Homemade Tortilla Recipe

October 9, 2011 8 Comments

Homemade Tortilla Recipe

My daughter Maddie is learning how to cook and now learning how to blog about it too. She’s only 11 years old and doesn’t let her cerebral palsy get in her way. She’s an amazing kid and I hope she continues to experience the enjoyment of cooking and writing about it. – RG

My Daughter’s Homemade Tortillas

Here’s her story about learning how to make homemade tortillas. Go girl!

Hello, it is Maddie here and today I wanted to tell you how we spiced it up in the kitchen this week. We have a very close friend of ours who was born and raised in Mexico and I can tell you first hand that her Mexican food is to die for. But today I wanted tell you how we made homemade masa tortillas. Now like me, you might not know what masa is. It’s finely grounded corn that feels like sugar, but taste like corn. It got its name because corn in Spanish is maí­z.

All you do is add water to the masa “flour” and mix it and it creates dough. Then you make the dough into 16 equal 5-6 inch balls. Now here’s where I come in.

I have a kitchen tool that is small and circular with a handle that is called a tortilla press. You put a piece of plastic down and then one of the small balls of dough and then another piece of plastic down so it doesn’t stick and press it down and it makes the dough look like a small, thin pancake.

Then I hand it to my dad and he cooks it like a pancake on medium high heat for about 50 seconds on each side. Then you do it again and again until there is no more batter.

The trickiest part of all is to not break it. It is so hard not to break it because it is so thin but other than that you just need masa “flour”, tortilla press, water, medium bowl and a pan.

My favorite part though was watching our friend cook; she does everything with her bare hands even when it comes to flipping the tortillas! That’s not even the most surprising part – she can eat those hot and spicy jalapeno peppers like it’s nothing. It is amazing.

I made quesadillas with them; I hope I inspired you to do this at home!

Masa Flour

Here’s the Masa Flour we used. The instant corn masa flour is sometimes called masa harina and is masa in a dried and powdered form. Masa is made from hominy which is corn that is dried and treated with lye to loosen the hull and soften the corn.

Mixing Masa

Our friend Paula prefers using her hands for mixing the masa and water.

Masa ball for tortilla

Here’s the size of one tortilla ball before going into the press.

tortilla press

This tortilla press was a gift from Paula. She told us it is probably 25 years old or older. You can find these on line and they are very inexpensive.

Making Tortillas

You can see we used a zip lock bag cut in half and then cut to the shape of the press. The plastic sheets help keep the dough from sticking to the press.

press masa tortilla

Here’s what they look like after pressing.

grilling tortilla

Right onto a heated flat pan if you have one or a regular frying pan will work too. We did not use any oil to cook these.

Nell Tortilla Making

My oldest daughter Nell saw how much fun we were having and decided to have a go at it.

tortilla with eggplant

Here’s a fresh home made tortilla with a simple eggplant, greens and tomato filling.
Paula would have added a few fresh slices of jalapeno but the kids and I opted out.


  • Tortilla Press
  • Non-stick Pan
  • Medium Bowl

Homemade Tortilla Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 16 Tortilla

Homemade Tortilla Recipe


2 cups Masa flour

1 ¼ cup water

¼ tsp. salt (optional)

How To Prepare At Home

First combine in the medium size bowl, the 2 cups masa flour with the 1 ¼ cups of water and ¼ tsp. salt (optional). Then divide the dough into 16 equal 5-6 inch balls.

Next flatten each ball with the tortilla press till you can see the edge of the tortilla. Then cook them on a non-stick pan for 50 seconds on each side.

Lastly let them cool for a little.


Last modified on Mon 14 July 2014 9:26 am

Comments (8)

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  1. Silverspoon says:

    Great job, Maddie! Makes my mouth water for some really good corn masa tortillas!
    My 11-year-old granddaughter in Oklahoma has tried her hand at something similar, without much (or any) luck at involving other young cooks. Maybe you can connect with her? Below is a link to Sarah’s “International Cooking Show” blog that’s hosted on their family learning blogsite: http://learningsigns.speedofcreativity.org/?s=international+cooking+show

  2. Jenni says:

    That was a real family affair! Great job on the tortillas, Maddie&Nell, and what a wonderful write up, Maddie–you are def following in your dad’s footsteps! How great to have a friend that makes authentic Mexican food–that filling Paula made looks fantastic!

  3. barter411 says:

    Congratulations to Maddie for her success cooking and blogging too. She has multiple talents. Thanks also to your amiga who shared her secret? recipes with you. Hopefully you can carry on a tradition like what we have in our family: my grandmother’s crepes. There’s a buzz these days about “heirloom skills” and that’s what this kind of thing is. Don’t let them go extinct in our packaged food, microwave cooking world.

    Thanks barter411 – RG

  4. Lori Krauss says:

    MMMMM, I need to get a tortilla press. Homemade are definitely the best. Any chance of getting a mole recipe from Paula?

    Hi Lori, working on it. Hope to have one soon. – RG

  5. Colleen says:

    This is wonderful! Keep up the great recipes!

  6. Melissa says:

    Hello Maddie,

    Thank you for showing us in detail how to make tortillas. I cannot wait to make them myself and after reading your blog, I now feel confident that I will do a good job. 🙂 My husband and I love Mexican food, so if you have anymore recipes we’d love to read about them.

    Thank you again.
    Happy cooking!


  7. B. Bailey says:

    Maddie, you are a great writer and a cook! the step-by-step photos were so helpful. i enjoyed reading about your team effort with your dad and Paula. My mouth was watering as I read this…can’t wait to try making my own tortillas – but first, i need to buy the press. 😀

    I hope you kept up with your cooking and blogging!

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