In the rescent past, I learned how to make tortillas from pre-cooked corn meal. The already-cooked, already-ground corn meal is also known as, "instant corn meal".

picture of maseca brand instant masa

I ground my own corn this time, but I do not know if anything special required because the masa is raw and uncooked

picture of a corn mill or corn grinder

whole raw crude corn

I tried the following:

  1. mix the raw corn meal (masa cruda) with water.

  2. form the dough into balls the size of golf-balls

  3. squished the balls of dough flat in a tortilla press

  4. fry the tortilla in a dry pan with no oil for less than 5 minutes.

It did not work. The tortillas from only coarsley ground corn and water are not flexible. The tortillas snap in half. No tacos 🌮 can be made. They are crumbly and brittle.

If I am using raw uncooked corn, do you reccomend that I fermet the corn on a bowl of water and yeast for a few hours?

Do you reccomend precooking the corn? I could spread the dry maiz crudo out on a cookie sheet and bake it in an oven for an hour or two at an extreemly low tempurature. Could make dough from pre cooked corn.

I only know how to make tortillas using factory-made instant pre-cooked flour.

  • Welcome to SA! Thanks for all the photos with your question.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


In order for you to make tortillas, the corn needs to be nixtamalized, which you need to do when the corn is in its whole kernel form. Nixtamalization uses lime (cal), not yeast.

Since the corn will be soaked at the end of nixtamalization, when you grind it up it makes a wet masa dough than can be used directly.

Serious Eats documents the whole process.

  • What does “(cal)” mean? I’m guessing it’s not a reference to small calories. Does it refer to calcium? Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 10:02
  • From the link, cal is apparently Spanish for lime. I'd never heard the term before either.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 12:16
  • 1
    Yes, it's Mexican Spanish for the specific variety of lime used for nixtamalization. I threw in the term because the OP included a bunch of Spanish terms in their question.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 15:52
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I think that cal is Calcium hydroxide. Commented May 28, 2023 at 18:54

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