Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Sep 20, 2011 05:28 AM

Homemade tortillas with blue corn masa harina? Help needed!

Hi all!

I've purchased a tortilla press and some blue corn masa harina to make tortillas for the first time.

I've looked at recipes and videos online, but I couldn't get my own dough to take on the pliable, "play-doh" consistency that seems to be the target texture.

It was not cohesive at all, a bit like working with wet sand, and it either felt way too sticky to shape into balls, or, when I added more masa harina, the flattened rounds would just fall into pieces when I tried to transfer them to my cast-iron skillet.

All of the recipes and videos I saw called for white corn masa harina though, so I wonder if the blue corn masa harina is not the right one to make tortillas? Or should I use a mix of white and blue?

Experienced Mexican cooks, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Many thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For your first tortillas, I would recommend white corn's MUCH easier! We did some white and blue for our first tortillas recently and couldn't get the blue to work out either. The recipe we used called for half white corn masa and half blue corn.

    1 Reply
    1. Blue corn masa harina should work fine as well. Just get the consistency right. Weather conditions (humidity and sea level) affect the slight differences in the exact amount of liquid it will take for any recipe to turn out perfectly. The dough must not stick to fingers or sides of bowl nor be too dry. Thoroughly combine 1 3/4 cups masa harina, 1 1/8 cups hot water or stock, and 1 tsp. salt. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead until pliable and smooth. If dough is too sticky, add more masa harina; if it begins to dry out, sprinkle with water. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes to an hour. Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle to medium-high. Divide dough into 15 equal-size balls. Using a tortilla press, a rolling pin, or your hands, press each ball of dough flat between two sheets of parchment paper or a trimmed off large plastic freezer bag which will make peeling off the tortillas a lot easier. You can use an inverted bowl for shaping them all consistently. Immediately place tortilla in preheated pan and allow bottom side to cook for approximately 20 to 30 seconds, or until browned and slightly puffy. Turn tortilla over to brown on other side for approximately 10 seconds more (some press down in middle lightly with a wet paper towel to encourage puffiness, and also flip once or twice more for an additional 10 seconds each time) and then transfer to a plate and keep covered in a kitchen towel so they stay warm and soft until ready to serve. Repeat process with each ball of dough. (Did you use hot or very warm water in your recipe?) - Wish you better success next time around.