Don’t be intimidated about making your own tortillas….they are tasty and there is something to be said for making your own tacos from SCRATCH.

They take a little bit of practice to make them pretty, but you don’t even need a tortilla press. You just need:

   2 Cups Masa Flour

   1 Teaspoon of Salt

   1-2 Cups Warm Water

   A Plastic Shopping Bag/Produce Bag Cut Into a Long Rectangle

   Something Solid and Flat (Cutting Board/Pot With a Flat Bottom)

   Skillet or Comal



I would have taken pictures of the process, but there is really nothing to it. I mixed the masa with the salt breifly then I mixed the water in. The goal was to be able to make balls that didn’t crumble totally when smashed. They were roughly the texture of warm playdough. Then I divided the dough into 20 balls roughly the size of golf balls. I covered the bowl of dough balls with a moist towel to keep them from drying out. Then I got my skillet hot, not so hot it is smoking, but hot enough to get some color on the tortillas.

Next, I took my large rectangle of plastic and layed it out, placing a ball of dough on one end. Then I folded the plastic over the ball to cover it sandwich style. I layed my cutting board over the ball of dough sandwich and smashed it. I applied pressure evenly over the top. Actually, I smashed it slightly pushing down on it with my hand’s strength just to get it flat, then I sat on my cuttingboard on the edge of the counter to make it nice and flat. I had a bad migraine, so it really made my head want to explode just to press using hand strength alone, so this was my solution….sue me.  Then, I removed the bag from one side of the tortilla. Laying the dough side on my palm and fingers, I quickly peeled back the other side of the plastic from the tortilla, being careful not to tear the dough. Working quickly, because your hand tends to want to stick to the dough, I slapped the dough flat onto the hot skillet or comal. Then I quickly pressed another dough ball to be ready for the next round. After that, I used my spatula to press the tortilla down to get some color on it. Then I flipped it and pressed it with the spatula again. Once I had a few nice golden brown spots and the tortilla lost it’s translucent doughy color, I called it good, and started the whole process over again. I have to say that if I had a tortilla press the whole process would have been easier, and a double burner comal would have been awesome, but I made it happen. I didn’t use them immediately, but I wrapped them in a cloth and cooled them in the fridge. Once cool, I could have either bagged then froze them or used them in a day or two. I am no Mexican abuela, but I think I did a pretty good job. They were tasty with some thawed out molé from the freezer and chicken.

About iliketocookthings

I was born and raised in West Michigan in a small suburban/farming community called Lowell. I grew up cooking. My family has always been centered around the kitchen. Growing up I tended to cook a lot of Italian-American food, seeing as how I am a whopping 25% Sicilian. When I got into high school I got really into Asian cuisine. I went to college at Central Michigan University, and quickly became homesick and insecure about my areas of study (Spanish and Art). I decided to return to the motherland and begin Culinary School after 2.5 years of moderate success in traditional college. Culinary school was a fun experience, and I learned a lot, but I didn't really fit the profile of my fellow classmates. When finished, I moved to Chicago to explore carreer options. My first place of employment outside of Michigan was Green Zebra, where I learned a lot, but quickly learned that I wasn't cut out for the cooks lifestyle. I stuck it out though, and continued working at both of Shawn McClain's restaurants, for about a year and a half. I now work for Whole Foods, and while it is a corporate environment, three of the biggest perks are access to ingredients, the employee discount, and the 8 hour days that allow me time to do what I really want. I am most happy when cooking in my own kitchen for people that I love. I now live in Saint Paul, Minnesota with my husband Eric and my cat child Fergus. View all posts by iliketocookthings

2 responses to “Tortillas

  • Amz

    That’s almost the same process for making roti (chapati). Almost because roti is usually rolled out instead of being flattened. And dough is made using just whole wheat flour (atta) & water.

    I have wanted to try making tortillas for the longest time and now that I have this recipe, I will definitely make them! I don’t have a Comal but do have a tawa which is the Indian equivalent of a Comal.

    Question: why didn’t you just roll them out with a rolling pin?

    Anyways, thanks a lot for posting this recipe!! I will be trying them soon 🙂


    • iliketocookthings

      Thanks for the insight about roti. You could try using a rolling pin, but I think that the dough might crack, and it would be harder to get a uniform shape. You want them to be super thin, and a rolling pin might let you get them thin, but not super even all over. Also, the dough tends to be on the border of cracky when you roll it out, so I imagine that rolling might give you really uneven shape. Just an idea, I would say, try it out, and if it doesn’t work, smash them. Hahaha.


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