Homemade Corn Tortillas – Part Two: How to Make Masa

by Ann Marie Michaels on August 7, 2008

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Making Masa - Rinsing the Corn

This is the second post on how to make corn tortillas from scratch.

After you’ve cooked and soaked your corn in lime water, you’re ready to make your masa (or dough). Please read Homemade Corn Tortillas – Part One: How to Soak Corn for Masa to learn how to properly soak the corn prior to making masa.

How to Make Masa


Food processor


Soaked corn (nixtamal) – from Homemade Corn Tortillas – Part One: How to Soak Corn for Masa
Filtered water


1. Rinse the soaked corn thoroughly in a colander.

Making Masa

2. Add the corn to the bowl of your food processor, 1 cup at a time.
3. Pulse a few times, then let it run.
4. Add anywhere from 1-4 tablespoons of water per cup of corn. You just have to feel it out. Keep adding water 1 tablespoon at a time and blending until the dough is very soft and is no longer crumbly.
5. Keep pulsing and scraping down until the dough is done. You will know when it’s done when the dough is very smooth and it forms a ball on one side of your food processor.
6. Be very conservative about adding water. If you add too much water, the dough will be overly sticky. That’s OK though. Just add more corn and make it a little dryer, then mix it with the wetter one. It will all balance out.
7. Form the dough into a few large balls and wrap in plastic and store in the fridge until you are ready to make your tortillas.

Making Masa - Forming the Dough

Read how to make the tortillas in Homemade Corn Tortillas – Part Three: How to Make Tortillas.

Other posts in this series:

Homemade Corn Tortillas – Part One: How to Soak Corn for Masa

Homemade Corn Tortillas – Part Three: How to Make Tortillas

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