Breads & Doughs

Homemade Corn Tortillas Recipe

4.75 from 4 votes
Craft authentic Homemade Corn Tortillas from this foolproof recipe with the signature soft texture and a rich flavor.
A stack of Homemade Corn Tortillas are golden and bubbly on top.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Fresh Homemade Corn Tortillas are a quick and easy way to dramatically elevate dinner! They’re satisfyingly thicker than store-bought corn tortillas, giving your tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and enchiladas deliciously deep corn flavor and hearty texture that stands up to spicy, savory meat and juicy salsa. The lovely charred spots add a touch of irresistible smokiness.

  • Homemade Corn Tortillas are preservative-free, unlike many commercial brands.
  • You don’t need any special equipment to make these homemade tortillas—only a rolling pin and a skillet!

I don’t think I had a corn tortilla until I was 25 and had moved to the United States. They just weren’t available in Ireland years ago. But these days,  I just love tacos, and I’m all about this recipe right now! When you learn how easy it is to make your own tortillas and how our version is far superior to packaged, you’ll be excited to check out our other better-from-scratch recipes like Homemade Phyllo Dough Recipe, How to Make 9 Homemade Pasta Shapes, Homemade Dumpling Wrappers, 5-Minute Pizza Sauce, and 15-Minute Pizza Dough Recipe.

Table of Contents

A stack of Homemade Corn Tortillas are golden and bubbly on top.

What are Homemade Corn Tortillas?

  • Homemade Corn Tortillas are a flatbread traditionally made with masa harina, salt, and water. In this recipe, we added wheat flour and olive oil to make the dough easier to work with.
  • The dough is rolled out into tortillas that are cooked in a hot skillet.
  • The indigenous people of Mexico and Central America first grew corn (maize) approximately 9,000 years ago. It’s believed that the Aztecs and Mayans developed a technique to cook corn in an alkaline solution. This alkalized corn is ground to make masa harina.

Tools You Need

Key Ingredients and Why

  • Masa harina

    • Masa harina (“dough flour”), a staple in Latin American cooking, is the primary ingredient used to make corn tortillas.
    • It’s made from ground hominy—field corn kernels cooked in slaked lime, ground up, dried, and ground again. This process, called nixtamalization, gives corn an enhanced, slightly nutty flavor, improves its nutritional content, and loosens the hulls so they can be removed before grinding.
    • Masa harina has a fine, flour-like texture.
    • Note that because masa harina is made from nixtamalized corn, it is a different product than cornmeal, which is simply dried, ground corn.
  • All-purpose flour

    • All-purpose flour adds gluten, making the dough more pliable, easier to work with, and less crumbly.
    • The flour gives the tortillas slight chewiness.
    • In addition, wheat flour is less expensive than masa harina, making this a more economical recipe than one with only masa harina.
  • Salt (optional)

    • Salt enhances the flavor of the homemade tortillas and aids in strengthening the dough’s gluten network, increasing its elasticity.
    • It’s optional so you can omit it per your preference.
  • Olive oil

    • While not a traditional ingredient, olive oil gives the dough more moisture and elasticity, making it less crumbly and easier to roll out. Not to mention a really good flavor.
  • Very warm water

    • Using very warm water (100°F/38°C) breaks down the starches in the masa harina, yielding a more hydrated, workable dough.
    • The warm water accelerates gluten formation, enhancing the tortillas’ texture.

How to Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

  • Mix dry ingredients with oil: Combine flour, masa harina, and salt, and mix in olive oil until evenly combined. You can use your fingers to work the olive oil into the dry ingredients.
  • Finish making dough: Add the water and stir until the dough comes together. If the dough is extremely dry and crumbly, slowly add a teaspoon of water at a time.
  • Rest the dough: Divide into 12 balls of dough. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the tortillas: Preheat the pan while rolling out the dough balls into 6-inch circles.
  • Cook the tortillas: Cook for 30-45 seconds on each side. Flip the tortilla to cook the first side for a few more seconds to puff it up. Be sure to cover the finished tortillas with a clean kitchen towel while you finish cooking off the rest.

Step-by-step instructions on how to make Corn Tortillas: Preheat the pan while rolling out the dough balls into 6-inch circles. Put parchment paper in between to prevent sticking. Cook the tortillas for 30-45 seconds on each side. Flip the tortilla to cook the first side for a few more seconds to puff it up. Be sure to cover the finished tortillas with a clean kitchen towel while you finish cooking off the rest.

Can I Make Homemade Corn Tortillas in Advance?

Yes, you can make Homemade Corn Tortillas in advance.

To make the dough and refrigerate or freeze:

  • Roll the dough into 6-inch tortillas, then stack them separated by parchment paper.
  • Wrap the stack well in plastic wrap or place the stacked uncooked tortillas in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate uncooked corn tortillas for up to two days or freeze for up to three months. Note: it’s preferable to refrigerate uncooked corn tortillas. Frozen and thawed uncooked tortillas could turn crumbly.

To cook tortillas ahead of time:

  • On the kitchen counter: You can cook homemade corn tortillas ahead, wrap them in a clean tea towel, and keep them at room temperature for up to two hours.
  • In the fridge: For more extended storage, separate the tortillas with parchment paper, wrap them well in plastic, or place them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat briefly on a hot skillet.
  • In the freezer: You can freeze well-wrapped cooked corn tortillas for up to four weeks. Defrost for an hour and reheat briefly on a hot skillet.

How to Store Homemade Corn Tortillas

  • Put completely cooled leftover tortillas in a bread bag or ziplock bag. Refrigerate for up to five days or freeze for up to four weeks.
  • Defrost on the counter for an hour before reheating briefly on a hot skillet.

FAQs

  • Can I make these corn tortillas gluten-free with 100% masa harina?

Yes, you can make these corn tortillas gluten-free with only masa harina.

    • For every 2 cups (10oz/284g) of masa harina, use 1 ½ cups (12oz/360ml) to 2 cups (16oz/480ml) of HOT water. Hot water is essential in gelatinizing the starches and binding masa harina together.
    • Add a pinch of salt to the masa harina, then gradually add hot water until you get a firm, slightly elastic dough. Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
    • Then divide the dough into 12 to 15 equal-sized balls (roughly 45g each). From here, you can roll out each between two pieces of parchment paper then cook it on the hot pan, or use a tortilla press and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Can I use blue masa harina in this recipe?

    • Yes, you can use blue masa harina, which is made from blue corn (maiz azul), to make corn tortillas.
    • Tortillas made with blue masa harina have an earthier, slightly nuttier taste than those made with white or yellow masa harina.
  • How do I keep my tortillas from cracking?

    • Be sure to rest your dough so that it is sufficiently hydrated. Rest the dough on the counter for at least 30 minutes so that the water and oil distribute throughout the dough.
    • Be sure that your dough is the right consistency. It should be smooth and pliable but not sticky. Add in a teaspoon of water if your dough is too dry.
    • Keep the dough covered when you’re not working with it.
    • Press around the edge of your tortillas after they’re rolled out and before cooking to prevent cracking.
  • How do I make sure my tortillas aren’t tough?

    • Using too much water can yield tough tortillas. If your dough is dry, add additional water very gradually, a teaspoon at a time, just until the dough is pliable.
    • Be sure your pan is hot enough. Cooking your tortillas too long at a low temperature will make them tough.

A close-up shot at Homemade Corn Tortillas shows the golden and bubbly surface.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • Masa harina can be crumbly and difficult to work with, so this recipe uses a mixture of masa harina and wheat flour for softness and pliability.
  • Be sure not to overcook these tortillas, or they can become stiff and crunchy. I set a 30-second timer for each side as I cook them.
  • I give them that last third flip for the third time to get the tortilla to puff up. Give it a try!
  • You can easily double or triple this recipe for a crowd. Roll them out with your kids–George absolutely loved making these tortillas with me!
  • Best to roll or press these tortillas to 6 inches. If they are smaller, they might be too thick to eat.
  • Try out my Homemade Sour Cream and Mozzarella Cheese for your tacos, you’ll be grand!

More Tortilla and Wrap Recipes

Watch The Recipe Video!

Homemade Corn Tortillas Recipe

4.75 from 4 votes
Craft authentic Homemade Corn Tortillas from this foolproof recipe with the signature soft texture and a rich flavor.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 tortillas
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Craft authentic Homemade Corn Tortillas from this foolproof recipe with the signature soft texture and a rich flavor.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 tortillas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (5 oz/142 g) masa harina
  • cups (8¾ oz/247 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil
  • ¾ cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) very warm water

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, masa harina and salt. Pour in the olive oil and rub this into the flour mixture until evenly combined.
  • Stir in the water and mix until a dough is formed. (If the dough seems very dry, add a touch more water, one teaspoon at a time, until it comes together).
  • Divide the dough into 12 - 15 equally sized balls (about 1 ½ oz/45 g), place on a plate, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet or pan over medium/low heat.
  • Roll out the tortillas: On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a 6-inch (15 cm) circle. (If you have a tortilla press, place the dough between two pieces of plastic, close the lid, and press down hard until you get a 6-inch tortilla.)
  • Cook the tortilla for only 30-45 seconds, then flip and cook the other side for 30-45 seconds. Lastly, flip it back over on the original side for a few seconds, and you will see the tortilla puff up a little. Transfer to a plate, and cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm while you make the rest.
  • You can use the tortillas immediately for tacos, quesadillas, etc. Store leftovers in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 weeks. Rewarm on a hot, dry skillet before serving.
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Waldyr
Waldyr
1 month ago

The video states that the masa harina isn’t instant. But where I live all the options and brands are Instant, does that change anything in the recipe?

Memorie
Memorie
1 month ago

Hello Gemma I wanted to Thank You so very much for this recipe. My whole family loved these. We made soft tacos with them and I have to make more because I only made one batch. I’ve had so many issues with making the regular corn tortillas. Mostly them cracking on me. This is such a beautiful dough to work with. JUST PERFECT. I did have to use more water for the right consistency but I make homemade flour tortillas on a regular basis and knew what to look for. Thank you again for this awesome recipe. Have a wonderful… Read more »

Lina
Lina
1 month ago

Can you share the nutritional values per tortilla??

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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