Corn tortilla making

We are back from a trip to Mexico and I got got myself a shiny new tortilla press!

Anyone have a great recipe and able to give me pointers on making good corn tortillas?

I read a recipe that used some wheat flour with the corn flour- anyone ever try that combo?

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I don’t think you need a recipe. Just follow the instructions on the bag of masa harina and look at a few youtube videos to learn the technique. It’s easy enough to learn. If you want your tortillas to make bubbles, you’ll have to work on your timing when flipping them, but that comes from experience.

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That’s a bit of the problem.

We can’t buy Masa in the bag here (I know , I live in the middle of no where). I can only buy in bulk from the Bulk Barn. I know that there are many recipes out there. Just wondering if someone had one that they are particularly fond of. Thanks for the pointer to YouTube for techniques, though.

Hi Salsalisa, i’ve recently started making tortillas at home too, after purchase of a press. we buy masa harina at the grocery store, but you can order it online. Just google “masa harina amazon” and a bunch should come up, and in manageable-sized portions.

the one i’ve been using does not give me the results i’m looking for, however - the Maseca brand. it doesn’t taste corny enough to me. You also need to be careful with the press as it makes them really thin if you press them all the way, and my favorite kind are the thicker ones.

i’m going to try ordering a different type of masa harina online myself and see if my results vary. one tip i was given by a server at a mexican restaurant regarding more flavor - she said that i probably needed to add more salt.

but really, i think a lot of restaurants that make really good tortillas get their bulk masa made by someone who is actually grinding their own corn. something i’m not prepared to do… good luck!

I’ll have to look at the Bulk Barn to find out what bulk brand they carry.

I have read about grind your own etc. but I think I’ll start small.

We really have no good Mexican restaurants here as there isn’t an influx of Mexican immigrants.

There are a couple within about 3 hrs from here but I have never bothered to visit. I have no idea what their tortillas are like.

I find it strange that nobody carries bags of Masca here. I used to be able to get it at Walmart in other areas I lived.

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if you were inspired by the tortillas in Mexico to get your own press, i don’t think you’ll be happy with the Maseca brand anyway. Again, for us, not enough flavor.

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I’ve been using something like Rick Bayless’s recipe: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/corn-tortillas/ to make corn tortillas. I use two pieces of green compostable bags to keep the tortillas from sticking to the press, they work pretty well with respect to ease of release. Also, to get the tortillas to puff up in the second flip I usually have to poke them a few times with a finger. Have gotten decent results with Bob’s Red Mill masa harina, but the best tortillas I’ve made were made with fresh masa from a local store (La Palma Mexicatessen in SF).

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Personally I do not like any Wheat Flour in my Tortillas.
Maseca makes an OK Tortilla not great though. 2 C Maseca, couple of big Pinches of Salt, 1.66 C Water. Rick Bayless has good detailed Instructions on line (referenced above).

Fresh Ground Masa from a Tortillaria makes a very good Tortilla. Usually ready to work right from the Bag

You could Nixtamal Corn yourself. Lots of Time and a good bit of work but you will have great tasting Tortillas.

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Like others have suggested, Rick Bayless’s method is a good one. I cut the top of a ziplock bag to line the press. I used to use plastic wrap which was a pain. I am thankful to Rick for that tip. On the second flip I quickly and gently tap the back of the tortilla several times with the back of my hand, really more like my four fingers. It works much better than a spatula or the tips of the fingers for me.

I prefer fresh masa but I have made respectable tortillas from dried masa. I do not like wheat flour in my corn tortillas at all. I see that stores are selling those now. Not for me.

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Where do you reside? Not sure what I’d do with no Latino culture/food.
Probably try and make it myself like you are doing. :smile:

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For those who are able to buy fresh masa, can you answer this question - does the masa freeze well? It comes in enormous bags and no way can i use it fast enough.

I did see something on Serious Eats on how to do this. Definitely something to look at further down the road, if I am happy with the first steps.

I live in a small city of 30,000 people. 300 kms from two major cities in central Canada. Neither of the two major centers have a large Hispanic population. There are a few latin restaurants but Mexican food isn’t really my go to when I hit the larger cities. We have two crappy Mexican fast food restaurants locally- which I can make better food at home.

Even the Mexican chains in Canada aren’t nearly as good as one of the half decent ones in the US. The only place I’ve ever run into a lot of locally run, Mexican restaurants in Canada was Leamington, Ontario. Heinz ketchup’s Canadian head office was located there and they had a bunch of migrant Mexican workers brought in to work in the tomato greenhouses. I was there for a wedding, and the place had tons of taquerias! Heinz closed their factory in Leamington a couple of years ago, creating a big against toward purchasing Heinz ketchup. I imagine the local taco demand dropped significantly.

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Tremendously interesting.
Thanks.
I’ve eaten Mexican food since I was a toddler. I’ve never been deprived.
:slight_smile:
.

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Mr. Happy - thank you - i was thinking of trying Red Mill’s masa harina next. But also thinking of doing the same, and getting the fresh masa from La Palma.

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I made tortillas last night using Bob’s Mill masa harina and the simple recipe on the package, which calls for 2 cups of masa harina. 0.5 teaspoon salt, and 1.5 cups hot water. I added a bit of oil, which some recipes include. Mix and let rest for one hour. I put parchment paper on each of the round plates on my tortilla press, then press all the way. The key to successful tortilla making is the right amount of water in the dough. Too much, and the dough will stick to the parchment and tear when you try to peel it off. Too little and I suppose it will crumble. You might have to make small adjustments after you press the first tortilla. I preheat a cast iron pan on my induction stovetop. No oil necessary, but don’t flip until the first side releases from the HOT pan. Experiment with boosting the temperature to get the tortillas to expand. My tortillas don’t reliably expand but they taste delicious. Well worth the effort.

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Thank you for all of this info, foodforthought!! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Do tortillas freeze well? Any tips?

…and if you have a basket and cloth to keep them warm as they do in Mexico, so much the better. I’ve bought frozen tortillas, hyperbowler, but I’m not inclined to freeze my own, as they are so good freshly made. The uncooked dough should freeze fine, but it’s not much of a time saver.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold