Making homemade tortillas is so satisfying. I love recipes that have only a few ingredients. This one has three: masa, salt, water. It doesn't get simpler than that. We make a masa by combining the masa and salt and then slowly adding the water while we mix with our hands. Once the masa is done, we roll into balls and flatten with a tortilla press.
What Kind of Tortilla Press to Buy
There are many tortilla presses out there. If you are making tortillas recreationally, and only occasionally, you do not have to break the bank. You want a tortilla press that is sturdy and heavy. I love this cast iron one here. It has everything you need to make tortillas without any fancy bells and whistles. However, it is heavy and strong and won't fall apart after a few uses. Weight is important because it gives you more control over how thin your tortillas are.
See how to buy this great press here
The Trick to Making Homemade Tortillas
Here's a few tricks I've learned over the years:
- Use ziplock bags to cut out plastic squares approx 5x5-inches. You will flatten the masa balls between these and it keeps the masa from sticking to your press and easy to peel off an place in the pan. You can use the same squares over and over again.
- Make sure your masa is covered with a damp cloth the whole time. Just after you make the masa, and covering the masa balls while you are forming tortillas.
- Cook in a dry pan- no oil, high heat. Cook on the first side until the edges start to dry slightly. This should take about a minute, or less.
- Let it Puff. When you flip over the tortilla to the second side, it should start to puff. This is a good sign! The tortilla will only take about 10 more seconds after this. If it doesn't puff after about 30-40 seconds, you can remove. Your tortilla can still be good without puffing, but the puff allows hot air inside and a nice soft tortilla.
Start with good masa for a good tortilla. Find the link here
Let's make tortillas!
- Place the masa and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Slowly add the water while stirring with your hands until a soft dough forms. The dough should be moist to the touch, but not feel wet or batter-like. Cover with a damp cloth while you work.
- Roll the balls into large golf-ball size, keeping covered with the damp cloth.
- Place the masa balls, one at a time in the tortilla press between 2 squares of plastic so it doesn't stick.
- Put the lid down on the press and then push down on the handle to flatten.
- Remove the tortilla from the press and the plastic and cook in a dry hot pan for approximately 1 minute on each side. If it puffs on the second side, that is a good sign, but not necessary to make a good tortilla.
- Repeat until all of the masa is used. Store in a plastic bag to keep warm.