How to Make Corn Tortillas – The Best & Easiest GF Wraps

Corn Tortillas

Corn tortillas are mine and Ash’s favourite gluten free wrap, whether I’m eating it with mexican fillings or not. They do have a corn flavour, but I still find that it works with almost all other flavours.

Seriously, there’s not a lot in the GF food world that beats a fresh, warm corn tortilla, straight from the pan. You can make breakfast burritos, salad wraps, tofu chicken + lettuce wraps, or whatever mexican fixings you like!

To make corn tortillas, you need a special flour called masa harina, which is corn flour that has been processed with lime juice. As with all corn products, you want to make sure you are buying organic and non-GMO corn.

Where to Buy Masa Harina

I used the last of my masa on these babies in the picture, so I’m trying to find some with reasonable shipping online at the moment.

Gold Mine is the only brand I have been able to get shipped here to Australia from Amazon, although the price is pretty steep to buy it on amazon with shipping, but it’s easy to purchase if in North America.

Purcell Mountain Farms make masa with non-GMO, but its not certified organic. I have emailed them asking about this, so will update with a response from them.

Fiddlers Green Farm has organic masa, but only ships to the US.

Bob’s Red Mill brand unfortunately is not gluten free, certified organic and non-GMO.

If you guys find any other organic brands, please share and let us know in the comments below!

How to Make Corn Tortillas

Now that you have your masa harina we can get to the good bit!

Step 1: Make the Dough

In a medium bowl combine 2 cups masa and 1/4 tsp salt with a wooden spoon (not metal as it reacts to the salt).

Pour in 1 1/2 cups boiling water and stir to combine and form a dough. The dough should hold together and not be crumbly, if you need to add 1-2 tablespoons more water do so. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Step 2: Knead the Dough

Using your hands knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes (tip: take off your rings). Your hands will smell like corn, I don’t know why but I really like the smell.

At this point, you will want to start heating a non-stick pan on medium-high heat.

Step 3: Divide the Dough into 8 Balls

Meanwhile divide the dough into 8 golf ball sized pieces.

Take the first ball and shape into a smooth ball. Use a large zip lock bag that is cut on two sides (leaving one side joined) and place inside a tortilla press, this will keep the dough from sticking. Place the dough ball in the centre of the cut zip lock bag.

Tortilla Dough Ball

Step 4: Press the Ball to Make a Tortilla

Use a tortilla press or something very flat and heavy to evenly press the dough into a tortilla shape. I use a very heavy wood block press that my Dad put together for me (also works as a tofu press!). If you are lucky enough to live in the U.S. you may be able to find a proper tortilla press from a Mexican store, or purchase one off Amazon.

Use a rolling pin to smooth it out even further (especially important if your using a makeshift press).

Flatten into Tortillas

Step 5: Cook the Tortillas

Transfer the tortilla to the hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on both sides, until you see spots of golden brown.

This cast-iron griddle is the proper thing to use to cook tortillas, but these are almost impossible to find around here, so non-stick works for me!

While one tortilla is cooking, shape and flatten the next one to help speed the process along. You will soon develop a rhythm for this and get quicker at it.

Cook the tortillas

Store the tortillas in a tortilla warmer (the true sign that you are a real tortilla making pro) or wrapped in a clean tea towel. For longer storage, store in the fridge.

Once Last Tip…

I know what your all thinking “A plastic zip lock bag, Shae? Come on!” and I agree, it sucks! But heres what happens when you use nice recycled parchment paper (or even normal parchment paper). After tortilla #1, the parchment paper gets all crinkly, like the picture below. And the next tortilla you try to flatten on it will have all these deep lines from the crinkles, so when you cook it, it almost always breaks on these lines. So the zip lock back is really the only solution.

Tortilla Parchment Paper

So get to it and try making these bad boys yourself!

How to Make Corn Tortillas - The Best & Easiest GF Wraps
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Fresh, warm corn tortillas are so tasty when you make them yourself from scratch, and do not even compare to the store bought variety (how do they get them to last that long on the shelves?!). It's a really simple process and once you do it once you'll be a tortilla making pro.
Yield: 8 tortillas
Serves: 8
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups organic corn masa harina
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • ¼ tsp salt
Method:
  1. In a medium bowl combine the masa and salt with a wooden spoon (not metal).
  2. Pour in the boiling water and stir to combine and form a dough. The dough should hold together and not be crumbly, if you need to add 1-2 tablespoons more water do so. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Using your hands knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
  4. Heat a cast-iron griddle or non stick pan on medium-high heat.
  5. Meanwhile divide the dough into 8 golf ball sized pieces.
  6. Take the first ball and shape into a smooth ball. Use a large zip lock bag that is cut on two sides (leaving one side joined) and place inside a tortilla press, this will keep the dough from sticking. Place the dough ball in the centre of the cut zip lock bag and use a tortilla press or something very flat and heavy to evenly press the dough into a tortilla shape. I use a very heavy wood block press that my Dad put together for me (also works as a tofu press). Use a rolling pin to smooth it out even further.
  7. Transfer the tortilla to the hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on both sides, until you see spots of golden brown.
  8. While one tortilla is cooking, shape and flatten the next one to help speed the process along. You will soon develop a rhythm for this and get quicker at it.
  9. Store the tortillas in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in a clean tea towel. For longer storage, store in the fridge.

Tips from readers:

Megan: One thing I do is to keep a warm, damp towel over the bowl holding my dough as I shape and cook the tortillas, so the dough doesn’t dry out as I go.

Have you tried making your own corn tortillas before? Or are you willing to give it a go now? 

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9 comments on “How to Make Corn Tortillas – The Best & Easiest GF Wraps

  1. Having Mexican night for my boyfriend’s birthday Sunday night, so getting this email was perfect timing! I do have masa harina hanging around in the pantry so I’ll definitely be giving these a try :) thank you

  2. I am terrible at making them, but I must try again as I got a tortilla press from Oasis. Bakery and have some Masa Harina that needs to be used. Hmm was going to make vegan tacos tonight. How fortuitous that you posted this. Lol

  3. I love making my own tortillas! And you are right, the plastic bag is unfortunately essential. One thing I do is to keep a warm, damp towel over the bowl holding my dough as I shape and cook the tortillas, so the dough doesn’t dry out as I go.

    • Hi Megan, thats an awesome tip – thanks for sharing! I find that my dough starts to dry out as I’m cooking them, so I’ll definitely be trying this next time. And I added the tip to the post to make sure others see :)

  4. I have another tip-don’t fly in the US with your tortilla press, ha ha! I took a 1 hour flight from Southern California to Northern California to visit my parents. I always do the cooking when I’m there so I don’t have to worry about gluten. In my check in luggage I had my cast iron tortilla press, various bags of different gluten-free flours, a small bottle of pumpkin seed oil, and since I was taking Arabic classes, I had my Arabic workbook so I could do my homework.When I landed, I was told they had “lost” my luggage. It took them a day to return it, with a note inside saying it had been “searched for my protection”. They must have thought they caught a really big terrorist, until they found out that those powders were actually only sorghum… millet…buckwheat….

  5. Pingback: Easy Bean & Corn Fajitas + Guacamole | The Vedge

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