corn tortillas

corn tortillas

Admittedly, when I need corn tortillas, I typically just pick up a jumbo pack at Target. However, on occasion, I’ll pull out the ol’ tortilla press and whip up a batch from scratch. They are a nice treat for a special occasion (the upcoming holiday, perhaps?), or when you need petite tortillas for two-bite tacos (as shown in this old, unfocused photo of mini fish tacos over here). My new favorite way to fill them will be in the next post, coming soon!

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Corn Tortillas

(minimally adapted from Maseca)

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 2 minutes per tortilla

Makes: 16, 6″ Tortillas


  • 2 cups (240 grams) Instant Corn Masa Flour¹, plus a tablespoon or so if the dough is too sticky
  • 12 ounces Hot Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt


Set as many cast iron skillets, griddles, etc. as your stove can hold over medium heat. If you have only have one, don’t worry—it will just take longer.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine masa, water and salt. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Try to roll a small piece of dough into a ball, if it sticks to your hands too much, knead an extra tablespoon of masa into the dough; retest.

Divide dough into 16 pieces and roll into smooth balls, or use a 1 tablespoon portion scoop (#64) and roll two scoops together². Place rolled dough on a plate; keep covered with a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel (or paper towels).

Cut the sides and top off a quart-size storage bag. Open tortilla press and place bag so the bottom seam is in the hinge of the press. Open bag so it covers both halves of the press. Place a ball of dough slightly off-center (just a tiny bit closer to the hinge side). Cover dough with the other half of the bag, and press. Peel tortilla off the bag.

Carefully place on preheated skillet (it’s a one-shot deal, the tortilla immediately sticks to the griddle). Cook for about one minute—when done, it will release easily from the griddle, and the underside will be a little dry looking with sligtly curled edges. Flip tortilla using a spatula or your fingers (caution: only if you have tough fingertips and are super careful not to burn yourself—work quickly!), and cook for another minute (sometimes they puff up, as shown below, other times not). Remove to a clean plate and cover with a clean towel. Repeat with remaining dough, stacking tortillas once they are cooked to keep them moist and warm.

Reheating Tortillas:

Microwave: Moisten and wring dry several paper towels, wrap around a stack of tortillas. Cook on high for 30 seconds-1 minute, or until hot.

Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap a stack of tortillas in aluminum foil. Place in the oven and warm for about 10 minutes, or until hot.

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wrapped up
tortilla press - step one
tortilla press - step two
tortilla press - step three
tortilla press - step four
puffy tortilla
first side
flip side

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¹ I use Maseca brand instant corn masa flour (in the green and white bag, not the one for tamales). It is pretty widely available in non-specialty shops (Northern California: Target and Whole Foods, Rhode Island: Stop and Shop). However, I haven’t yet determined whether they have a dedicated gluten free facility for production, if that’s a concern for you. Also, Bob’s Red Mill now produces one in their gluten free facility (I’ve not tried it yet, though). You can purchase it directly from them here.

¹ For the two-bite tortillas, only use 1 tablespoon of dough per ball. I really like the mini size if I’m making appetizer tacos for a party.

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