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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homemade Corn Tortillas

I love making recipes like tacos and enchiladas that use tortillas, however, store bought corn tortillas always seem to be a bit disappointing since they break and fall apart within seconds of filling.  I never even considered making corn tortillas from scratch until I saw a recipe for them on and realized that it was a pretty simple process with only 3 ingredients. Surprisingly  it is also pretty simple to find a gluten free masa harina (the corn flour used in tortillas) since Maseca brand flour is gluten free and is found in most major supermarkets. The first time I made the tortillas, I just used wax paper and a rolling pin to roll them out. The tortillas turned out fantastic (much sturdier than the storebought!) but it was a bit tedious to roll them out by hand. I was afraid that the tortillas would only taste good on the first day but they still tasted phenomenal and worked perfectly a week later! At that point there was no going back and tortilla making was going to become a regular occurrence for me so I decided to buy a tortilla press on Amazon. The press was definitely worth the $12 I spent, since it makes the process a lot easier and the final product looks much more uniform in size. Whether you use a press or not, you will be amazed how much more pliable and tastier, the homemade tortillas are! The first time you try this recipe, it might take a few tries to get the dough right, but the good news is that you can reroll the dough a few times if necessary, so don't get discouraged. Adding a little extra water and re-kneading the dough also fixes many problems!

Homemade Corn Tortillas
Gluten Free
Makes 8 Tortillas
Click Here for Printable Recipe

1 cup gluten free masa harina  (can be found in the Hispanic section of most major grocery stores, Maseca brand is gluten free)
1/2 cup + water
1/4 tsp. salt
Optional Equipment--Tortilla Press

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, water and salt until a crumbly dough begins to form. Once combined, you should be able to use your hands to knead together dough into a ball. If dough seems too dry, add additional water, 1 tbsp at a time.

2. Use your hands to roll dough into a log shape and then  cut into 8 equal pieces. Cover dough with a damp paper towel to keep moist.

3. Open tortilla press and line with wax paper. Wet your hands and pick up one dough piece. Knead slightly with your hands to make dough pliable, adding a touch more water if dough seems dry. Place dough on tortilla press and cover with another piece of wax paper.  Press down to flatten tortilla. (For the tortilla press I was using, I had to place dough slightly off center or it would spill over the handle. Test out your press and adjust accordingly). Lift up top part of tortilla press, and remove top piece of wax paper.

**No Tortilla Press Variation-- Place tortilla between sheets of wax paper and roll out carefully with a rolling pin until about dough is about 6 inches in diameter,then  remove top piece of wax paper and proceed with instructions..**

4. Heat a small stainless steel skillet over medium high heat (don't add any oil or spray).

5. Use a small spatula to loosen the edges of the tortilla all the way around until the tortilla is loosened from  the bottom piece of wax paper. (If tortilla crumbles, reroll pieces into a ball and knead in additional water, then re-press.)

6. Place tortilla in preheated skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, then carefully flip with a small spatula. Cook 2 minutes more, or until slightly crisp.

7. Transfer tortilla to cooling rack.

8. Repeat process with remaining 7 dough balls. Once you get accustomed to the process, you can press one tortilla while another is cooking, and it will move much quicker.

9. Once all of the tortillas have cooled completely, layer in an airtight container separated by pieces of wax paper. Tortillas will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Prior to serving, wrap desired number of tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave 30 seconds to steam them and prevent breaking.

Nutrition Information--approximately 55 calories per tortilla

Homemade Tortillas-- Piled High With Toppings & They Still Don't Break!

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