cover it with the remaining plastic sheet, close the press and push down, keeping it like that for a few seconds.

7

Open the press and gently peel the tortilla from the plastic sheet and transfer it to your hand. You should have a tortilla of about 14-15cm in diameter.

8

Preheat your grill or cast iron skillet on medium heat. If those are too small, work on 2 or 3 at the same time.

9

Cook each corn tortilla for about 1-2 minutes on each side, transferring them on a plate and cover with a towel so they continue to cook through.

10

Serve immediately with your favourite Mexican dish.

Notes

You can store corn tortillas in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat them in the pan before consuming, so they become pliable again.

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