How to Make Corn Tortillas by Hand

You know it’s true: tortillas made from scratch are the best!

So let’s learn how to make them…

Corn TortillasCorn Tortillas

2 cups masa harina
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
Yield: Makes 16-18 tortillas.

You’ll need a special corn flour called masa harina for making the tortillas. Look for masa harina that is only corn and lime (calcium hydroxide.)


Corn TortillasYou can make the tortillas completely by hand, by forming a thin pancake with the dough between your hands. But unless you are somewhat experienced in this method, you’ll get better results by using a tortilla press.

You can also roll out the masa with a rolling pin, between pieces of wax paper.


Step 1: Making the Masa Dough

First of all, CHECK the package. It may have specific instructions on it.

OK, now we can start by putting 2 cups of masa flour in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of very warm water to the masa flour.

Mix in and let sit for 5 minutes or so.

Begin working the masa with your hands to make the dough. Work the dough for several minutes.

Press the dough with your fingers and the palms of your hands as if you were kneading bread dough.

If the dough seems too dry or too wet, add a little more water or masa to the dough.

Take a piece of the masa dough and shape it into a ball the size of a plum, or slightly large golf ball. Make about 16-18 balls from the dough.

Step 2: Pressing the Tortillas

Take two pieces of wax paper or plastic from a plastic bag and cut them to the shape of the surface of the tortilla press.

Open the tortilla press and lay one piece of wax paper on the press. Place the masa ball in the center. Place another piece of wax paper over the masa ball.

Gently close the press and press down, until the dough has spread to a diameter of 6 inches.

There you have it! Looks like a tortilla, doesn’t it? Now we need to cook it.

Step 3: Cooking the Tortillas

Heat a griddle or a large skillet on high heat.

Working one at a time, hold a tortilla in your hand, carefully removing the wax paper on each side.

Allow the tortilla to rest half on your hand, and half hanging down, and gently lay the tortilla down on to the skillet.

At the same time, start working on pressing the next tortilla.

Cook each tortilla on the hot pan for 30 seconds to a minute on each side. The tortilla should be lightly toasted.

Remove the tortillas to a large plate and wrap them in a dish towel to keep them warm.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for reheating later.

Congratulations! You’ve just made your own corn tortillas!

Thanks to for this simple way to make corn tortillas at home!