Saturday, March 21, 2015

Corn Tortillas from Scratch

I bought a bag of masa harina a month or so ago to try my hand at corn tortillas.  I finally got around to trying them.  I used a tortilla press and found that I still need practice!  It is a good thing, since I have a lot of the masa yet to use!

Corn Tortillas from Scratch

1½ cups masa harina found near the flour, or in the international aisle
¼ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, softened butter, or lard
About 1 cup hot water, plus more if needed

1. In a medium bowl, combine the masa, salt, and fat of your choice. Stir together with a fork until evenly combined. Gradually add the water to the bowl in a steady stream, mixing constantly, until a soft dough comes together. (Turn the dough onto a work surface (lightly floured, if necessary) and knead briefly just until the dough is smooth and supple.

2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

3. When you are ready to cook the tortillas, divide the dough ball into 10-12 equal sized pieces. Shape using a tortilla press, two pie plates pressed together, or a rolling pin to form 6- to 7-inch rounds. Beth found a tip to use a freezer bag, slit on both sides and press the pieces between this for a no stick option.

4. As the tortillas are shaped, transfer them to a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Cook about 1 minute per side, just until each side begins to brown/char. Transfer to a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Once all the tortillas are cooked, let rest under the towel briefly. Though they may seem stiff just out of the skillet, the warmth and moisture under the towel will help make them perfectly pliable again. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 2-3 days.

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