A tutorial on tortillas

by Heather on May 4, 2011

I used to be daunted by the prospect of making my own tortillas – I figured it would be complicated, possibly messy and most likely not very tasty.

Well, folks, I’m here to tell you that you need not fear; homemade corn tortillas are simple and delicious with the added bonus of being incredibly cheap, and I’m going to take you through the process step by step.

**Full Disclaimer: The first time you make these may be a bit slow-going but it won’t take long to develop a rhythm- before you know it, you’ll be an old pro.

Homemade Corn Tortillas


Amounts will vary based on how many tortillas you want to make; I usually make 16 & follow the amounts listed on the back of the masa bag which are:

  • 2 cups masa
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine all ingredients to form large balls. Divide into 16 balls.
  2. Lay a damp towel over dough balls so they don’t dry out.
  3. Heat a pan/skillet to medium-high heat.
  4. Now, you can either use a handy dandy tortilla press or a simple rolling pin. We’ll start with the press.  Open the press, rub several drops of water over both top and bottom surface and then place cling wrap on each side. Smooth the cling wrap, ensuring that it’s well-adhered.
  5. Place a ball in the tortilla press, slightly back of center. Press down to completely flatten the ball, then slowly open up. Use a spatula to gently remove the tortilla and transfer to pan.
  6. Cook the tortilla for ~50 seconds on each side and remove. Repeat with remaining tortillas. I usually have 2 tortillas cooking at once to save time.
  7. If you don’t have a press – no worries. Spread a few drops of water on the counter and then lay down some cling wrap, smoothing out the wrinkles and making sure it’s well-adhered. Place your dough ball in the center and cover with another piece of cling wrap. Use a rolling pin to flatten the ball into a tortilla. Remove the cling wrap and use a spatula to transfer the tortilla to a pan.Note: As you progress through rolling out the dough balls, some may dry out. Simply work a few drops of water into the dough ball.
  8. Store your tortillas wrapped up in a cloth napkin either in a covered container or ziplock bag.

Results & Conclusions

Mmm…light and airy tortillas, perfect for making BBC tacos or holding sauteed bananas drizzled with a little chocolate or peanut butter.

The possibilities are endless but watch out- these bad boys won’t last long :)

  • { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    tslmom May 5, 2011 at 7:38 am

    mmmm……sounds good…..especially like the idea of the banans drizzled with a little chocolate. Will definitely have to try these tortillas with that.


    Rhea May 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    There’s flour in the materials picture dealie but it isn’t mentioned in the recipe/methods area. Where does the flour go?! (And how much do you use, I suppose) :P


    Heather May 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Whoops- thanks for pointing that out! By flour, I meant masa flour which (doh!) I already had included.
    The ingredients picture is now updated :)


    Stephanie May 15, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I was curious if you could freeze these? I would love to make a bunch of smaller sand dollar sized ones and use in my son’s lunch. These would be perfect for homemade lunchable style pizzas.


    Heather May 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    What a great idea!
    They never last long enough in our house to freeze :)
    However, I’m sure you could. I’d just make sure they completely cooled off and then put a piece of parchment or wax paper between each tortilla before placing in a ziplock bag. To reheat, I’d definitely use the griddle or oven over the microwave (just so they don’t get limp.)
    Let me know how it works out!


    Tortilla Fan May 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Yes, tortillas are always best when freshly baked — not to mention the great sense of achievement when all the hard work is done! Thank you for the step-by-step instructions. Lovely photography too :)


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