How To Make Corn Tortillas Step By Step
Corn Tortillas From Scratch- By: GITANA
Today you will be learning step by step how to make "to die for" homemade white Corn Tortillas-pronounced (tor-tee-yas). This recipe comes from an old lady friend of mine that I met while living in Mexico over 30 years ago! She passed it on to me from her Great-Great Grandmother. These tortillas are the moistest, prettiest tortillas around and usually the other tortillas out there are cracked and dry. I can tell you that there has not been to this day a Tortilla that can ever compare to these ones, so please enjoy and share, share, and share!!!!
Let's start with a little history and information on Tortillas and equipment first.
What is the main ingredient? The main ingredient for these tortillas is called Masa Harina (Corn Flour). This is NOT Polenta or Corn Meal. Please do not try to substitute them or any other type of flour for this recipe because they simply will not work. Masa Harina is made and processed in a totally different way from the other types of flours out there. It is made from very finely ground up corn kernels that have been cooked then soaked in lime water and finally dried. This mixture when combined with water (sometimes oil) forms a soft not "sticky" dough.
Where can you buy this? You can buy this in any Ethnic or Latin Super Markets and if you aren't near any of those then you can always order online from Amazon.
Do I need special tools? Not for this! So smile and relax. Normally you could use what is called a Tortilla Press, but it is not a must. There are many types, shapes and varieties of these Tortilla Presses. There are metal, wood, and plastic types and any of them could be either a round shape or a square shape, and NO the square Tortilla Press won’t give you square Tortillas. If you can't get a Tortilla Press you could always use a rolling pin, a glass bottle or your hands. Like the Masa Harina, you should be able to find any type of Tortilla Press in the Ethnic Markets or on line at Amazon or other websites. If you would like to get creative you could even make your own at home! No special tools required so let your mind run wild.
Rolling pin or glass bottle method- If you are going to use a rolling pin or glass bottle to roll them out instead of the Tortilla Press then you would just put the ball of dough into plastic on the designated surface of your choice (a hard surface) and roll out the tortilla. It won't look as pretty as the Tortilla Pressed ones but you will with time improve on your skills, so don't worry.
Made by hand method- If you want to really be authentic and make your tortillas by hand with no tools at all, then you would take the ball of dough between your two hands and smash it down flat once to get a disc formation started. There is no need for plastic or bags in this method. It's kind of like when we were little kids and played with play dough. Once you have that round disc shape you will rotate it into your hands smushing it down with every turn. While doing this you can take a finger and go around the outside edges to keep it in a circle form, kind of like a mini pizza. These tortillas will always be smaller and thicker because they are made by hand, please don't worry they all taste the same but take a little while longer to cook.
Ingredients for white corn tortillas are;
1.) 1 cup (250 ml) of HOT (not boiling) water.
2.) 2 cups (250 mg) Masa Harina Flour (Corn Flour Any Brand.)
3.) 1 Teaspoon of salt (table salt or finely ground) NOT big granules.
4.) A handful of the All-Purpose flour.
Prep Time- 5 Minutes
Cooking Time- About 20 minutes total.
Mix- all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Little by little add the hot water while with your hands mashing the dough up until it becomes soft but firm. HINT! Never add all the water at once because you will have to re-add all of the other ingredients to make up for the extra water. It is not a good sign when the dough is too wet or sticky.
Next- You will make about 10-12 golf sized balls from the dough. Then you will get a skillet, griddle or pan ready on the stove. Only NON-STICK will work because the dough will stick, rip and be ruined if it's not a non-stick material. Gas stoves will need to be set to a lower flame to prevent burning the tortillas and electric stoves will be set to a medium, medium high setting as to they cook at a lower temperature. You
To prevent the dough from sticking to the tortilla press or any other material you may use to form them you must use plastic to outline the area of use. Line the tortilla press with either a Ziploc baggy, parchment paper or cut up a plastic shopping bag. Make sure the size is bigger than the tortilla press because they will become bigger and flatter with the pressure you put on them and it wouldn't be a good thing to have them over hang the plastic.
Place the balls of dough one at a time into the middle of the plastic covered tortilla press and close it down while applying enough pressure to smush it flat. If you must check your progress open it up to look at it. If you see one side is thicker than the other then you can fix it easily by turning the side you want to even out onto the side of the hinges of the tortilla press and re-press the tortilla gently down. If you want thinner tortillas then apply more pressure to the tortilla press while pulling down. If you would like thicker tortillas do not apply as much pressure to the press. Also if you'd like bigger and fatter tortillas then you would simply just make the balls of dough bigger. You will learn over time what size suits you the best by trial and error.
Now you must carefully pick the plastic up with the tortilla in it and peel it away as to leaving the tortilla in the palm of your hand with about half of it hanging freely. This is because you must carefully lay the tortilla down into the hot skillet without folding or bending it.
Usually the cooking time for each side of a thin tortilla is about 1 minute give or take. To get them to inflate you must push them down in the middle (by using your fingers or a spatula) after you have already cooked both sides. This will evenly distribute the heat throughout the tortillas causing them to fully cook on the inside and inflate. Believe me there is nothing worse than biting into a half-cooked tortilla after anticipating their arrival.
HINT- if you can't flip the hot tortillas with your hands it is OK to use a spatula. You don't want to burn your hands. Over time they will adjust to the heat and build up tolerance to it. You want the tortillas to have a light brownish color all through out each side, that is best. What you don't want is to burn them or have them hard because they won't taste good and you won't be able to show them off to your guests.
BURNED HARD TORTILLAS- ARE A NO NO!
As you remove the tortillas from the pan or skillet, you want to keep them warm and the way to do this is to place them in a clean hand towel or tin foil. This will keep them moist and warm for a while. You can also put them in the refrigerator for later use. If you want to make more tortillas you would just double the batches ingredients and remember to always carefully add the water into the dough when making any sized batch of tortillas.
Health information about these white corn tortillas-
Carbs- 47 grams
Protein- 5 grams
Fat- 5 grams
Sodium- 6 mg
Potassium- 164 mg
Fiber- 4 grams
Vitamin A- 135 I U
Calcium- 85 mg
Iron- 4.7 mg
I hope you have enjoyed my step by step homemade white corn tortilla recipe as much as everyone else does! Please share it as much as possible and if you have any questions feel free to ask. Have a great day everyone.