Homemade Tortillas (Corn Tortillas)
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 35 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Have you tried making tortillas at home? It is harder than it looks but it’s great fun. And you can save a fair amount of money compared to the tortillas you can buy in shops.
Benefits of Homemade Tortillas:
- They freeze well – makes for super quick meals
- It’s great fun – get everyone involved in the making
- It’s versatile – have the filling of your choice
- It’s perfect for entertaining guests & having a happy family get together
Making your own tortillas is definitely the way forward. You can batch cook a whole load and then freeze them.
I’m going to show you a very simple tortilla recipe at the end of this article – It rocks!
Ideal to quickly whip up a lovely quick meal when you just don’t feel like cooking.
Another clear advantage of homemade tortillas is that you can get the whole family involved.
Kids love making tortillas – and adults do, too ????
There is something incredibly satisfying about kneading dough, shaping it and then seeing it evolve into it’s golden brown and crispy yumminess!
Homemade tortillas are also super versatile. If your hubby loves a hearty portion of meat in his tortilla – no problem. You can, at the same time, enjoy a lighter version, and for instance opt for a vegetarian or vegan filling.
This also makes tortillas perfect for inviting friends or family over, as you can prepare the tortillas & different fillings beforehand.
There’s just something really nice about sitting around a table with lots of different Mexican spreads. Nachos, tacos, guacamole, fajitas, salsa, you name it…
I love Mexican food!
Contra Homemade Tortillas:
Ok, making tortillas from scratch can be a bit fiddly.
No, actually, it really IS fiddly!
Since you need to develop a feeling for how much water you can add without them sticking to the work top… So inevitably you end up throwing clouds of flour at the dough to get the balance just right…
But kitchen mess & temper outbursts aside homemade tortillas are way superior to the prepackaged ones, because they work out much cheaper & healthier for you in the end (presuming you start making them regularly of course).
Pro Homemade Tortillas:
I find the shop bought tortillas can taste a bit bland. Not to mention that they contain many artificial substances to extend their shelf life. Needless to say that white flour tortillas really don’t contain any goodness whatsoever.
Read My Tips for Ordering Mexican Food at a Restaurant or skip straight to The Making of Homemade Corn Tortillas Further Below…
When Eating Out at a Mexican Restaurant…
- choose guacamole over sour cream
- eat nachos without cheese
- ask for corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas
- avoid white rice & re-fried beans
- resist the happy hour ????
Ask beforehand or check the menu if they have corn tortillas.
I found that most Mexican restaurants generally only serve flour tortillas because it’s cheaper for them. Some good Mexicans also offer a couple of dishes with corn tortillas though. And it’s worth double-checking, so if in doubt you can go to that place instead.
Candida Sufferers should definitely stick with corn tortillas.
If you can only get hold of wheat flour tortillas then it’s a good idea to order a few extra sides and starters to fill you up so you don’t have to demolish all the tortillas. Opt for avocado combos if you can.
I generally share a portion of nachos with my partner as a starter. They are only made from corn flour and salt, so they are reasonably ok on the Candida Diet (from phase 3 onwards). When combined with guacamole this isn’t even such an un-healthy starter choice.
I strangely never had a problem from eating them. The staff are generally quite accommodating if you ask for your nachos not to get smothered in cheese like they normally are.
My tip would also be to pick a fairly simple dish with just vegetables or chicken and vegetables.
Don’t pick dark meats that sit heavily in your tummy –
Sorry, Beef Chimichanga is off the menu for you my dear ????
Sour cream is not ideal due to it’s dairy content (of course I ate it anyway!) And unless the salsa is freshly prepared that might have sugar and other additives in it as well.
Almost all mexican mains come in some form of wrap or tortilla, but sometimes they have these fancy sizzling super hot cast-iron jobbies where they serve the tortillas separately. That’s a good option.
It’s better to choose something without a rice or refried beans filling, as that’s a whopping amount of extra carb that can feed candida.
Corn can still aggravate your symptoms as it does contain natural sugars and is known to cause allergic reactions in some.
I never had a problem with eating corn tortillas, except only a few weeks into the candida diet, when I reacted to ANY kind of carb that wasn’t leafy and green, yuk.
What did I have at the Mexican?
I had nachos & guacamole as starter and some chicken & veg fajita type dish with separate corn tortillas to wrap the filling in. I also succumbed to the happy hour offer and indulged in my favourite drink of all times: Mojito!
Yes, I know, not the wisest choice… but there we go…it was my birthday after all. At least I managed not to have a dessert ????
The idea is of course for you NOT to follow in my footsteps… Hence your best bet is to avoid the temptation and look into making homemade tortillas. And on that note…
Corn Tortilla Recipe
- 2 cups of Maseca Tortilla Flour (Masa Harina Corn Flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon low salt
- 1.5 – 2 cups lukewarm water
pinch of bicarbonate soda (to make it fluffier)
Read this Before You Follow this Easy Corn Tortilla Recipe
First off you need a special type of flour blend.
This is called Masa Harina or Maseaca tortilla Flour and it’s easier to digest than normal corn flour.
Perhaps you are luckier than me and can find it in your groceries store. If not Amazon stocks it. The postage costs are quite steep, so I straight away bought a 2kg bag of Masa Flour – so I’ll have plenty of opportunity to refine this corn tortilla recipe!
Let’s Get To It!
Handy Tools to Make Awesome Tortillas
There are actually a few useful tools that help you with the making of tortillas that I had no idea of. For instance you can use a Tortilla Press to evenly flatten the dough into neatly round tortillas.
TopTip: Be sure to get an 8 inch tortilla press. 6 inch is ridiculously tiny – you wouldn’t be able to roll your tortillas up into a burrito or fajita with that. You can get them on Amazon or any Mexican Grocer.
And then you can heat them up on a Cast Iron Griddle (Comal).
These are also superb to make pancakes, breakfast eggs and even pizza with btw.
I will actually get a tortilla press and a bag of Masa flour for a friend’s birthday in a couple of weeks – I think it makes a really novel present ? I might even get one myself for Christmas, as I’m sure I’ll be trying out this Corn Tortilla Recipe a fair few times now that I know how to make it.
How to Make Masa Dough
Simply combine the Masa flour with 1.5 cups of water using a fork, and knead it with your hands into a dough. If you find the dough too crumbly add a bit more water. It should not be sticky.
For best results cover with a towel and let it sit for 30 mins (impatient me didn’t do this, I made them straight away).
Divide the dough into 16 parts and shape balls out of them with the palm of your hands.
Lay a piece of wax- or greaseproof paper onto your press or floured work surface.
Place one masa ball onto the press or anywhere on your surface. Then put another piece of paper on the top.
Use a floured rolling pin or just press the tortilla press down to shape your Corn Tortilla into an even round shape. To a 6 inch or 8 inch diameter. Perhaps start with 6 inch for ease of use.
Carefully peel the paper off the top of your tortilla, turn it over and remove the other paper. Now it pays off if you have used paper with a waxed surface!
Not tin foil like me – which is far too sticky – impossible to get off the foil in one piece. As you can see by the slightly frazzled freestyle shapes of my end results of this Corn Tortilla Recipe.
How to Cook the Corn Tortillas
Lay the tortilla onto a hot griddle or large comal. Meanwhile get the next tortilla ready by pressing it into shape.
Cook the tortilla for 30-60 secs or until the edges are starting to dry. Flip it over and cook the other side for a minute or longer. When there are air bubbles coming up and the tortilla is lightly golden in colour it is done.
How to Keep Your Tortillas Warm
You can keep your tortillas warm under the grill, but be careful not to burn them (I accidentally almost set one of mine on fire and all the tortillas had a distinct crunch afterwards, nice, but not quite what I was aiming for ?
Alternatively you can keep them warm in a fancy little tortilla warmer – I personally have only tried the plasticky ones at a Mexican and found they made the tortillas sweat from condensation…Unless it’s stoneware or something, probably not something I’d invest in.
So, your best bet to keep’em warm is probably just to wrap them in a clean dish towel – or better still: munch them straight away, hah!
Serve them with a vegetable curry like I did here, chicken stir fry or beans stew and a few gem lettuce leaves.
I really enjoyed these little corn tortillas. They were sweet & rich though and more like pancakes than tortillas.
By the way in case you are wondering if corn flour is ok to use if you have a gluten sensitivity or if you are celiac:
Corn is a type of grain, so it contains gluten.
But it’s from a different grain family than the gluten grains that typically cause problems to gluten sensitive individuals like wheat, rye and barley.
Nevertheless it’s always wise to try a small amount first, and see how you react.
For instance I did experience a bit of a flare up after eating the Maize meal (standard corn flour) tortillas, whereas I had no problem from eating the Masa harina tortillas.
From now on I’ll definitely follow this simple Corn Tortilla Recipe with Masa flour. I’ll just have to experiment a bit more to get the consistency right. I also forgot the bicarb soda in mine. I could imagine that this would help to make the tortillas bendier so you can actually wrap your food in it…
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