Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Psshhh... Check this out. I made corn tortillas. Homemade - like from scratch. The quarter Mexican in me is gloating whilst salsa dancing. You'll have to forgive her a little, she's quite the horn-tutting multitasker. You also have to admit, that's kind of cool. And delicious.

Yes, it only has 3 ingredients. But it requires the use of a specialty gadget called a tortilla press. Or, if you're an ameteur kitchen MacGyver like me (read--cheap), two sheets of plastic wrap and a glass pyrex pie plate. Which also means, this was a little time consuming. There is an hour built in wait, which is no bigger, the dough is just chilling out and you're free to chill out too, but the ball rolling, squashing, pressing, pan frying deal? It's going to be a little bit of a time commitment.

I read everywhere that once you've gone homemade, you won't go back. I kinda see myself able to go back.  About half way through all the ball rolling, squashing, pressing, pan frying assembly line I had set up for my self, I found myself wondering, is it really worth it?  I can get a dozen of corn tortillas at my local market of 39 cents.  That is less than 4 pennies per tortilla.  These are delicious, yes, and you get to parade around the whole evening boasting your accomplishment ("I made corn tortillas!"!), but you can get a dozen for less than two shiny quarters. I know myself, and when I want a lazy Taco Tuesday night, this isn't the way to go. I'm going to be reaching for a 39 cent bag.

This is absolutely a BGCB recipe.  I homemade corn tortillas for crying out loud!  And they were damn tasty. You should try it yourself too. So that your inner Mexican can salsa-around with accomplishment. They just aren't Taco Tuesday ready yet. I'm going to do a little researching, if these are pre-pan frying freezable maybe we might just have to revisit this conversation. I'll let you know!

Homemade Corn Tortillas
Adapted from Bob's Red Mill

2 c. Masa Harina (aka Corn Flour)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 - 2 c. hot water
Canola Oil

In large bowl, whisk together masa harina and salt. Slowly drizzle in hot water and mix. Give up with the spoon and start kneading with your hands. You are looking for a consistency that is "firm and springy when touched, not dry or sticky". Think Play-Dough. Cover with a clean towel and let rest about an hour.

Heat up a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Using a brush, lightly coat with canola oil. If you have a tortilla press, bust it out. If you have a tortilla press, you probably don't really need much instruction...

For those without: roll dough into about a 1-2 inch ball. flatten into a disk shape in your palm. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a flat bottomed pan or pie tin (I used a glass pie plate. It was nice to see through to the tortilla underneath), press dough ball until very thin and flat. Carefully remove from plastic and put in hot cast iron. Cook 1-2 minutes (bubbles will start to rise inside) before flipping. Flip once, cooking 3-4 minutes total. Brush cast iron with canola oil as needed.

To keep warm, keep under foil tent.

Bob says this makes 12 6-inch tortillas. Mine were a little smaller and I got 20.

I made these two Thursday night's ago. A week later, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, they were still good in my fridge.


  1. Thanks for the recipe! I always thought I needed a tortilla press to make corn tortillas, but I followed your instructions and made them with the pie plate - turned out perfectly! I'll be making these often... :)

    1. So glad it worked for you too! It's only been a week and I'm already ready for round 2! Thanks for stopping by :)


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