This homemade corn tortillas recipe is easy to make with 3 ingredients and yields the most delicious, soft, foldable, and naturally gluten-free tortillas.
Mix the dough: In a large mixing bowl, briefly whisk together masa harina and salt. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups hot water, and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until an evenly-mixed dough begins to form. Use your hands to knead the dough for 2-3 minutes in the mixing bowl until it is smooth and forms a cohesive ball. The dough’s texture should feel springy and firm, similar to Play-Doh. If the dough feels too wet and is sticking to your hands, add in a few extra tablespoons of flour. If it feels too dry and crackly, add in an extra tablespoon or two of hot water.
- Rest the dough. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel (or paper towel) and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Portion the dough. Use a spoon or a medium ice cream scoop to portion the dough into a 2-tablespoon ball (35-40 grams, or about the size of a golf ball), then use your hands to roll the ball until it is nice and round.
Press the dough balls. Place the dough ball between two pieces of plastic in a tortilla press. (I use a ziplock bag; see notes below.) Then gently press the dough ball until it forms a 4- to 5-inch tortilla.
Cook the tortilla. Heat a non-stick skillet or comal over medium-high heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, gently peel the tortilla away from the plastic wrap and lay the tortilla flat in the skillet. Cook the tortilla for about 40-60 seconds per side, flipping it once speckled brown spots begin to appear on the bottom of the tortilla. The tortillas will likely bubble up while cooking, especially on the second side, which is a good sign! Once it is cooked, transfer the tortilla to a tortilla warmer or a bowl wrapped in a clean kitchen towel, so that the tortillas do not dry out.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas. I recommend keeping the cycle going by cooking one tortilla while pressing the next dough ball at the same time. If you notice that the skillet begins to seem too hot, just turn down the heat a bit.
Serve. The tortillas will continue to soften a bit more as they sit in a stack in your tortilla warmer (or wrapped in a towel). So I recommend using the tortillas at the bottom of the stack first — they will be the softest. Serve however you would like and enjoy! See storage instructions below.
Ingredient amounts: The amount of hot water needed will vary depending on the brand/type of masa harina that you use. I also recommend weighing the masa harina if you own a kitchen scale, versus using measuring cups, to be sure that you measure the accurate amount.
Plastic wrap instructions: I just use scissors to trim the top (zipper side) and sides away from a large ziplock freezer bag, so that it fit the size of my tortilla press. Alternately you can use beeswrap instead of a ziplock bag.
Peeling away the tortillas: The tortillas should be dry enough that they do not stick to the plastic when you gently peel it away. If they do stick, I recommend kneading a bit more flour into your dough before rolling out more dough balls.
Storage instructions: When serving these corn tortillas during your meal, I recommend always, always keeping them wrapped in a kitchen towel or in a tortilla warmer until ready to eat and enjoy, so that they do not dry out. Corn tortillas are definitely best served within a few hours of being made. But any leftover tortillas can be wrapped in plastic wrap, beeswrap, or a ziplock bag and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
Stand mixer option: If you own a stand mixer, you can use a dough hook to knead the dough on medium-low speed for 3 minutes.