Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 40 mins

Instead of making masa with masa harina and water, you can often buy fresh masa in Mexican grocery stores. These are so much better than store bought tortillas, but take a bit of practice to get the process right.


  1. Please note: the difference between ¼ cup and 1/3 cup, while only 4 teaspoons, can be critical.
  2. Mix the Masa Harina and the water; knead to form your masa (dough).
  3. Pinch off a golf-ball sized piece of masa and roll it into a ball.
  4. Set the masa on a piece of plastic in the tortilla press; cover with another piece of plastic.
  5. Press the masa.
  6. Transfer the tortilla to a hot, dry cast iron skillet.
  7. Cook for about 30 seconds on one side; gently turn.
  8. Cook for about 60 seconds (it should puff slightly); turn back to the first side Cook for another 30 seconds on the first side Remove and keep the tortilla warm.
  9. Notes: When mixing the masa, mix all the Masa Harina with 1-¼ cup of the water.
  10. You can work it with your hands, if you like.
  11. If it seems too dry, add additional water, a teaspoon at a time.
  12. Too much water, and you wont be able to peel the plastic off the tortilla; too little and your tortilla will be dry and crumbly.
  13. Unlike pastry dough, masa does not suffer from being over-handled.
  14. The masa will dry out quickly.
  15. Keep it covered with a piece of plastic wrap while making your tortillas.
  16. Cut up sandwich or freezer bags (best) work better than the flimsier plastic wrap or waxed paper.
  17. Hold the pressed tortilla (with the plastic on both sides) in one hand.
  18. Peel away the top plastic from the tortilla (not the tortilla from the plastic).
  19. Flip it over into your other hand, and peel away the other piece of plastic.
  20. Gently place the tortilla on the hot skillet or griddle.
  21. It should make a soft sizzling sound when you do.
  22. If your tortillas are not perfect circles, dont worry; they will still taste wonderful.
  23. If your skillet or griddle is at the right temperature, a tortilla can be cooked in no more than 2 minutes.
  24. The use of cast-iron skillet is important.
  25. You are cooking at high heat on a dry surface, and a lighter-weight utensil could warp.
  26. Brown spots on your tortillas are good.
  27. Put your hot tortillas in an aluminum foil pouch wrapped in a kitchen towel or napkin.
  28. You want them to stay hot and tender.
  29. Corn tortillas can be made 2 hours in advance, wrapped and reheated.
  30. Bake, in a 350°F oven for about 12 minutes.


Most Helpful

Thanks for these instructions. I bought a bag of masa harina, but the bag only had instructions on how to make the entire bag into tortillas at once!

Neohippie June 05, 2010

Delicious! I couldn't keep my family from taking the hot corn tortillas as they came off the griddle, and I don't blame them--they are wonderful piping hot & slathered with butter. Just so you're not surprised, be aware that the taste & texture of these are very different from store-bought corn tortillas. I used them with Mean Fish Tacos (#107477) & it was a very tasty meal.

FoodBooksSangria March 20, 2005

Carefully put meat or cheese in the uncooked raw masa tortilla, and fold over and crimp the edges. Deep fry in a few inches of corn oil until golden. Now you have an authentic Mexican Quesidilla. Serve with Salsa. —

Chef Roni December 23, 2004

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