Corn Tortillas

Learn to make two different variations on classic tortillas with Rick Stein's recipe from his BBC series, The Road to Mexico.

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Good-quality, mass-produced corn tortillas have become much more readily available online since I started planning this book, and the need to make your own has diminished. I include a recipe because they are rewarding to make and taste the best, but I confess to buying them much more often. You still can’t get proper corn tortillas in supermarkets, just the ones mixed with flour which don’t taste right, but it won’t be long.

Makes 12 x 15cm tortillas


For standard corn tortillas:
250g maize tortilla flour (masa harina, or maseca)
½ tsp salt
350-375ml lukewarm water
For blue corn tortillas:
250g blue corn tortilla flour (harina de maiz azul, or maseca azul)
275-300ml lukewarm water
½ tsp salt

Essential kit

You will need: a rolling pin.


Put the flour in a bowl with the salt. Add water, starting with 350ml. If the dough is still too dry to come together, add more water, a little at a time, until you have a soft but not sticky dough. Knead the dough for a minute or two until it is soft and pliable and forms a ball. Ideally, allow the dough to rest, covered, for 20–30 minutes for the best texture, but you can use it straight away if you need to.

Divide the mixture into golfball-sized balls. Place one between two sheets of thin polythene. Then press it in a tortilla press or roll with a rolling pin to make a disc about 15cm in diameter. Repeat to use the rest of the dough and pile the tortillas up, separated with baking parchment to prevent them sticking together.

Heat an ungreased heavy-based frying pan. Cook the tortillas, one or two at a time, until they change colour and start to puff up slightly; this will take about 2 minutes. Flip them over and repeat on the other side. Keep the tortillas warm.

You can make this dough in advance and store it, wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for a few days.

For Blue Corn Tortillas:

The mixture for these is slightly different because of the absorbency of the flour. Make them as for white corn tortillas, but start by adding 275ml water, only adding more if the dough is too dry. Knead to a smooth, soft but not sticky dough. Keep the dough, very well wrapped, in the fridge until ready to use, then cook as for white corn tortillas.

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