If you think making your own tortillas is difficult/time consuming/not worth it, think again.
Here are the reasons why I think making your own corn tortillas is a no-brainer:
- You mix up a batch and it makes 16 tortillas. You can put a lot of awesomeness on those 16 tortillas.
- It’s really quite simple to do. You let the tortilla press do the work anyway.
- Living in Saskatoon the selection of authentic Mexican food – including tortillas – that you can purchase to use at home is very limited. I have found truly authentic fresh tortillas at the Farmers Market (so good) and at El Mercado (also good) but the prices were kind of high in my opinion. Especially, considering how inexpensive it is to make them at home.
- You get to look all autentico. (That means authentic, just in case you were unsure.)
I found a tortilla press online for $14 and an accompanying comal for $12. Levi broke my tortilla press the very first time we used it. I was in the midst of making an instructional video and between takes – where he felt he had to demonstrate just how hard to press down on the lever – he broke it. Clearly my $14 tortilla press wasn’t that great of quality.
Of course, Levi felt so bad about it. I laughed and wished the camera was still rolling so I could show it to everyone here. To make up for it, Levi went and bought me a hand-made wooden tortilla press from El Mercado, a Mexican-Latin American store, here in Saskatoon. I love this heavy duty tortilla press.
I bought some masa mix called Maseca from Superstore. I am about 99.3% positive I’ve bought this stuff before (I’m talking six years ago) with the same intention of making tortillas but never did and have no clue what happened to my sack of Maseca. Anyway, I bought it again.
Masa is basically white corn that’s been made into hominy by treating it with slaked lime, then ground into the masa. The stuff we buy in the store is primarily masa that’s been dried and is called masa de harina or simply masa harina (and sometimes masa seca.)
The ridiculous thing is that there are clear and easy-to-follow instructions right on the Maseca packaging. So, really if you go buy it you really won’t have need for this post. But then you’ll be missing out on these awesome instructional photos that I’ve put together.
Update: A reader asked what to cook these tortillas on if you do not have a comal. Here are a couple different options. If you have a gas cooktop and a cast iron pan I have seen some flip the pan over the burner and cook the tortillas on the back side of the cast iron skillet. Of course, you could just leave your cast iron pan right-side-up on any type burner and use a spatula to gently flip them over. Any kind of griddle would also work perfectly too.
- 2 cups loosely measured Maseca
- 1½ cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Mix the ingredients together in a bowl to a moist soft dough.
- Divide dough into 16 equal balls.
- Cover with a damp towel to prevent from drying out.
- Heat your ungreased comal over medium-high heat.
- Place plastic wrap on the lower half of the open tortilla press.
- Put one ball of rolled dough in the center of the press.
- Place another piece of plastic wrap on top.
- Press the top portion down firmly and use the lever to apply more pressure. You can repeat this process once more to get a nicely thin tortilla.
- Gently peel the plastic wrap off the tortilla.
- If you aren't cooking it right away make sure to cover the tortillas with a damp towel.
- Place on the hot comal one at a time. Cook about 1 minute on each side.
- Remove to a warm plate covered with a clean lint-free towel.
- Seal any unused tortillas into a ziploc bag and refrigerate up to 5 days. Can be frozen.
These are just little amazing food morsels. Something so simple like corn tortillas are what I consider a perfect food. They are a vehicle for so many tasty things. But to be totally honest I like them just plain … I could eat them like that all day long.