Since moving to Texas we have fallen in love with fresh corn tortillas. Those ones from the package aren’t even in the same category as fresh homemade tortillas. They are also full of all sorts of weird preservatives that sound, oddly, like ingredients in anti-freeze.
There’s also the genetically modified issue. It is really hard to find any corn that isn’t genetically modified, unless it’s organic or specifically labelled as such. And while I couldn’t give you a list of ten diseases genetically modified foods may cause, I just know something’s not right about the process.
So when we can we try to avoid eating lots of genetically modified foods. Seeing as how we eat these corn tortillas a few times per week lately, we purchase Bob’s Red Mill masa harina for making our tortillas. (I did not share the same experience as the one review for the product, in case you are wondering.)
The next step I’d like to take in making homemade tortillas is to grow our own grain, pick up some pickling lime from Cultures for Health, and nixtamalize the corn myself which I would then grind into masa with our country living grain mill.
I think we’ll take it one step at a time first, though, and continue to enjoy these homemade corn tortillas.
Homemade Corn Tortillas
Recipe note: The procedure sounds long and intimidating at first, but once you make them the first time you will find a fast and easy rhythm that requires very little time and effort. The most important thing to do the first time is make sure your dough isn’t too wet, it should not be very sticky, and do not make your tortillas too thin.
ziploc bag or silicon mat cut along edges so that each side of the tortilla press has a side of the bag
large cast-iron skillet or griddle
2 cups masa flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Combine masa with sea salt and add water. Mix with a fork until it starts to come together and then use your (clean) hands to bring it into a ball of dough, kneading a few times to distribute the water.
- Allow to rest at least 15 minutes before making tortillas. The package calls for an hour, but I don’t find it necessary (or always possible :)).
- Heat your skillet to at least medium heat, high if you’re willing to really focus and have a few burnt (tasty) edges.
- With clean hands grab enough masa dough to form a 2″ ball. Roll into a ball (it doesn’t have to be perfect), place in the middle of your plastic bag-lined tortilla press. Press dough into a 4-6″ wide tortilla which is just thicker than a quarter.
- Carefully peel the tortilla from the plastic bag and flop onto one side of your hot skillet. Make another tortilla and place on the other side of your skillet.
- Cook the tortillas until the top side looks like it has dried out a bit. Flip and cook 1-2 more minutes.Place inside of a clean towel to stay warm.
- Repeat with the remaining masa dough. When you are all done fill with taco fillings, cheese for quesadillas, or butter them as a bread component to a meal.