Do It Yourself

Homemade Corn Tortilla Recipe



For those of you who have been following along for a while, you know that I am a big fan of Mexican food.

In fact it was the basis for me building my very first vertical garden and eventually led to me writing my book on that subject. ( I wanted to grow my own “Salsa Garden”)

So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I love tortillas.

But while these are a delicious comfort food for me, in a survival situation where you need to dig in to your food stocks, most people only think to make loafs of bread or simple corn bread.

Now while I won’t discount the taste on either of those, I really thing that a tortilla can be a much better option especially when you need your food to be “on the go” and don’t have time to wait for your bread to rise.

Unfortunately many people don’t realize just how simple, fast, and easy it is to make a tortilla.

I ran across this article on the American Preppers Network, that has a pretty detailed recipe that is full of pictures.

Check it out below:

Corn tortillas are a simple food to make using your food storage supplies. They’re cheap, they’re easy, and they are plentiful. They’re also a main stay for those with a wheat or gluten intolerance!

Here are the basic proportions:

1 cup of masa harina (corn flour, but treated with lime and then ground)

¾ – 1 cup of water

The proportions are very nearly equal – you want to put in *just* enough water to make the dough moist, but not enough to make it tacky. The dough will begin to look smooth, rather than grainy. This is the point to stop adding water.

The next step is to divide the dough. For every cup of flour, you should end up with 8 balls of dough. It looks like this in succession:

When done, each dough ball should be approximately the size of a teaspoon.

The next step is to line your press with either plastic wrap or wax paper. If you choose not to, the dough will stick and be miserable to get off.

The Steps:

Take one dough ball and press. Spin the plastic wrap 180 degrees and press again. This will give you a flat tortilla with this press. Otherwise, they’re lopsided!

Carefully, peel your new tortilla off of the plastic and set on a plate or directly into the hot pan. Repeat for the rest of the dough.

Next, pull out your cast iron frying pan. Heat it up good and hot. Carefully, as to not rip your tortilla, pick up the one on the top and put it onto the hot pan. It will smoke a little as it cooks. Wait until the edges start to lift up, so it looks a little crown-like, and flip it.

When you flip it to the second side, you’re looking for the tortilla to stand up in the opposite direction, on its edges before you pull it off.

This takes some practice and you’ll probably burn a few before you get the timing right for your stove and your pan. This is ok – count it up to practice and set them aside for enchiladas!

When it’s done cooking, pull it off the pan and drop it on a waiting plate.

Mmm…the house smells SO good after you home-cook tortillas! Eat, drink and be merry, knowing you’ve got the best tortillas ever at your fingertips!

You can make flour tortilla with just a few more ingredients, but when it comes to taco’s I always prefer the standard corn tortilla’s

But the uses of a tortilla are not limited to Mexican food.  You can  create everything from sandwich wraps to  desserts ( flour tortilla’s, butter, Cinnamon- sugar, and honey if you have it…Yum!) .  These are a real treat for any camp out and can be a quick and easy meal in any survival situation.

Do you have any recipes that you’d like to share with me?

Leave them below.

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 30, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Farmist

    May 30, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    Sounds good, but what I need to know is how to make Masa Harina from plain cornmeal?

    • leea

      May 30, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      Or how about making a corn flour from dried corn and a grinder? (no electricity version :o)

  2. william

    May 30, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    How long will your tortillas last if frozen or vacuumed in bags .

  3. Kitty Corbett

    May 30, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Can plain cornmeal be used for corn tortillas?

    Your recipe stated that the corn was treated with lime before grinding. If the liming is necessary, how is that done? Is the corn still on the cob, or shelled?

    What would be the recipe for flour tortillas?

  4. Guy Johnstone

    May 30, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    I can’t wait to make up a batch of these. My question is how do you make flour tortillas. Thanks Guy

  5. Steven Harris

    May 30, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Joe.. I’ve been teaching this for years, and I have it down to a science, and its a LOT simpler than what you’ve shown. I have a 3 minute video that will show you how to do this in 30 seconds, with a wine bottle, not a tortilla press, not corn, with lime, but with off the shelf white flour that stores forever.
    its made on a rocket stove, but ignore the stove, this can be any stove, natural gas, propane, wood fire etc…

    See the famous Steven Harris 30 second emergency bread…or what is better known as a white flour tortilla.


  6. Frank

    May 30, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I wanted Leea to know to my understanding that you can’t grind corn in the traditional was, it has too much oil in it. That is why it is ground (if that is the word) with a hammer mill. I’ve tried it before.
    Aren’t you taking a health risk with this anyway? Isn’t just about all corn or corn flour GMO?
    The original way to make tortillas was to start with hominy then make a paste, but I quit eating corn when it was made infamous by Monsanto. Good luck, let me know if you are still alive and healthy in 10 years.

  7. Schneewitchen

    June 13, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Farmist, Leea, Kitty—If you learn how to lime corn, you can actually use ANIMAL FEED CORN in an absolute emergency. This type of corn is otherwise useless for Humans, and can even lead to starvation over time. Yet if it is limed, it is not only full of flavor, it releases the nutrients for down and dirty survival.Can be used for tortillas and stews, etc.

    Limed corn or Masa is VERY different from regular corn meal. Think Fritos, the flavor comes from the liming. You can lime the corn yourself, or buy and store the Masa by the bag already dried. You can also use your own cooked or even canned hominy. Look it up online, it is VERY easy!

    The Mexicans also make a very flavorful soup called Posole, made with whole limed corn or canned hominy. Traditionally made with Pork, but we use turkey, beef or venison. Simple to make, very flavorful and hearty. You can use a crockpot in good times or a kettle in disaster outdoors. Served with limes, lettuce and chopped onions as garnish.

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