Mon, Jan 4, 2010
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One of my criteria when we dine out at Mexican restaurants is the tortillas (corn and flour). In my mind, homemade tortillas are far superior to the mass-produced store versions and they make all of the difference in a dish!
Corn tortillas are made out of masa harina which literally means “dough flour” in Spanish. It is corn that is dried, soaked in lime and ground into a wet dough called masa. The wet dough is then dried and ground into the finer powder that is masa harina which is used to make tortillas, tamales and other dishes.
This recipe can easily be doubled. Experiment with different masa flours until you find the flavor that you like best. I like the masa flour that we buy at a local Mexican market but you can find a generic masa harina in the Mexican aisle of most grocery stores.
1 cup masa harina
2/3 cups warm water
Mix the ingredients well to form a moist (but not sticky) dough. You can add more water as necessary. Knead the dough briefly on an un-floured surface until it is smooth. Form the dough into 6-7 balls. Cover the balls with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out. If the dough dries out while you are making the tortillas, add a few drops of water and knead it into a smooth, moist dough.
Working with one ball at a time, place a ball between two sheets of plastic wrap and press it into a circle with a tortilla press. (If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can use the bottom of two flat plates covered in plastic wrap as a substitute.)
Brush a hot griddle with canola oil. A pancake griddle is my preferred cooking method but a pan on the stovetop will also work. Cook the tortillas at high to medium-high heat, adjusting the heat as necessary. (On a pancake griddle, I set the heat to the highest setting of 400+ degrees.) When the tortilla starts to set and turn golden brown, flip it to cook the other side. Re-apply the oil on the griddle before cooking each tortilla.
Place the tortillas on a plate and cover them with foil while you continue to cook the remaining tortillas. This will keep them tender, moist and pliable.
Wrap leftover tortillas in foil and store them in the refrigerator in a Ziploc bag.
Tags: masa harina