Better Corn Tortillas

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August 16, 2011 by Flora Dawn

I love food- eating food, talking about food, and even reading about food. Unfortunately, this means over the years I have collected more than my share of cookbooks and food magazines. So in an effort to organize, I went through my food magazines.

Over the last few weeks (well, maybe months), I have been pouring over all the magazines, ripping out recipes that I “have to try” and donating or recycling the rest. One of the articles that caught my immediate attention was from Food & Wine about Hot Bread Kitchen. Not only do I love the concept of a non-profit bakery that is helping low-income women, but they are also baking up some excellent ethnic foods. And thanks to Food & Wine I now have a few of their recipes.

Although I have been making corn tortillas since we first went gluten-free a couple years ago, I have always used the brand of masa harina that is most widely available in my area. However, the article stressed that if fesh masa was unavailable to use Bob’s Red Mill brand Masa Harina.

So, I went out in search of some Bob’s Masa Harina; it was a bit hard to find in my local stores, but I was able to find some eventually. You can order it directly from their website, they even have a certified gluten-free one!

These corn tortillas were by far the best, and easiest, I have ever made at home. So soft, pliable, and tasty. And I loved the way they blistered and browned when they cooked.

I know making tortillas at home might seem intimidating, or too labor intensive; after all you can just go to your supermarket and grab one of those plastic bags full of stale ones 🙂 But, it really is easy, healthy, and inexpensive.

And if you have kids, they will probably think it’s pretty neat too! My youngest daughter loves to eat a warm tortilla and run around the kitchen dancing (I am not sure why, it just has this effect on her). Although, I am not really suggesting you allow your kids to run with food, as that would be dangerous, but it might be an unwanted side effect of fresh tortillas…just saying.

Dough rolled into log and sliced into 16 pieces.

Tortilla beautifully browned.

Tacos with freash Corn Tortillas. YUM!

Corn Tortillas

With only two ingredients, the flavor of the masa harina is really important; Bob’s Red Mill brand is really the brand to buy for these!

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. In a large bowl, combine the masa harina and water. With a wooden spoon, stir until combined and moistened.
  2. Place a cutting board or a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and roll the dough into a log approximately 8 inches long; cut into 16 equal pieces. I didn’t get obsessive here, no rulers or scales, I just estimated the cuts. Roll each piece into a ball and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel (you don’t want them to dry out).
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet or comal over high heat. Place each ball of dough in a plastic-lined tortilla press (or you could try to roll these with a rolling pin) and flatten to about 5-inch rounds. Carefully peel the tortilla off the plastic and immediately place on the hot skillet.
  4. Cook for about 1 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom; turn over and cook for about 30 seconds more. Place the cooked tortillas on a dish-towel lined plate and cover to keep warm.
  5. Repeat pressing and cooking with remaining dough, making sure to keep the baked tortillas covered. Serve the tortillas with desired toppings.





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