There's no competition between store bought tortillas and this 3 ingredient homemade corn tortillas. All you need are some masa flour, water, and salt! And did I mention? They are gluten free, low fat, and vegan!
Happy Cinco de Mayo y'all! It finally happened. Cinco de Mayo actually landed on taco Tuesday! 🎉🎉🎉 So add this to the list of reasons why you should totally have a taco feast today! Kyong marked his calendar months ago cuz you'd never catch him missing a taco moment, lol. 😆
If you forgot that today is Cinco de Mayo, no biggies, but you don't wanna forget to serve your tacos with some amazing tortillas! And I think we all know that no store bought tortilla can beat some good homemade corn tortillas that only require 3 ingredients! So let's get tortilla making so you can start taco feasting! 😋
Oh, but if you're looking for other recipes to make from scratch better than those you buy from the store, you have to try:
Let's start tortilla making with some tortilla making tips and FAQs!
What is masa flour?
Masa flour, aka masa harina, is an instant corn flour used for making tortillas, empanadas, tamales and many other hispanic foods. Although masa is an instant corn flour, do not confuse it with our more common cornmeal and corn flour, which are used for making amazing cornbread and breading.
We highly recommend Maseca brand masa flour. It's very accessible.
Masa flour is a corn flour made with corn that's been soaked in a calcium hydrogen solution (more commonly known as lime water) to soften and break down the heartier structures of corn kernels. This process is called nixtamalization. Through this process, masa flour is able to be made into dough with the addition of water, whereas cornmeal and our regular corn flour would remain a corn porridge. Nitamalization also makes the corn flour easier to digest and gives masa flour the iconic corn chip smell and flavor that would otherwise be just a mild corn flavor.
Yeah, cool right? Thank god for nitamalization because we would've had to live without Doritos, and that would've been so sad.
Do I need a tortilla press?
No, you don't! Of course having a tortilla press would make this process much easier, however, it is totally fine without one. You can either use a rolling pin or the a heavy, flat bottom pan like a glass or ceramic pie dish.
Flatten the tortillas between a resealable bag.
We've tried many ways to flatten tortillas without struggling, and so far, using plastic resealable bags, like Ziploc, with a rolling pin or tortilla press is the winner. The plastic sleeves are the perfect thickness to not easily get crinkled, you can use them over and over again, and it peels off the tortillas easily. So just grab a gallon size Ziploc bag, split open both sides, and you've just saved yourself from some extra cleaning.
Wrap the cooked tortillas in some clean cloth.
The purpose of wrapping the tortillas in cloth is, firstly, to keep the tortillas warm and secondly, to steam the tortillas. Why steam? The steam softens up the tortillas and make them flexible so that they can hold all your taco goodies without breaking.
How do I store leftover dough?
If you have leftover tortillas dough, portion it out and keep it refrigerated in either a resealable bag or airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze leftover dough for up to 2 months and use them after thawing. If the dough cracks after freezing, simply added more water to the dough and re-knead it.
How do I know if my tortilla dough is right?
There are a few indications that tell you whether your tortilla dough needs more or less water. In the recipe, we gave you the measurement of how much water we used, but it can vary for you depending on your environment.
If your dough is made properly, it should:
- feel kind of like Play-Doh and not stick to your hands,
- does not crack when flattened or when cooked,
- and puffs up when cooked.
The proud moment when my tortilla started to puff up!
If your tortilla cracks, you need to add more water. If your tortilla does not puff up when it's being cooked, it means you're not going to get married. 😨 Uh...at least according to Mexican folktales our friends from Mexico told us. 😅 But seriously, if your tortillas do not puff up, it probably means that you need to knead the dough a little more, add a little more water, or your tortillas are not at the right thickness.
So don't feel discouraged if your tortillas don't puff up on your first attempt! I had to try several times to get the perfect thickness and texture. Now I'll be qualified as a marriage candidate 😂, and you'll be too! Just keep practicing! 💪
Cook with love!
P.S. We changed up our photography style! Do you like it? Leave a comment below to let us know!
If you made this recipe or any recipe from our blog, please tag us on Instagram @twoplaidparons! We would love to see your creations! It absolutely makes our day! 🥰
3 Ingredient Homemade Corn Tortillas
- 1½ cup, packed masa flour ( we recommend Maseca brand)
- 1½ cup warm water (or as needed)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Combine the masa flour and salt in a bowl and mix well.
- Add the water to the seasoned masa flour and mix with your hands until the dough comes together.*The amount of water may vary depending on your environment. You can use 1-2 tablespoon less, more, or as needed. The texture of the dough should be kind of like Play-Doh.*
- Knead the dough by folding the dough onto itself for about 2-3 minutes. Compact the dough into a smooth ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.
- After resting the dough, divide the dough into 8 even balls, about 60 grams each. Work with 1 tortilla ball at a time while keeping the rest covered with either a clean cloth or plastic wrap.
- Preheat a nonstick pan or griddle on medium heat.
- Meanwhile, flatten a ball of tortilla dough in between a split gallon resealable bag with the palm of your hand.Using a rolling pin, evenly roll the flattened tortilla dough into a circle, about the thickness of a quarter or around 1/16th of an inch.*You can also complete this step using a heavy, flat bottom dish or a tortilla press.*
- Carefully peel the plastic off of the tortilla and place it into the preheated pan. Cook each side for about 1-2 minutes, until it turns opaque with specks of brown and some char. If your tortillas puff up, you nailed it!
- Remove the tortilla from the pan and wrap it in a clean towel. Repeat the rolling and cooking with all remaining tortilla dough.
- Enjoy your fresh tortilla!