This homemade corn tortilla recipe is fast and straightforward, with just five ingredients. These are perfect for tacos, quesadillas or tostadas, and they are naturally gluten-free corn tortillas. Enjoy these with my Easy Salsa Verde – Green Salsa for an epic taco night.
What’s masa harina anyways? It’s flour made from nixtamalized corn (corn soaked in limewater). It’s a must-have ingredient for traditional, homemade corn tortillas and tamales. Masa harina comes in white, yellow or blue and my fave is blue. In traditional Mexican cuisine, tortilla masa is made from dried heirloom corn rehydrated, treated with lime and crushed into an ultra-fresh dough. Unfortunately, here in Canada, we don’t have access to fresh masa, so the next best thing is masa harina or masa flour. Masteca is the most widely available brand and can be found at health or ethnic food stores. Bob’s Red Mill makes an organic masa harina, and you can also find alternative brands online.
Be careful: Masa harina is not the same as corn flour, cornmeal, polenta or Pan (arepa flour).
There are two tools that are especially handy when making home made tortillas. They are a tortilla press and a cast-iron skillet.
If you plan to make tortillas often, it is worthwhile to invest in a tortilla press. It will make the entire process faster. However you don’t need one as you can roll out all of your tortillas with a rolling pin. When buying a tortilla press, I recommend going for cast-iron. I’ve had tortilla presses break on me in the past and so it’s worth the investment.
When pressing your tortillas, you’ll need two pieces plastic or paper to prevent the dough from sticking to the press. I like to use compostable parchment paper or a cut Ziploc bag that I wash and reuse over and over.
Cast iron skillet
I’m a firm believer in cast iron. It stands the test of time and is just a wonderful cooking tool. A cast iron skillet would work perfectly for making tortillas. A griddle is also great so you can make more than one at a time. Make sure your cast-iron pan is seasoned and you won’t require any oil for cooking your tortillas.
If you try this, please let me know! I love to hear from folks who tried my recipes.
Corn Tortillas from Scratch with Hemp and Flax
- 1 Cast iron skillet
- 1 Tortilla press optional
- 2 cups masa harina
- 1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups warm water
- In a large bowl, mix together masa harina, hemp, flax and salt. Slowly pour in water a little at a time. You may not need all the water as it varies. Keep adding water until you can start form balls with the dough. Use your hands to knead the dough for 2 minutes until you have a smooth ball. Add water or flour as needed to get a soft and pliable dough. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide dough into 14 equal sized dough balls, about 40 grams a piece. Roll the balls in the palm of your hands until they are smooth and round. Heat a skillet (non-stick or cast iron) over medium-high heat.
- Place dough balls, one at a time, between two pieces of parchment (or reusable plastic*) in a tortilla press and flatten into a round tortilla. Gently peel the tortilla away from the parchment. If it sticks entirely, the dough it too soft and you'll need to add a bit more flour. Cook the tortilla for about 60 seconds per side. Bubbling up is a sign of a healthy dough. Transfer cooked tortilla to a tortilla warmer or a bowl wrapped in a clean tea towel, to keep them soft and most. Serve right away.
- If eating later, warm tortillas in a closed container in the microwave or oven. Make sure they are well covered to prevent them from drying out.