While in Texas last summer, my sister in law Norma would prepare a fresh batch of corn tortillas every other morning. I have prepared many over the years, but from the moment I ate the first one she had prepared, I knew I was doing something wrong, lol! Hers were so soft and pliable, where most times when I would prepare them for tacos, they would crack once in a while when you tried to fold them. I soon quizzed her on what her method was.
The video above is an updated view of me preparing corn tortillas. I give you detailed, step by step instructions. The video recipe may vary from the written recipe below.
Practice Is The Key!
Most asked questions when I share tortilla making on my social media:
“Why don’t my tortillas inflate?” “Why are my tortillas hard?” “How long will the tortillas last?” The key to getting your tortillas to inflate is a preheated surface, flip as soon as they are easy released from cooking surface. If they don’t inflate, they are most likely overcooked already. It really is a fast process. In order to keep my tortillas soft, I stack them in a covered tortilla warmer lined with a kitchen towel as I cook them. The steam created as they sit will soften the tortillas. I let them cool covered then spread them out to dry for a few minutes before storing them in a plastic storage bag refrigerated. Tortillas are best enjoyed the first day, can be store in the refrigerator for a few days. To reheat, place on very hot surface and flip over one to two times. Place back in tortilla warmer to let steam for a minute.
Tri-Colored Corn Tortillas
Most of you that know me and have been following me for a while, know how much I enjoy preparing tortillas. There are several corn and flour tortilla recipes on my blog where I mix in ingredients that will yield different flavors. My newest and most recent corn tortillas were these tri-colored corn tortillas! After a few adjustments, I was very happy with the outcome.
For years, I would start with the dry masa harina and gradually add in the hot water until the dough formed. Norma started with the water first ans gradually added the masa harina corn flour until the dough formed.
Since that trip, I have prepared at least 6 batches using Norma’s technique and it really did make a difference. I experimented with the recipe by adding olive oil and a little baking soda in the past. But in the end, I didn’t think that it really added enough to the recipe to use them again. Keep it simple. I love that we never stop learning and am so grateful for my new sister- in-law Norma.
Fresh Corn Tortillas
- tortilla press
- 1 3/4 cups warm to hot water I prefer using hot water over room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, Optional!
- 2 cups plus 3-4 tablespoons masa harina (more or less)
You will also need
- Tortilla press or flat bottomed plate
- A heavy plastic storage bag or t-shirt bag no printing
- A nonstick comal or griddle pan
- In a large bowl, add the hot water and the salt. Stir to combine. Gradually add in the masa harina until the dough forms. It will be slightly sticky, if too sticky, add another couple of tablespoons of masa harina. Cover with plastic wrap and let set for 20 minutes.
- Cut the plastic bag down to line the inside of tortilla press, about 5X5 in size. If using the plastic(t-shirt) bags from the store, cut down and wash surface and let dry before using.
- Preheat the comal or griddle to medium heat for 5-7 minutes. A hot comal or griddle pan is very important. Take enough dough to make 16 dough balls. Keep them cover with plastic so they don’t dry out.
- When ready, roll it several times in between your hands and flatten slightly. Press to about 5 inches in diameter. Making sure the tortilla fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, peel off the plastic and transfer to hot comal or griddle. If the tortilla tears, just roll it into a ball and start over.
- Flip tortilla as soon as it releases from the comal. It should still look uncooked in some spots when you flip it. Cook for another 20-30 seconds. Flip once again and the tortilla should begin to inflate. If it does not inflate it could be that you already overcooked the tortilla. Gently press the tortilla with your finger tips and sometimes this will cause the tortilla to inflate. Remove from heat and keep warm in between two kitchen towels in a covered pan. The steam created will yield a softer tortilla. I promise! Tested!
Blue Corn Tortillas
For blue corn tortillas, follow the instructions for tortillas above. The only difference is that it requires a little more water, in my opinion, and the masa is more coarse. Enjoy!
Blue Corn Tortilla Quesadilla filled with Queso Oaxaca. Serve with Papas Con Chorizo! My Chorizo Casero! https://pinaenlacocina.com/chorizo-casero-rustic-mexican-chorizo/
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I was wondering if you have a recipe for from scratch corn tortillas without using the masa harina cheat cheat, as my son is going to France in a few weeks and wants to try and make enchiladas while there and most likely there will be no masa harina available. He wants to practice making these before he leaves.
Wow, I really can’t think of anything he could to make corn tortillas without masa harina or fresh ground nixtamal. Has he considered making flour tortillas instead. I know I don’t make enchiladas with flour tortillas, but the tex mex version is tasty when you crisp up the flour tortillas after rolling them. I have a recipe for Enchiritos. It’s a cross between an enchilada and a burrito. I could have sworn that I came a cross a recipe for tortillas using cornmeal, but I have never tried it. They sell masa harina all over the UK these days. Wonder if someone in France may have it…Hhmmm..
Sorry dear, but I am confused. You said Norma’s recipe that used room temp water and mixed differently was softer, then gave us your recipe. Do you mean the rolling tecnique was what made them softer?
Linda, sorry for the confusion. Kneading the dough a little extra helps. But what really yields a soft tortilla is keeping them covered as you cook them so that the steam created keeps them from drying out.