How to make Homemade Tortillas from scratch with corn (masa harina), or  flour, or a blend of both. And you don’t even need a tortilla press for this recipe if you have a glass pie plate! Plus a bonus recipe for Sourdough Tortillas using your sourdough starter and masa harina- my personal favorite! Video.

Here’s a very versatile recipe for tortillas! We have a lot of taco recipes on the blog and each time I post one, people inevitably ask me what kind of tortillas I like best- corn or flour? We all have our own preferences, and some fillings just lend themselves better to a certain type of tortilla.

But more often these days I find myself making or buying tortillas that are a blend of both flour and corn. They are so adaptable- very pliable, and I personally like the texture. I heat them directly over a gas flame on the stove and allow them to balloon up in the center before filling. This way, to me, they are perfect.

How to make Tortillas | 60-sec video

 

Probably the most interesting thing for me personally was adding sourdough starter to the tortilla mix, with beautiful results. Those of you who have joined me on the sourdough journey this year will appreciate this one too. 😉 A great way to use up discard!

Here in the post, I’ll share a few key points- but please scroll down to the recipe card for detailed directions.

Tortilla Dough:

  • In its most basic form, tortilla dough is made from masa harina or flour (or a blend of both) salt, fat (oil, lard, butter, etc- optional) and water.
  • The most important part is getting the hydration right. Too wet, and the dough will stick when pressing. Frustrating!
  • Too dry and it will feel tough, the dough will crack and crumble and the tortillas will be dry. Not fun at all.
  • Perfectly hydrated dough will be soft and workable like fresh play-dough – and like play dough, it will feel fun and pleasurable to have in your hands.

What is masa harina?

  • In a nutshell, masa harina comes from dried corn kernels, treated with lime (calcium hydroxide from limestone) which softens the kernels and makes them more easily digestible.
  • So make sure you are using masa harina not cornmeal- which is totally different.

Tortilla Variations!

See the recipe card below for some basic recipes.

  • To the masa harina you can keep it simple by just adding salt and water, or play with adding flour and fat.  Or even try adding sourdough!
  • My favorites tortillas are a combo of masa harina and flour, or a combo of masa harina and sourdough.
  • The combinations are endless. In the past, I’ve added buckwheat flour, rye flour and whole wheat. Once you get the feel of the dough, you’ll have a lot of fun playing with this!
  • Traditional corn tortillas are made with masa harina and water- often no oil, and often no salt. (So to be clear I’ve ventured away from the traditional version here.)

Whatever you decide to add, knead it into a soft workable dough by adding hot tap water.

As you see above the dough is beautifully soft – but not sticky. Kind of like play-dough!

Cover the dough with a wet kitchen towel to rest for at least 20 minutes (or feel free to refrigerate for up to 4 days).

How to press a tortilla (with or without a tortilla press):

  1. with a tortilla press
  2. roll out by hand (least favorite)
  3. use a clear glass pie pan (most favorite!)

how to press a tortilla without a tortilla press

After working will all three, I personally love the simplicity of using a glass pie pan! 

One less gadget in the kitchen, plus the added benefit of being able to see through the clear glass pan to see how thin the tortilla is!

Up to you-use what you like!

tortilla liner - parchment or plastic

To prevent tortillas from sticking, use either two pieces of parchment, or a gallon freezer ziplock bag with the edges cut off. (Leave the fold intact) 

I prefer the thick clear plastic from the ziplock-that way I can see how thick the tortilla is!

Plus this can be reused over and over.

Again, use what you like.

Equal-sized Tortillas:

  • To get equal-sized tortillas, you can either weigh them individually or roll into a log and divide.
  • Now, please don’t feel like your tortillas absolutely must be equal-sized- often times I just guesstimate and skip this step, tearing a small hunk from the ball- roughly the size of a ping pong ball and roll into a ball -especially if I’m making just a few and storing the rest in the fridge for later.
  • Again, your preference.

Slice in half, then quarters, then into equal portions. Roll into balls, and cover with a kitchen towel.

At this stage, before I start pressing the tortillas, heat up a cast-iron skillet, over medium heat.  Place a towel in a bowl nearby to wrap them up. 

Working one by one, use a tortilla press, (or use a pie pan) then add to the hot skillet and press to 1/8 inch thick.

Pie plate method: 

Place dough in between the plastic.

Press the pie pan down, moving weight from side to side to get an even round.

Get it as thin as you can- 1/8 of an inch.

The great part is you can see how thick the tortilla is through the glass and plastic. 

Peel the plastic off.  Now at this point, if the plastic sticks to the plastic- the dough is either too wet, or the tortilla is too thin. I really like to do a tester first!

You could knead in another tablespoon of masa or flour to the dough to help it dry up a little.

 Tortilla Press Method:

Place dough ball between two pieces of plastic or parchment, place in center of the press then, then press to 1/8 inch thick. This may take a few times before you know how hard to press.

If plastic lifts easily and doesn’t stick, this is a great sign! 

The edges are not cracking, the dough is not sticking- signs of proper hydration.

Cooking the tortillas:

  • It is traditional in Mexico to use a comal. The closest thing to this is simply using a dry cast-iron skillet.
  • Heat the skillet over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. It should sizzle when you add a drop of water.
  • Lower heat to medium, then add tortillas one at a time.

  • Flip after 45 seconds.
  • Cook 30-45 more seconds.
  • Flip again, back to the first side.
  • This third flip will often get the tortilla to puff up beautifully, letting you know the insides are cooked through. Magic!

how to cook a tortilla in a skillet

Once you get the hang of things, you can cook two tortillas at once. 😉 You can have multiple skillets going at the same time if making bigger batches.

how to make corn and flour tortillas!

WRAP THE TORTILLAS: (Important!)

  • MAKE SURE to keep the cooked tortillas, wrapped in a towel- because not only will this keep them warm, but it will also make them soft and pliable. So wrap them up as you go!

The tortillas will continue to steam inside the towel, making them flexible- so they fold instead of break!

How to make homemade tortillas using corn, flour or a blend!

Here are the Blue Corn and Sourdough Tortillas (scroll down for the recipe).

These turned out to be my favorite!

How to make homemade tortillas using corn, flour or a blend! #tortillas

Soft and flexible, with good corn texture and an added complexity from the sourdough.

Allow 4-6 hours of proofing time.

Blue corn tortillas made form scratch -How to make homemade tortillas using corn, flour or a blend! #tortillas

 

Here are the Corn and Whole Wheat blend– also very good!

Have fun with these homemade tortillas and be sure to share your favorites or adaptions in the comments below!!!

xoxo

Sylvia

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How to make Homemade Tortillas from scratch using masa harina, flour, or a blend of both. You don't need a tortilla press for this recipe!

How to make Tortillas!

  • Author: Feasting at Home| Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 40
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: tortillas, dyi, how to
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

How to make Homemade Tortillas from scratch using masa harina, flour, or a blend of both. And you don’t need a tortilla press for this recipe if you have a pie plate! Plus a bonus recipe for Sourdough-Corn Tortillas! My favorites are the Masa-Flour blend and Masa-Sourdough. 


Ingredients

Scale

Masa & Flour Blend:

  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or lard or butter or ghee)
  • 3/4 cup hot tap water, more as needed

 

Flour Tortillas: 

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or try a blend of flours) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup hot tap water

Masa & Sourdough: (allow 4-6 hours proofing time) 

 

Corn Tortillas: (from NY TIMES

  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina, 
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, lard, butter, ghee (all optional)
  • 1 cup hot tap water

Instructions

Corn and Flour Blend: 

  • Mix masa harina, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix warm water and oil in a smaller bowl and pour this into to the masa harina and knead a for a minute or two, right in the bowl incorporating all the flour from the edges of the bowl. Dough should be soft, but not sticky and should feel like fresh play-dough.   If it feels dry, crumbly or very firm, add a little more water, so it’s soft and pliable. If wet or sticky, add a little more flour. Form a ball and cover with a wet kitchen town (or plastic wrap) and let sit 30 minutes.   Do a tester, see notes Roll the dough into a 12 to 16-inch log. Slice it in half,  then half again, and into thirds or forths so you have 12-16 pieces roughly the same size.  Roll into balls. Cover with a kitchen towel.
  • Heat a dry, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Lower heat to medium.
  • Working one tortilla at a time, center each ball of dough between 2 pieces of thick plastic (see notes),  or parchment. Press in a tortilla press, or use a glass pie plate (glass allows you to see what you are doing without having to lift the plate) to flatten the disc to about an 1/8 inch thick.
  • Place the tortilla in your palm, remove one side of the plastic, flip into your other palm, remove other side of the plastic, and place this in the hot dry skillet. Cook each side 30-45 seconds, then flip back to the first side until it puffs or you see bubbling- indicating it is cooked through. Wrap in a towel. (Wrapping in the towel will soften them up and make them more flexible.)

Flour Tortillas: 

  • Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add the oil and mix into fine crumbs using your fingers. Add hot water and stir and kneed a for minute or two, right in the bowl until very smooth and form a ball. Cover with a wet kitchen town (or plastic wrap) and let sit 30 minutes (or up to 3 hours).  Do a tester, see notes. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch log. Slice it in half,  then half again, and into halves or thirds so you have 8 or 12 pieces roughly the same size.  Roll into balls. Cover with a kitchen towel.
  • Heat a dry, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Lower heat to medium.
  • Working one tortilla at a time (see notes),  center each ball of dough between 2 pieces of thick plastic (see notes),  or parchment. Press in a tortilla press, or roll out on a floured surface,  or use a glass pie plate (glass allows you to see what you are doing without having to lift the plate) to flatten the disc to  1/8 inch thick.
  • Place the tortilla in your palm, remove one side of the plastic, flip into your other palm, remove other side of the plastic, and place this in the skillet. Cook each side 30-45 seconds, then flip back to the first side until it puffs or you see bubbling- indicating it is cooked through. Wrap in a towel. (Wrapping in the towel will soften them up and make them more flexible.)

Corn and Sourdough: ( allow 4-6 hours proofing time)

  • Mix masa harina and salt in a medium bowl. Mix sourdough starter, warm water and oil in a smaller bowl. Pour this into to the masa harina and kneed a for minute or two, right in the bowl until very smooth and pliable and form a ball. If crumbly or dry add a little more water, until soft and pliable. If wet and sticky, add a little more masa. Cover with a wet kitchen town (or plastic wrap) and let proof on the kitchen counter 4-6 hours. (70-80 F) 
  • As the dough sits, it will get softer and moister. After it proofs, massage the dough, is there wetness to the touch? Add more masa or flour, if the dough feels wet.   PLEASE Do a tester before dividing, see notes, adding a little more flour. You want it soft, pliable but not sticky or wet feeling.
  • Roll the dough into a 12-inch log. Slice it in half,  then half again, and into thirds so you have 12 pieces roughly the same size.  Roll into balls. Cover with a kitchen towel.
  • Heat a dry, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Lower heat to medium.
  • Working one tortilla at a time, center each ball of dough between 2 pieces of thick plastic (see notes),  or parchment. press in a tortilla press, or use a glass pie plate (glass allows you to see what you are doing without having to lift the plate) to flatten the disc to a diameter of 4 to 6 inches or 1/8 inch thick.
  • Place the tortilla in your palm, remove one side of the plastic, flip into your other palm, remove other side of plastic, and place this in the skillet. Cook each side 30-45 seconds, then flip back to the first side until it puffs or you see bubbling- indicating it is cooked through. Wrap in a towel. (Wrapping in the towel will soften them up and make them more flexible.)

Corn Tortillas:

  • Mix masa harina and salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and hot water and stir with a fork .  Kneed a for minute or two, right in the bowl until very smooth and form a ball. Cover with a wet kitchen town (or plastic wrap) and let sit 2o minutes (or up to 3 hours).  Do a tester, see notes. Roll the dough into a 12-inch log. Slice it in half,  then half again, and half again so you have 16 pieces roughly the same size.  Roll into balls. Cover with a kitchen towel.
  • Heat a dry, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Lower heat to medium.
  • Working one tortilla at a time (see notes) , center each ball of dough between 2 pieces of thick plastic (see notes),  or parchment. press in a tortilla press, or use a glass pie plate (glass allows you to see what you are doing without having to lift the plate) to flatten the disc to a diameter of 4 to 6 inches or 1/8 inch thick.
  • Place the tortilla in your palm, remove one side of the plastic, flip into your other palm, remove other side of the plastic, and place this in the skillet. Cook each side 30-45 seconds, then flip back to the first side until it puffs or you see bubbling- indicating it is cooked through. Wrap in a towel. (Wrapping in the towel will soften them up and make them more flexible.)

Notes

TESTER: Before rolling the dough into the log to divide, do a little tester- especially if this is your first time making tortillas. Take a small, ping- pong sized sample, form a ball, and try pressing between the plastic (or parchement) using the tortilla press or pie pan. When you remove the plastic, does it stick? If it sticks to the plastic, the dough may be too wet (or too thin). You could knead in a little more masa harina (like a tablespoon) or flour to help dry up the dough, before continuing.  If the dough edges crack a lot, then the dough is too dry, again, kneed in a tablespoon of water before continuing. Let the dough rest 10-15 more minutes. Then form the log and divide.

PLASTIC: For the lining, I’ve had the best luck with using a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, with the zipper side and two edges cut off. It is a thicker plastic, easier for handling, and you can always reuse this. Of course, you can use parchment, but I prefer the clear plastic- allowing one to better see the thickness of the dough.

No Tortilla Press: use a clear pie plate to press down.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Corn and Flour Tortilla ( 5 inches in diameter)
  • Calories: 102
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 98.2 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.9 g
  • Protein: 1.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: homemade tortillas, flour tortillas, corn and flour tortillas, blue corn tortillas, sourdough tortillas, corn tortillas, tortilla recipe

 

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. These are wonderful and SO easy! Is there a good way to make the dough and store for a few hours later?

  2. Pro tip: roll dough into a fat log, then slice into 12 thinnish disks (about 5mm or ¼ inch thick) ready for pressing. (Keep them covered until you use them to avoid drying out). No need to ball up. If the edges of the tortillas crack, the dough is too dry–add a bit more water. I use multiple sheets of plastic (thin produce bags or whatever) to press tortillas assembly-line like: press several and stack them waiting for the griddle–they won’t dry out or srick this way. When I’ve got a few done, I start cooking the tortillas one at a time while pressing the rest–it is efficient and quick enough for a worknight.

    PS In my hands, I don’t see much difference if I let the masa dough rest or not.

    cheers!

  3. Ok, I’m officially inspired. If I can only remember where I put that old tortilla press. I used to make these years ago, and loved them—but never with your variations. Sourdough? Wow. Cool. Can’t wait to give that a whirl. Fun. I loved experimenting with these, so easy. One combo stood out. Before mixing a batch, I would add half a jalapeno or serrano and a slice or two of roma tomato into the water and toss it into the blendtec at high speed till it foamed, then followed the regular procedure. Really good. I gave some to my gluten-free next-door neighbor to try and she absolutely loved them. So every time I made them, I would make an extra batch for her. And since she was a professional theatrical lighting designer, complimentary theater tickets for new shows would magically appear in my mail box on a regular basis. The joy of cooking indeed. 🙂

    1. Love this Frank. Win-win! Glad you are inspired- yes the sourdough is my favorite! Love the addition of chilies- a fun twist, I’ll have to try that.

    2. Frank, two thumbs up !! I just made my first batch of homemade tortillas. Masa w/ unbleached AP Flour, finished with a little rye and whole wheat.Thank You Sylvia, came out beautifully and tasted great. I really like your input Frank and will check it out on my next batch.A really ingenious idea and will make the tortilla not only more flavorful but better for our health .Thanks

  4. Thanks, for sharing. and the tip about the pie plate is gold!! being handicapped the process of rolling out dough for anything is not for me!! it prevents me from making alot of foods using dough off limits for me. the pie plate tip I think would be alot easier for someone like me. can also use it to make my homemade hotpockets. which my son loves. and I will love not having to roll out dough and cut it to size before filling and sealing. Thanks so much. it’s funny how something so simple you don’t think about, could be so helpful til someone else points it out. Bless you.

  5. I did not find the blue corn tortilla recipe in this article. Could you please forward it to me at papaschmitt13@gmail.com ? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Tim….

  6. I made the corn sourdough version of this tortilla–I jump at any recipe that helps put my sourdough discard to good use!– only snafu was my tortilla did not balloon when I flipped it over to cook the other side, indicating it’s cooked thru. Did I do it wrong? We still ate my newbie effort, just wasn’t as pretty as yours!

    1. It may have been the thickness- you could try going a little thicker or thinner?

  7. I made the blue corn tortillas and they turned out very nice and soft. A good new recipe to use up the sourdough discard. Thank you.

  8. Blue masa—how lovely!!! Sad we don’t get it here.

    It is in all the recipes, but I have never understood the rolling into balls. I make a thick cylinder (about 7-10 cm in diameter—-2” or so) and slice off ~ 1cm thick disks of about 55g that I directly press into tortillas between sheets of plastic (I use a press but will try the pie plate suggestion!!!). If the hydration is right and everything is well blended, this works beautifully. I do this while I am cooking tortillas in a pan so it is very time efficient. Less fuss, more speed= weeknight dinner! Thx for the pie plate tip—fits so well with a “need less, be more” ethos. Stay safe!

  9. hey! these look fantastic. I also live in Santa Barbara and was wondering if you got the blue masa locally? it’s beautiful and I’d love to go get some for these.