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Homemade Corn Tortillas: the traditional recipe

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
By Cookist


white corn flour
200 gr
150 ml
Sea salt
2 tsps
Olive oil
2 tbsps

Corn tortillas are one of the symbolic dishes of Mexico. Versatile and easy to prepare at home, they can be served as an aperitif, appetizer, bread or a single dish. According to the way in which they are served, their name changes. This is because they have the same role that bread has for us. We can fry them so making nachos, or stuff them with the most disparate condiments making burritos, fajitas and so on.

How to make corn tortillas from scratch

Add the lukewarm water to the white corn flour (1) and start to massage the dough; when the mixture is still sandy, add the oil (2) and salt (3).

Continue to blend until you get a firm and malleable dough (4); if necessary you can add more water (one spoon at a time) as it could be that the flour you have purchased needs more hydration. Wrap the dough with plastic film and let it rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.

After this time, make some balls with a diameter of about 4 cm and stretch them out with a rolling pin (6); you can help yourself dusting the work surface with a little flour or using two sheets of parchment paper placed one above the dough and the other under it. The thickness is at your discretion, but normally it must not exceed 4 mm.

Heat well a plate or a non-stick pan (the pan for making crêpes is excellent) and place on it a round portion of dough at a time (7). Let it cook for about 60-90 seconds (the time varies depending on the thickness of the round portion) or until the desired cooking time is reached (8). As you have finished to cook the tortillas, keep them wrapped in a dishcloth so they will stay soft.

Can you bake fresh corn tortillas?

Tortillas are commonly cooked on a hot-plate, the traditional one is called "comal", but you can also use a pan (better if it is non-stick). Using the oven to bake tortillas may cause them to dry up excessively. Cooking them on a hot-plate or in a pan is without a doubt the best thing to do.

The right way to warm homemade corn tortillas

You can warm your tortillas in a cast iron skillet, heated over medium-high heat, for about 15-30 seconds on each side. If the tortillas have a toasty smell, with some brownish or dark spots, you are doing it right.

How to stuff corn tortillas

The tortillas can be stuffed as you wish,  as you would stuff sandwiches, vegetables, meat, fish, cheeses, salami. But if you want to do it according the Mexican tradition, there are two main ways to stuff them; the first is the one with chicken breast, peppers and spices, and in this case they will be called fajitas, the second one is with ground beef, beans, vegetables and spicy sauce thus creating the famous burritos.


– the dough with only white corn flour could be excessively friable, in this case you can use half corn flour and half durum wheat semolina.
– if you cannot find the white corn flour you can use another type of corn flour always cutting it with half part of semolina;
– to work in the best way the dough, always make sure that the water is very warm, almost hot (the important thing is not to burn yourself and do not use it under 20 ° C);
– if you want, you can add some spices to the dough, the paprika is excellent, but also the chili pepper is good if you want to “stay Mexican”.

Can you freeze corn tortillas?

Yes. Like flour tortillas, you can freeze corn tortillas.

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