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How to Cook Tortillas and Beans

How to Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

Masa harina is one of the primary ingredients in corn tortillas, tamales, and other corn-based doughs. It is available in most large supermarkets in 5-pound bags.

It is easiest to use a tortilla press to form corn tortillas. If you do not have one, you can use the bottom of a pie plate or heavy skillet.

  1. Cut two 7-inch squares of plastic bag. Combine masa harina and 1 cup of water in a medium bowl. Continue to add water by the teaspoon until a smooth stiff dough is formed.

    Add water, one teaspoon at a time, to dough when making corn tortillas.
    Add water, 1 teaspoon
    at a time, to dough.
  2. Test consistency of dough by rolling a piece of dough into a 13/4-inch ball. Flatten it slightly. Place the ball on the bottom plate of a tortilla press, slightly off-center from the handle. Cover with a second piece of plastic.

    Flatten dough in tortilla press when making corn tortillas.
    Flatten dough in tortilla press.
  3. Press down firmly to make 6-inch tortilla. Peel off plastic from both sides. If edges are cracked or ragged, dough is too dry. Mix in additional teaspoons of water until the dough presses out with smoother edges. If tortilla sticks to plastic, the dough is too wet; mix in additional masa harina, until dough no longer sticks when pressed.

    Test the tortilla to make sure it is no longer wet when making corn tortillas.
    Test the tortilla to make sure
    it is no longer wet.
  4. Cook tortilla on skillet according to recipe. Be sure to turn the tortilla quickly -- each side is finished cooking when the edges dry up. Continue flipping until both sides are dry and flecked with brown spots.

    Flip tortilla often with a spatula when making corn tortillas for mexican cooking recipes.
    Flip tortilla often with a spatula.
  5. Remove cooked tortilla from skillet and place in a kitchen towel. Tortillas will likely be slightly stiff but will soften as they stand.

What could be better than homemade tortilla chips? Find out how to make them in the next section.

Not what you’re looking for? Try these:

  • How to Cook Chili Peppers: There are a variety of chili peppers available in local markets, and each offers a unique flavor that is sure to enhance your dishes. Learn how to cook chili peppers here.
  • Mexican Recipes: From enchiladas to tortilla soup, the delicious ideas on our Mexican Recipes page are sure to be a hit at your next fiesta.
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.