2 cups (232 g) gluten free masa harina corn flour (Bob’s Red Mill and Nuts.com are both good brands here)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
9 to 11 ounces very warm water (about 90°F)
Make the dough. Place the masa and salt in a large bowl, and whisk until well-combined. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add 9 ounces water, and mix to combine. The dough should hold together well and have the consistency of play-doh: stiff and thick, but a bit wet. It will absorb water as it sits. If it is at all dry, add more water, about 1/2 ounce at a time, until it reaches the proper consistency.
Let the dough rest. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and touch the dough. It will have absorbed enough of the water that it is not crumbly but leaves no residue on your hands when you touch it. Divide the dough into about 8 equal pieces, and roll each into a tight round between your palms. If the dough is at all crumbly, sprinkle it lightly with some water and knead it into the dough.
Heat a cast iron skillet or another heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat until very hot.
If using a tortilla press, line a tortilla press with plastic (cut off the top of a quart-sized zip-top bag, then along the sides, and finally in half into two equal squares. Use the two pieces of plastic to line the press). Then simply press the dough first in the tortilla press. Remove the dough from the press, roll it out a bit thinner between the two pieces of plastic and then continue with the rest of the instructions.
If not using a tortilla press, place one piece of masa dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper and roll into a round about 6 inches in diameter.
For a perfect circle, cut a clean round from the dough using a 6-inch cake cutter or lid of a pot of similar diameter. Remove the top sheet of parchment or the top sheet of plastic, peel the bottom sheet away from the raw tortilla and place it in the hot pan. Allow the tortilla to cook undisturbed until it begins to pull away from the pan around the edges (about 45 seconds in a hot pan). With a flat, wide spatula, flip the tortilla over, press it gently onto the pan to ensure contact with the entire surface area, and cook for about 15 seconds. Flip once more, and cook for another 15 seconds. Remove the tortilla from the skillet and cover with a moist tea towel or place in a tortilla warmer lined with a moistened tea towel or paper towel. Repeat with the remaining dough, gathering and re-rolling any scraps and stacking the tortillas under the towel.
Serving and storage. Corn tortillas will remain pliable and fresh-tasting for a few hours when stored at room temperature, wrapped in a damp tea towel. They can be refreshed before eating by searing briefly on both sides in a hot skillet. They can also be cooled completely in a stack, then wrapped tightly in a freezer-safe wrap and frozen. Defrost at room temperature and refresh in a hot skillet as described.
Originally published on the blog in July 2012. Recipe refreshed, retooled and re-photographed in 2015; video and photos using tortilla press new in 2019.