Rustic Corn Tortillas
Serves: 10-12 tortillas
  • 2 cups harina de maiz or masa harina (NOT corn meal - look at the ingredients picture of the ingredients for more information)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1¼ cup hot water, plus another tablespoon or two if needed
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the 1¼ cup water with the 1 teaspoon of shortening. Heat over medium until the shortening it melted, smushing the shortening with the back of a spoon to speed up the melting process, as shortening has a high melting point.
  2. Combine the 2 cups of the harina de maiz (corn flour) with the teaspoon of salt. Pour in the warm water with the melted shortening and mix together with a fork, then use your hands to form the mixture into a dough. It should stick together and form smooth balls for the tortillas, but not be so sticky that it sticks to your hands in clumps. Unlike other doughs, you don't have to worry about messing it up by playing with it too much. If it needs more water, go ahead and add it. If it needs more flour, go ahead and add it!
  3. Pinch off enough dough to form balls about the size of a ping-pong ball. Roll and then flatten as much as you can with the palms of your hands (see photos above). Place the dough between two pieces of wax paper, parchment paper, or plastic wrap, then with a pan or pot about 6 or 7 inches in diameter, press down on the dough to form a 5 or 6 inch tortilla (if you can press it out to 7 inches, more power to you, but I couldn't get that to happen with my tools). I found that pressing down while twisting the pot/pan back and forth helped. Other methods include wiggling/rocking the pot/pan back and forth or simply pressing down with all of my weight, placing one hand inside of the pot/pan and the other on a corner. It really isn't as hard or time consuming as it seems, it's just a very specific method. You'll get the hang of it after a few tortillas. Lay the uncooked tortillas on a paper towel or rack.
  4. Heat a dry (that means no non-stick spray, no oil, no nothin') frying pan and cook the tortillas over medium heat for 20-30 seconds on each side. Under-cooking is better than overcooking, believe me. You can always heat it a bit more, but once it's overcooked, it'll be dry and won't fold nicely with the fillings of your choice. Feel free to stack the cooked tortillas on one another, as they won't stick together. Serve immediately with the filling of your choice (if you need to leave some out as you cook something else, lay a lightly damp cloth or paper towel over them so they don't dry out) or allow to cool a bit, then store in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. Makes 10-12 tortillas (I doubled my batch).
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at