Corn Tortillas

 

Homemade tortillas on the left, store bought on the right

Homemade tortillas on the left, store bought on the right

Ever since I did a blog post about homemade flour tortillas, I haven’t been able to go back to store bought. Homemade tortillas are easy to make, cheap, and so much better tasting than store bought. I’ve wanted to try out corn tortillas for a while now, but was intimidated by reading about tortilla presses and the necessity of getting just the right texture of dough. They sounded more difficult to master than flour tortillas and I wasn’t sure I wanted to invest in another piece of equipment to clutter up my kitchen. I decided to try corn tortillas without a press, and they turned out to be surprisingly easy to make. The only tools required for this recipe are a glass pie plate or bowl, parchment, and a nonstick or cast-iron skillet. See how they compared to store bought tortillas below the recipe:

 

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 16 tortillas

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups masa corn flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  1. Measure the corn flour into a large mixing bowl. In a measuring cup, dissolve the salt into the water.
  2. Slowly pour the water into the corn flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture is the texture of play dough. You may not need all the water, depending on the climate you live in and how dry the flour is.
  3. Once the dough has reached the texture of play dough, divide it into 16 equal sized balls. Cover the balls of dough with a damp towel to keep in moisture.
  4. Heat a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. While skillet heats, place one of the balls of dough between two pieces of parchment paper and press with a glass pie plate or heavy glass bowl
  5. until it is about 8 inches in diameter. I suggest using a glass press because it is easier to see how the dough is spreading out and adjust the pressure accordingly. If tortillas are not pressing out evenly, the dough may be too dry, so try kneading in a few drops of water at a time to soften the dough.
  6. Once skillet is hot, add a tortilla and cook until tortilla puffs up and gets lightly browned. Flip and cook for a few seconds on the second side to brown. Repeat with remaining dough.

Notes

Tortillas will stay fresh for a few days in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Just reheat in a hot skillet to soften.

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Balls of tortilla dough

Bean and cheese quesadillas made with homemade corn tortillas
As I mentioned above, these tortillas were surprisingly easy to make without a press. They also tasted absolutely delicious! They were far more flavorful than store bought with a wonderful, rich corn flavor and had a pleasant, soft texture. I did find that it was difficult to get the homemade tortillas quite as thin as store bought, which might make them unsuitable for enchiladas or other dishes where they have to be rolled up. I think  using  a tortilla press would help with getting the tortillas nice and thin. So, maybe I will be investing in a press after all . . .

Obviously, homemade tortillas do require quite a bit of effort compared to store bought. Mixing dough and pressing each circle to just the right diameter is quite time-intensive. Store bought tortillas are certainly far more convenient. But this might extra effort might be compensated for a little by the savings. Homemade tortillas only cost pennies to make. Masa flour is extremely cheap at 15 cents a cup and only requires the addition of salt and water to create fresh, delicious homemade corn tortillas. Store bought tortillas aren’t exactly expensive, but they are 7 times more expensive than homemade at about $1.75 a dozen.

 

Bottom Line:  Homemade corn tortillas are far more flavorful and fresh than store bought. Instead of tasting leathery and dry, they are soft and supple. However, it may be hard to get homemade corn tortillas thin enough to use in enchiladas without a tortilla press and they are a bit labor intensive to make. Store bought tortillas had less flavor and inferior texture and were much more expensive than those made at home.