Corn Tortillas Made with Yellow Corn Flour

homemade corn tortillas,corn tortillas pragueOne of my most vivid and fondest childhood memories is being sent to the local tortilleria everyday, sometimes twice, for our daily kilo or so of fresh corn tortillas for our meals. The lines where always long, but just being there and smelling the tortilla dough, feeling the heat and smelling the tortillas as they came off piping hot from the conveyor belt was a great sensory experience. I always had to eat at least one on the walk back home, I just loved it and miss it terribly.

Tortillas are Mexican flat breads that are eaten with almost every meal, one of the most important part of Mexican cuisine. The word comes from Spanish, torta which means a circular cake. In Castilian Spanish and in Spain a tortilla is a thick and round egg omelet, quite different but still delicious. Tortillas have a long history in Mexico and some central American countries, some legends say they date as far back as 10 000 BC or older. There are 2 kinds, corn which is made from masa harina, a whitish cornmeal dough made by soaking dried corn kernels in water and lime to soften them and remove the skin. Then ground to form the masa or dough, made into balls then patted to a flat round bread that was then cooked. The second tortilla type is flour made from wheat flour. I know that flour tortillas aren’t as old as the corn, but not really sure when they were first introduced, (more to come on flour tortillas.). Tortillas are used to make tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, tostadas, chips, and Burritos (made with flour tortillas) and some desserts . So you can see why a Mexican kitchen without tortillas would seem like an incomplete kitchen.

Busy and modern times had ended the traditional ways of preparing your own and nowadays families use commercially prepared tortillas. In the US as in Mexico you can find good commercially made corn and flour tortillas virtually anywhere, but unfortunately in Europe there aren’t any tortilla factories that I’m aware of, although I have come across the flour tortilla packages which I think taste awful. I’m almost certain that the “Mexican” restaurants here make their own corn using reconstituted masa harina. So again I have had to substitute and make do with available ingredients, which means no masa harina. Today’s recipe is made with yellow cornmeal flour, my substitute to the traditional masa harina. (A recipe for my homemade flour tortillas will be added soon).

corn tortilla ingredients Your Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups(170 grams) fine yellow corn flour
1 cup (110 grams) white wheat flour*
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt
2 TBSP. ( 30 ml) vegetable oil
3/4 cup (177 ml) warm water
skillet /griddle
rolling pin or tortilla press
2 small sandwich bag / or 2 waxed paper sheets
* the wheat flour helps in keeping the fine corn flour together and easier to work with*
1. In a bowl combine both flours and salt, until well combined. Next add a little of the water and the vegetable oil. Start kneading and combining the dough, gradually adding the rest of the water until the dough stops sticking to your hands. You may need to use either more flour or water to get the balance right. You want a smooth dough that isn’t too dry.
2. Warm the skillet/griddle over medium heat. Separate the dough into small balls,golf ball sized, you should get about 10-12 balls. Take one ball and cover the rest with a kitchen towel, to keep them moist.
If the balls start to dry out as you are rolling the others out, add a drop or two of water to re moisten.
3. Take either your 2 plastic bags or waxed paper and place a dough ball between them. If you have a tortilla press just push down to flatten, If you don’t have a press and are using the rolling pin roll out the ball to a 1/8 inch.

cooking corn tortillas,expat corn tortillas

4. Peel the tortilla away from the plastic/waxed paper and put on the hot skillet for 2 minutes on each side. You will see blisters start to form as it cooks. Repeat steps 2-4 until you have finished with all the dough. You can either stack the tortillas up to use right away, or let them cool down a bit and put in a sealed container or bag to store in the refrigerator and use later.

yellow cornmeal tortillas

The tortillas will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, then begin to dry out( which you can then fry/bake and use as chips.) The tortillas can be reheated on a warm skillet/griddle, directly on the flame(gas stove) or in a microwave.


  1. says

    Aww I love Tortillas… I should try your recipe some day – better then those store-bought tortillas which definitely have some preservatives added in them!

  2. says

    Hi Alina,

    If you do make them you'll notice the taste difference straight away. Then eating the store-bought one's will just taste like plastic :( yuck!

    Would love to see your photos if you do try it:)

  3. says

    WOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! Finally i was able to fix a real tortilla here, i am mexican but live in sweden and i have been attempting to make tortillas for a long time now, believe me i have tried EVERYTHING without getting any success at all.
    Muchas gracias, desde ahora me convierto en fan numero uno de tu blog.
    Viva Mexico! Viva la comida mexicana!!
    Un abrazo desde Örebro

  4. says

    Hi yomerarubio,
    I am so glad that my recipe worked for you:) I have even made tamales that have worked out really good, I have a lot more tips and substitutes to share and would love your feedback and results. What have you made with these tortillas so far? Tacos,enchiladas?

    Muchas gracias bienvenido a mi blog y provecho!

  5. says

    excellent tips! I love corn tortillas and It's nice to see that it is not too complicated to make. I know that homemade corn tortillas are suppose to be far better than the store bought ones. I can't wait to try this one out

  6. says

    I need to make my own corn tortillas. I feel for you, not having them readily available! (I'm in Texas, where they're EVERYWHERE) I just want to make my own because they taste better, and it'd be fun!

  7. says

    I love that tortilla press. I made this once in school. Only once using the tortilla press. I was having fun. But now I have to use the rolling pin. I love the aroma of corn tortillas. I should make these soon. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and photos.

  8. says

    Hi Jessie~I think once you make these you'll get hooked on making your own. I usually make enough for several meals for the week.

    Tasty Eats~ Texas is great for finding any Mexican products, so you are lucky.

    Noelle~ Your welcome.

    Divina~ Yes the rolling pin can take a bit longer than the press. My sister sent it to me so I'm lucky it cuts down the time. Thanks for the compliment.

    Have a great weekend everyone:) !!

  9. Anonymous says

    Hola Soy de Uruguay, pero en Perú comi tacos y me parecieron exquisitos. Me encanta tu receta. Espero me salgan lindas las tortillas y pueda prepararlas en mi casa. GRACIAS!!!

  10. Luis del Olmo says

    Hola que tal mucho gusto! Soy de México y estoy viviendo en paris. No sabes cuan feliz me hizo encontrar tu blog y mejor aún- como hacer tortillas! Prometo tomar fotos y enseñarte todo! Ten un buen día y aplausos por tu maravilloso Blog!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • says

      Hola Luis, Que felice estoy porque encontrastes mi blog. Tambien me acuerdo cuando no tenia mis ceridas tortillas, no se puede vivir asi:) Si porfavor toma unas fotitos para ensenar a todos aqui. Oye con esa masa tambien se puede hacer gorditas, sopes y tamales! Gracias for visitar y espero que regreses muchas veses:) Saludos!

  11. victoria henriquez says

    Hola, soy hondurena vivo en egipto y si he llorado por mis tortillas, aqui no se encuentran, acabo de ver tu blog, y voy a probar hacerlas, espero me salgan bien, gracias tu ayuda, llevo tres annos buscando como hacer tortillas, en honduras es nuestro pan y no sabes cuanto las extrano, gracias de nuevo y saludes.

  12. Sophie says

    Thankyou for sharing this recipe, as I also come from Europe where Masa Harina and corn tortillas are hard to find.
    I was wondering if it is possible to substitute the wheat flour to another flour? I don’t eat wheat, that is why ;) I want to try your recipe, as the tortillas look delicious!

    Greetings from Denmark

    • says

      Hi Sophie!

      For this recipe I have never tried using any other flour besides the wheat. You know I always wanted to try doing just the yellow corn flour, be never got around to experiment with it (I live in Mexico now and have plenty of masa harina and tortillas available). Masa harina is pure corn flour, though different than the yellow corn flour, but perhaps you can get lucky with doing 100% yellow corn flour?…

      Have you ever tested oat flour? Just make sure it’s certified gluten-free so that no wheat has contaminated the oats. I’ve used the oat combined with yellow corn flour for a pie crust (in this recipe) and got good results.

      What you really need is to make sure that the dough binds together so that the tortilla doesn’t fall apart, and that it is also flexible so you can fold it or roll it. Good luck! :)


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