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Corn tortilla press
corn tortilla press: gourmetsleuth.com

How to Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

Fresh corn tortillas are a fun meal project for adults and children.

Article by: Barbara Bowman


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Fresh Tortillas - Steps And Recipe

This recipe uses masa harina (corn flour) readily available in most regions of the U.S.  Our favorite brand is Maseca by Azteca Mills.  If you want to be even more adventuresome you can make your own masa from scratch.  See resources for a link to our recipe.  You can buy all the supplies including corn, cal and corn grinder at GourmetSleuth.com

I N G R E D I E N T S
2 cups masa harina
pinch of salt
1 cup warm water
Makes: 12-  6 inch tortillas

I N S T R U C T I O N S
1 Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms into a dough.

Masa in Bowl
Dry masa flour

2 Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface such as a cutting board or your counter top.   Need the dough for about 3 to 4 minutes until it becomes smooth and no longer sticky.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for about an hour.

Masa Dough in Bowl
Masa dough holding for 1 hour

3 Divide the tortilla dough into 12 equal size pieces.  Keep the dough covered as you work.  Take one piece at a time and roll it between your hands to form a ball.

Making a ball with the masa
Masa dough being rolled into a ball

4 Open the tortilla press and lay a piece of plastic wrap on the bottom of the press.   Sit the ball of dough on the plastic wrap and flatten the dough by pressing down on it with the palm of your hand.  Now lay a 2nd piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough. 

Masa Ball on Press
Ball of masa dough, ready to press

5 Close the press and press down firmly a few times until the tortilla is flattened. The tortilla should be thin and round.  This takes a little practice. They may not be "perfect" looking at first.

Pressing the Masa Dough
Pressing the masa dough in the tortilla press

Completed Tortilla on a Plate
Completed fresh corn tortilla on a plate.

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Recipes

The Tortilla Press

A tortilla press is a simple metal or wooden object with a base, top, and handle.  Balls of masa are placed in the center of the press, pressure applied and the dough is flattened into a round, flat tortilla
    

Buy Tortilla Making Supplies

Tortilla presses -  Read complete article on how to select and purchase a good quality tortilla press.

Masa Harina -  Premade masa harina is available in most grocery stores. You can find it online too but shipping is typically more that the cost of the flour.  

Masa Dough - If you have a local taqueria you may be able to purchase freshly prepared masa then take it home and press it out.  Fresh masa will sour so make sure to use it the same day you pick it up or freeze any unused portion.

Dried Corn - Purchase field corn in Mexican markets or check our GourmetSleuth online store for several varieties.

Cal (Calcium Hydoroxide) -  This is also called slaked lime and it is used to treat the corn to make it easier to grind and to make the corn more digestible and nutritions.  Cal gives the corn that distinctive tortilla flavor. Buy Cal.

Complete Tortilla Kit -  GourmetSleuth offers a complete tortilla kit that includes tortilla press,  Mexican cookbook, tortilla basket w/napkin, cast iron comal, 1lb masa flour, tera cota salsa cup and a palote (wood dowel rolling pin). Buy Tortilla Kit

 

Masa Harina


Epicurious definition
[MAH-sah ah-REE-nah]
The Spanish word for "dough," masa is the traditional dough used to make corn TORTILLAS. It's made with sun- or fire-dried corn kernels that have been cooked in limewater (water mixed with calcium oxide). After having been cooked, then soaked in the limewater overnight, the wet corn is ground into masa. Masa harina (literally "dough flour") is flour made from dried masa.

Epicurious definition [MAH-sah ah-REE-nah] The Spanish word for "dough," masa is the traditional dough used to make corn TORTILLAS. It's made with sun- or fire-dried corn kernels that have been cooked in limewater (water mixed with calcium oxide). After having been cooked, then soaked in the limewater overnight, the wet corn is ground into masa. Masa harina (literally "dough flour") is flour made from dried masa.

 

tortilla basket
Handmade palm tortilla warmer baskets. Made in Mexico.