Cooking with the Maxwells: Corn Tortillas 101

If you’ve tasted the corn tortillas from the store, well, they leave a lot to be desired. At least in my opinion. Earlier this year, I did some research on how to make corn tortillas, and I discovered they really weren’t hard. The taste? Far better than the store.

To begin with, you will need Instant Corn Masa Flour. You’ll likely find it in the Mexican section of your store, not near the cornmeal area.

Dump three cups of instant corn masa flour into a bowl.

Pour 3/4 teaspoon salt in.

Add the water (about 2 1/4 cups). This part, you’ll have to watch. Basically, you want your dough not dry but almost wet. If it’s too wet, though, it’ll make the dough stick to the parchment.


After you stir for a little bit, you’ll find kneading the dough with your hands is pretty necessary, unless you can get a little brother or sister to help.

Get parchment paper and tear it in half. Place one half on a cool tortilla press, meaning not plugged in (or a non-electric one), then put your ball of dough on it. The ball should be quite small. If you’ve made our flour tortillas before, you’ll want a smaller ball than you used there. Cover the dough with the other piece of parchment paper and press. You might need to lift up and then press again a time or two. If the tortilla is the desired size, you are ready to cook it. If you prefer it a little bigger, leave the parchment paper on and use a rolling pin. If you don’t have a press, you can try using a rolling pin, but I don’t know if it will work as well.

Peel the top layer off and then carefully peel the tortilla from the bottom layer.

Before you cook the tortillas, make sure the pan is hot. Add a small amount of oil/grease to the pan. We like to use bacon drippings, but you can use butter or coconut oil too. After every panful of tortillas, add some more oil. Cook each side until desired doneness. It depends on the heat of your stove top, how much grease is used, and how soft you prefer your tortilla. But, it doesn’t take very long.

Anna and Abigail.
Okay, so this isn’t “how to”, but I thought it was cute. Mary is actually the one who mixed up the dough.

Abby handing a tortilla to her daddy. Even young ones can help in this process.

Nathan cooking them.

The finished product. Add whatever fillings you want and roll up.

Corn Tortillas

3 cups instant corn masa flour
3/4 tsp. salt (or more, if desired)
2 1/4 cups water

Measure the flour into a bowl. Mix the salt in. Add the water and stir. Get the dough to a good consistency: not dry and almost on the wet side. Portion the dough into small balls and press each one out. Heat skillet and add grease before cooking the tortillas.

Yield: 36 or more, depending on the size

“For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.”

–Mark 4:28