Homemade Corn Tortillas #SundaySupper

My husband, who is allergic to yeast and doesn’t eat bread, always added frozen corn tortillas to the weekly grocery list. I’ve been buying frozen tortillas for twenty-two years. When I learned of the #SundaySupper group’s “New Cooking Adventures” challenge, hosted by Connie Smith of the “Foodie Army Wife” blog, I signed up immediately. I had begun to notice packages of harina de maiz (nixtamalized cornmeal used to make masa for tortillas) at the food market, so I assumed that it would be fairly easy to make corn tortillas at home. Most corn masa mixes call for adding just water and playing with dough. I knew could do that.
I needed a tortilla press, which I ordered online. It arrived without a much-needed part (a screw), but my husband found one in his toolbox that fit. I was unhappy that the tortilla press was missing a part, but I was not about to return the 10-pound, cast iron contraption by mail. That would make me even more unhappy. So, a stray part in a toolbox solved my problem. I’ll move on with life.
With the makeshift part put into service, I began pressing the balls of masa dough into 6-inch diameter disks. Those frozen, organic tortillas that I bought weekly cost 22-cents each.  I made the same number of tortillas for only about 4-cents each. By taking extra time to make homemade tortillas, I’m not only saving money, but I’m also not discarding (weekly) the plastic wrap that enclosed the previously purchased, frozen tortillas. Maybe I’ll even convince my husband of how rewarding it would be for him to make his own tortillas. Who am I trying to fool? That’s not happening. 
Be sure to check out my fellow bloggers’ recipes from their cooking adventures following my recipe below. 

Recipe: Homemade Corn Tortillas (yields one dozen)

2 cups harina de maiz* (available in supermarkets or in Latino food markets)
1 1/4 cups water
Non-stick cooking spray

  1. Put cornmeal into a large bowl and add water. With a silicon spatula–or with your hands–mix  the cornmeal and water just enough so that ingredients begin to feel firm and moist. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too dry. Incorporate a bit more cornmeal, one tablespoon at a time, if the dough seems too moist.
  2. Divide dough into a dozen balls. Place dough between your hands and roll the dough until each ball is relatively smooth (see photo above). Place balls of dough on a clean cutting board and cover them with a clean, damp (not wet) dish cloth.
  3. Pre-heat 10- to 12-inch, cast iron skillet over high heat (turn on the stove’s exhaust). 
  4. Cover upper and lower plates of a tortillas press with plastic wrap or enclose each half of the press with plastic storage bags. Lightly spray each side of the plastic-wrapped tortilla press with non-stick cooking spray. Place balls, one at a time, into the press and flatten.
  5. Gently remove the flattened tortilla dough from the press and place into a very hot skillet. Using a cookie spatula (or a thin silicon spatula), flip the tortilla over after 20-30 seconds and heat the other side for 20-30 seconds. Flip the tortilla again and 15 seconds and remove. Place cooked tortillas into a tortilla warmer or on a plate covered by a clean, dry towel to keep tortillas pliable and warm. 

New Expeditions (Sides, Starters & Staples)

Homemade Corn Tortillas from Pescetarian Journal
Easy Oven Polenta from Shockingly Delicious
Homemade Spiced Flour Tortillas from Chocolate Moosey
Naan from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Homemade Tofu from Kimchi MOM
Savory Mushroom & Herb Steel-Cut Oat Risotto from Foxes Love Lemons
Indian Moong Beans from Magnolia Days
Baked Lemon Coconut Risotto from Soni’s Food
Homemade Peanut Butter from Home Cooking Memories
Homemade Ricotta Cheese from Webicurean
Portuguese Chorizo Bread from Family Foodie

Grand Quests (Main Dishes)

Traditional Pork Tamales from Gourmet Drizzles
Braised Lamb Brisket with Lemon Oregano Yogurt Sauce from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Rice Burger from The Urban Mrs.
Pan-fried Scallops with Garlic Chili Linguine from Food Lust People Love
Miso-Glazed Salmon from The Foodie Patootie
Penne with Mustard and Chives from My Other City By The Bay
Arepas Rellenas (Stuffed Arepas) from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Spanish Baked Scallops from Momma’s Meals
Black Beans and Cheese Empanadas from Basic N Delicious
Pork Dim Sum from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Venison Steak Gyros from Curious Cuisiniere
Baked Tilapia with Parmesan Basil Sauce from Growing Up Gabel
Vegetarian Hortobagyi Pancakes from Happy Baking Days
Caribou & Andouille Chili from The Foodie Army Wife

Escapades (Sweet Treats & Spirited Companions)

Vegan Chocolate Mousse from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Zebra Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Multilayer Bars from What Smells So Good?
Meatball Grinders & How to Grind Meat from Cravings of a Lunatic
Rut-Busting Wines For New Cooking Adventures from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows from Vintage Kitchen
Strawberry Raspberry Fruit Leather from Juanita’s Cocina
Making Macarons – FAIL! from girlichef
Macaroons from Noshing With The Nolands
Fresh Strawberry Frozen Yogurt from The Messy Baker
Bircher Muesli from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Hello Kitty Rice Krispies from The Ninja Baker
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from In The Kitchen With KP
Dorie Greenspan’s Orange Almond Tart from Hip Foodie Mom
Ombre Mini Cakes from Daily Dish Recipes
Chocolate Dipped Madeleines from Big Bear’s Wife

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, April 28, 2013 to talk all about our foodie fears! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your Tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Follow Me!
Follow Me!

Latest posts by Alaiyo Kiasi-Barnes (see all)


  1. says

    I’ve always wondered how easy/good these would be homemade, Alaiyo. Did you find they were as soft and bendy as the store bought ones? They sure look good!

    • says

      Hi Stacy. Yes, they are as soft and bendy as the store-bought tortillas, and they smell wonderful as they are roasting on the stove. They’re super easy to make. Thanks for stopping by and commenting today!

    • says

      Hi Laura! The store-bought ones freeze beautifully so I’m assuming homemade corn tortillas will freeze well too. I’ll see if that’s true later today when I remove them from the freezer and reheat them (I made them for the first time yesterday). Thanks for stopping by!

  2. says

    These are so cool! It’s such a bummer your husband cannot eat bread but I bet these were a great treat for him. Do they taste better than store bought ones? I find that’s almost always the case when making something from scratch.

  3. says

    Hi Laura! You wouldn’t believe how many foods have yeast in them besides bread. That’s one of the reasons that I cook from scratch–because my husband is SO allergic to yeast. Anyway, the homemade corn tortillas do taste better than store-bought ones, and they are pillow soft! Thanks for your comment.

  4. says

    Thank goodness for saving extra screws, bolts, and nuts in the toolbox. That supply has saved me with similar things before. Why new things have to come with missing parts is beyond me.
    Anyway, I do enjoy corn tortillas and had no idea they were that easy to make. Now off to shop for a tortilla press…

  5. says

    This sounds fantastic! I love fresh tortillas they are so much better than store bought – it does sound like a lot of work :) but so worth it plus you be saving… ~ Bea

  6. says

    What a great post! I LOVE going out to restaurants that make fresh tortillas, and who knew it could be so easy! I’m totally buying one of the presses… thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    I have a real “thing” about cold, left-over corn tortillas … to me they are dry and hard to swallow. We started buying tortillas from a local tortillaria … they were yummy right off the grill but in the time that it took to drive home, they became hard. We discovered making them at home and haven’t purchased them since. The nice thing is we can make as many as we’ll eat in one meal. We wrap them in a towel and they stay warm. Here’s an idea for anyone who doesn’t have a press … place the dough between a folded piece of parchment paper and then press between two desert plates. Works great! :-)

  8. says

    Ooh homemade tortillas sound amazing! I bet they tasted fresh and even more delicious than store bought ones :) Love the texture and the color in these!

  9. says

    Awesome corn tortillas! I’ve been meaning to buy a tortilla press. These homemade tortillas look so much better than store bought ones and minus the preservatives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *