La Milpa, Learn to Make Corn Tortillas!

Serving size: 1 tortilla

Servings per recipe: 12

Note: If you do not have access to a griddle or stove, try the activity Make Flour instead of making corn tortillas!


Children will learn to make corn tortillas from scratch, and to understand the difference between corn and flour tortillas.


  • Stove or hot plate
  • Large Bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Spoons
  • Measuring cups


  • 2 cups instant "masa harina" (ask your local grocery store for help if you have trouble finding it)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • (Note: the dough can be prepared earlier and refrigerated)


  1. Mix the masa harina and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and work it into the dry ingredients using the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the water and mix with your (clean!) hands until a soft dough forms. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let rest for 5 minutes. The dough can also be refrigerated and used the next day.
  4. Divide the dough into 24 pieces (1 piece per child).
  5. Have children roll their dough into a ball with their hands then slowly begin to flatten the dough by clapping it together in their hands. This action is called "palmear." Make sure the tortillas are round and flat, like a pancake, but not too thin.
  6. Place the tortilla onto a hot griddle. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottom of the tortilla becomes golden. Flip the tortilla and press lightly with a spatula, which will make the tortilla puff slightly. Cook for one to two minutes more, until the tortilla appears to be done.
  7. Serve with black beans and salsa for a delicious, healthy snack!