Yes, you can make your own tortillas! Before you roll your eyes and click on, this is not a “hand-mill the flour then let rise for 72 hours before gently roasting over an open fire” kind of DIY recipe. I promise.It’s actually quite simple and pretty fast to make your own tortillas (and no, you don’t need a tortilla press)! These are tastier and softer than any corn tortilla I’ve ever had, and they only require 3 ingredients. (Have you noticed how the new “softer” corn tortillas on the market have ingredients like guar gum, cellulose gum, and preservatives? Yuk!) The homemade version is muy delicioso as tacos, quesadillas, dipped into refried beans, or slathered with butter right off the pan! It’s also a fun project to do with little helpers. Try these, you’ll thank me!
Homemade Corn Tortillas
Bowl, spoon, cast iron pan or griddle, glass pie plate, re-purposed gallon size plastic bag or two large pieces of parchment paper (or tortilla press if you happen to have one)
2 cups masa harina*
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cup warm water
Mix masa harina and salt, then add 1 1/2 cups water. Stir together, then add more water until a soft dough forms. Dough should be soft, but not sticky, and easily formed into a ball. Knead with your hands for a few minutes until dough is smooth. (Supposedly if you let the dough sit, covered, for 30 minutes, the flavor and texture will be better, but I’ve never been patient enough and I’ve always produced tasty results).
Heat pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Cut plastic bag along sides so that you can open it flat. Roll a small bit of dough (about 2-3 tablespoons) until it is a round smooth ball and ok ace between plastic layers or between parchment sheets. (Wipe the bag clean and save it for the next time you make tortillas). If you’re like me and don’t have a tortilla press, place glass pie plate on top of dough ball and press down, gently rocking it back and forth until you have a flat tortilla about 5-6 inches across.
Open plastic bag and gently peel tortilla off and place on your palm. Flip onto griddle and cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Experiment with different size tortillas and different cooking times until you get in your groove.
Keep tortillas warm in a cloth napkin or towel. I’ve also made them a few hours ahead of time, then quickly warmed them just before serving (although they are really delish right off the pan).
Make tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas…What’s your favorite thing to wrap in a tortilla???
*Masa harina is made from corn soaked in limewater and can be found (in a paper package or in bulk) at Latin American markets or many large supermarkets. I especially like the masa from Bob’s Red Mill.