How to make corn tortillas

corn tortilla waterThe hardest thing about making corn tortillas from scratch is actually motivating yourself to make them. Envy is a fabulous motivator, so when deliciously homemade tacos were dangled in front of my digital face—hello @tammois, @crazybrave and @melkettle—well, call me MOTIVATED. The rest is a cinch.

corn tortilla doughIn a bowl, add 2 cups (450ml) of warm water to 3 cups of masa harina (Mexican corn flour). Add the water (reserving about 1/4 of a cup until you see how much the flour will absorb) and incorporate it so it forms a smooth, pliable dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for an hour. You don’t want the masa too damp, nor do you want it too dry.

corn tortilla divideDivide the masa; this amount makes fifteen 14cm tortillas. Keep them covered under a damp cloth so they don’t dry out. Heat an ungreased frypan on the stove. To test, a piece of dough should sizzle as it hits the surface.

corn tortilla ballLine the bottom of the tortilla press with paper or plastic, place the ball and lightly press with your hand.

corn tortilla pressAdd a layer of paper or plastic on top and close the press firmly. But don’t put all your weight on it! DO NOT BREAK HIM!

corn tortilla flatOh wow, it’s flat!

corn tortilla rollBut not flat enough… I made it thinner by rolling it out.

corn tortilla fryLay the dough onto the frypan and cook it until the underside is opaque and speckled brown. Don’t let it cook too much on this side, otherwise it’ll be overcooked and inflexible. Flip it over and cook it longer on the second side. Flip it once again and continue until it’s cooked through and ideally the top skin puffs up. Unless you’re eating them right away, pile them on top of each other in a thick cloth to keep them warm and flexible.

corn tortilla tacoIN. YOUR. FACE.

Recipe adapted from one by Diane Kennedy. With thanks to Kris for the assistance and photos!

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