Published by: Gourmet Sleuth
Last Updated: 02/17/2014
The making of corn tortillas dates back to the Aztecs when corn was the diet staple and tortillas were the "flat bread" of the culture. Corn tortillas were formed by hand and a skilled cook could "pat out" a fresh, perfectly round tortilla in about a minute without the use of any equipment like we use today.
Many rural people in Mexico still make their tortillas by hand even though locally made, fresh tortillas are easy to come by.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms into a dough.
Dry masa flour
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 holding for 1 hour
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.
Masa dough being rolled into a ball
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.
Ball of masa dough, ready to press
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 in the tortilla press
Completed fresh corn tortilla on a plate.