Easy Corn Tortillas

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 25m

Makes twelve 6-inch tortillas or eighteen 4-inch tortillas

The basic bread of Mexico, freshly made corn tortillas have a rich, earthy aroma and a wonderful flavor to which store-bought varieties simply can't compare. Masa harina, a Mexican-style cornmeal, provides authentic flavor and texture. A comal, an old-fashioned Mexican stove-top griddle, is the ideal cooking surface. A large cast iron griddle that fits across two burners works even better since you're able to cook more tortillas at one time.

Shaping tortillas by hand is a technique that takes some practice. A handy tool even the artisans use is a tortilla press. By using a press, you'll skip the work of shaping tortillas, and get right to eating them instead!


  • 2 cups masa harina
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm water, or as needed


MAKING MASA DOUGH: In a large bowl, combine the masa harina and salt. Gradually stir in the 1 cup lukewarm water until smooth. The dough should be slightly sticky and form a ball when pressed together. To test, flatten a small ball of dough between your palms or 2 sheets of plastic wrap. If the edges crack, add more lukewarm water, a little at a time, until the edges are smooth.

Divide the dough into 12 or 18 pieces, depending upon the size tortillas you need. Roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls on a plate and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Heat a dry griddle, cast-iron frying pan or comal (see note above) over medium heat.

FORMING TORTILLAS: Slit open a resealable plastic bag and use the plastic to line the lower surface of an opened tortilla press, allowing it to extend slightly beyond the edges. Place a ball of dough in the center of the press, top with a second piece of plastic and close the press to flatten the dough. Open the press and carefully peel off the plastic.

COOKING TORTILLAS: Lay the tortillas on the preheated griddle and cook, pressing the top gently with your fingertips to make it puff and turning once, until it appears cooked but not browned, 30-45 seconds on each side.

As the tortillas are cooked, transfer them to a kitchen towel and let cool briefly, then stack and wrap in the towel to keep moist and warm.

DO-AHEAD TIP: Cool the tortillas, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To reheat for serving, sprinkle each tortilla with a few drops of water and heat on a preheated nonstick pan for 10-15 seconds on each side. Stack on a kitchen towel and wrap to keep warm until serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2055

nutrition information per serving

49 calories; 1g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 8mg sodium; 11g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 1g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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