Learn How to Make Delicious Corn Tortillas from Scratch

Corn tortillas are a staple food in many parts of the world, especially in Latin American cuisine. They are delicious, versatile, and easy to make at home with just a few basic ingredients. However, for many people, making corn tortillas from scratch can seem like a daunting task. How much water do you add? How long should you knead the dough? What’s the best way to press the tortillas? These are just a few of the questions you may have if you’re new to making corn tortillas. In this post, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, so you can make delicious homemade corn tortillas with confidence and ease.


Corn tortillas are a staple food in many Latin American and Mexican households, and for good reason. They’re versatile, delicious, and easy to make. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, making corn tortillas from scratch is a fun and rewarding experience.

In this article, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of making corn tortillas at home. From selecting the right ingredients to cooking them to perfection, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also provide you with some tips and tricks to help you achieve that perfect flavor and texture.

But why should you bother making your own corn tortillas when you can easily buy them at the store? Well, for one thing, homemade tortillas taste so much better than anything you can buy pre-packaged. Plus, you have complete control over what goes into them – no hidden preservatives or chemicals.

So, whether you’re looking to impress your friends at your next taco night or simply want to try your hand at making something new, read on to learn how to make delicious corn tortillas from scratch.

Ingredients Needed

When it comes to making corn tortillas, the ingredients you use can make or break the final product. There are only three essential ingredients needed to make corn tortillas: corn flour, water, and salt. Let’s take a closer look at each of these ingredients and how they contribute to the overall taste, texture, and appearance of your tortillas.

Corn Flour

Corn flour is the most important ingredient in making corn tortillas. It is made from dried corn kernels that have been treated with an alkali solution, such as lime (cal). This process, known as nixtamalization, helps break down the tough outer skin of the corn, making it easier to grind into a fine powder.

For the best results, look for high-quality corn flour that is specifically labeled for making tortillas. Avoid using regular cornmeal or masa harina intended for tamales, as the texture and flavor may be different. Some popular brands of corn flour used for making tortillas include Maseca, Bob’s Red Mill, and Gold Mine.


Water is used to hydrate the corn flour and turn it into a pliable dough. The amount of water needed can vary depending on several factors, such as the humidity level in your kitchen and the quality of your corn flour. As a general rule, use about 1 cup of water for every 2 cups of corn flour.

When preparing your dough, it’s important not to add too much water, as this can result in a sticky, unworkable mess. Start by adding just enough water to form a smooth, cohesive dough, and then gradually add more if needed.


Salt is added to the dough to enhance the flavor of the tortillas. Use a small amount of salt, around 1/2 teaspoon per 2 cups of corn flour, to avoid overpowering the natural sweetness of the corn. You can use any type of salt you prefer, such as kosher or sea salt.

In conclusion, the quality of your corn flour, the amount of water you use, and the right balance of salt are all crucial factors in making delicious corn tortillas. By using the right ingredients in the correct proportions, you can create homemade tortillas that taste just as good as those you’d find in a Mexican restaurant.

Preparing the Dough

Preparing the Dough

Corn tortillas are made from a simple mixture of corn flour, water, and salt. However, preparing the dough requires some technique to ensure it is just right for forming into tortillas. Here are the three key steps involved in preparing the dough:


Kneading the dough is crucial to developing the gluten in the corn flour. Gluten helps to give tortillas their elasticity, making them easier to shape without cracking or breaking. To knead the dough, start by mixing the corn flour, water, and salt together until a dough forms. Then, turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface and fold it over several times. Use the heel of your hand to press the dough down and away from you, then fold it over again and repeat. Knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.


After kneading, it’s important to let the dough rest for at least 15 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax and the dough to fully hydrate. If you skip this step, the dough will be difficult to work with and may crack or break when shaping. Cover the dough with a damp towel or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out during the resting period.


Hydration is the process of adding water to the corn flour to make the dough. Getting the right amount of water is crucial to achieving the perfect texture for the tortillas. Too little water will result in a dry, crumbly dough, while too much water will make the dough sticky and difficult to work with. The general rule of thumb is to use one part water to two parts corn flour, but the exact amount can vary depending on factors such as the humidity in your kitchen.

By following these tips for preparing the dough, you’ll be well on your way to making delicious homemade corn tortillas. Remember to knead the dough thoroughly, let it rest, and use the right amount of water to achieve the perfect texture.

Forming Tortillas

Forming Tortillas

After preparing the dough, it’s time to form it into tortillas. There are several methods for forming tortillas, but the most popular ones are pressing, rolling, and cutting.


Pressing is the traditional way of forming tortillas in Mexico. It involves using a tortilla press, which is a heavy, flat object made of wood or metal. To use a tortilla press, place a ball of dough between two sheets of plastic or wax paper. Then, apply pressure to the top of the press, which will flatten the dough into a thin, round shape.

The advantage of using a tortilla press is that it can produce uniform tortillas quickly and easily. However, the downside is that the tortillas may be thicker than desired, depending on the amount of pressure applied.


Rolling is another method for forming tortillas. To roll tortillas, you’ll need a rolling pin and a flat surface, such as a countertop or cutting board. Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Use a circular cutter or a knife to cut out the tortilla rounds.

Rolling allows for better control over the thickness of the tortillas, and the tortillas can be made thinner than with a tortilla press. However, rolling takes longer than pressing, especially if you’re making a large batch of tortillas.


Cutting is a less common method for forming tortillas, but it can be useful if you don’t have a tortilla press or rolling pin. To cut tortillas, simply use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out the tortilla rounds. You can also use a knife to cut them by hand.

The advantage of cutting is that it requires minimal equipment and is easy to do. However, the tortillas may not be perfectly round, and they may be thicker than desired.

In conclusion, each method of forming tortillas has its pros and cons. If you’re looking for speed and consistency, a tortilla press is your best bet. If you want to control the thickness of your tortillas, rolling is the way to go. And if you don’t have any specialized equipment, cutting is a quick and easy option. Experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for you.

Cooking the Tortillas

When it comes to cooking corn tortillas, getting the heat level right is crucial. You want them to be slightly charred and crispy on the outside but still soft and pliable on the inside. The ideal temperature for cooking tortillas is medium-high heat, around 350°F.

Before you start cooking, make sure your pan or griddle is preheated. Let it warm up for a few minutes on the stove before adding any tortillas. Once the surface is hot, you can start cooking your tortillas.

When it’s time to cook the tortillas, place them on the hot surface and let them cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. Keep an eye on the heat level and adjust it as needed to prevent burning. If your tortillas are browning too quickly, lower the heat. If they are taking too long to cook, raise the heat.

Flipping the tortillas is also an important step in the cooking process. Use a spatula or tongs to flip them over once you see bubbles forming on the surface. Be gentle when flipping to avoid tearing the tortillas.

The cooking time for each tortilla will depend on the thickness and size of the tortilla, as well as the heat level. However, as a general rule, most tortillas should cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.

Once the tortillas are cooked, stack them on a plate and cover them with a clean cloth. This will help keep them warm and soft until you’re ready to eat.

In conclusion, cooking corn tortillas requires attention to detail, especially when it comes to heat level and flipping. With the right technique, you can achieve perfectly cooked, deliciously crispy tortillas every time.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some useful tips and tricks to help you make the perfect corn tortillas every time:

Best Corn Flour

The quality of your corn flour is crucial when it comes to making tasty tortillas. So, it’s important to choose a good brand that is made from 100% nixtamalized corn. Some popular brands include Maseca, Bob’s Red Mill, and Gold Mine Natural Foods. You can also experiment with different types of corn flour, such as white or blue corn flour, to create unique flavor variations.


If you have leftover tortillas, it’s important to store them properly to keep them fresh and prevent them from drying out. The best way to store tortillas is in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. They will usually stay fresh for up to five days. If you need to store them for longer, you can also freeze them for up to six months. Just be sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing in the freezer.


To reheat cold tortillas, wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for 15-20 seconds. Alternatively, you can heat them up on a dry skillet over medium-high heat until they are warm and slightly toasted. To avoid dried-out or tough tortillas, don’t overheat them for too long.

By following these simple tips and tricks, you can elevate your corn tortilla-making skills to the next level. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, these insights will help you achieve delicious and authentic results every time.
Making corn tortillas from scratch is not only a great way to impress your friends and family, but it also offers a sense of pride and satisfaction. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to create delicious and authentic corn tortillas that are versatile enough to serve with any meal. Whether you’re hosting a fiesta, or simply cooking for yourself, making tortillas from scratch is a rewarding experience that will surely have you coming back for more. So grab some corn flour, water, and salt, and start kneading! With a little practice and patience, you’ll soon be enjoying homemade corn tortillas that are sure to impress.

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