Homemade Corn Tortillas

Hubby and I always enjoy a good taco. It doesn’t matter if it’s flour or corn tortillas because both are pretty tasty. Until a few years ago I hadn’t made any tortillas from scratch, I always used the store bought kind. I always assumed it would be too hard and a really long process in making them. It wasn’t until my mother in law showed me how she made her homemade corn tortillas and tasting the difference between homemade and store bought that really changed my mind. The flavor is so much better and knowing that you made them yourself is really satisfying as well. It did take some practice to get it just right, but once you get the hang of it, it really isn’t too hard. I haven’t tried my hand at making the flour kind as of yet, but that will be in the near future.

These corn tortillas are pretty much how my mother in law makes hers. I have tweaked it a bit. I like to use the Maseca brand of corn flour. It’s usually found in the International food isle at the grocery store or you can find it in many Latin markets (which has so many more tasty and wonderful food items).

It’s really easy to use and it’s gluten free, which is great because you can not over work the dough.

Another ingredient that she adds in hers, and It might sound a bit out of the ordinary but it adds flavor to what can be a bit bland tortilla, is chicken stock base. I like to use the brand The Better Than Bullion Chicken flavor.

I know what you’re probably thinking, that you don’t always want your corn tortillas tasting like chicken. It really doesn’t . It just adds another depth of flavor.

I really think you will like the difference in making these compared to the store bought kind. Don’t get me wrong, I still buy tortillas from the store at times when I want something fast, but if you have a little extra time, you wont be disappointed.

Here’s what you need:

*1 3/4 cup of masa harina such as Maseca.

*1/2 tsp. salt or more to taste

*1 TBS. Crisco or lard

*1 tsp. chicken stock base; I use Better Than Bullion

*1 1/4 cups hot water +1 TBS. more at a time if needed

In a large bowl combine the Maseca and the salt.

Add in the Crisco and the chicken stock base, then slowly pour in the water and begin mixing it with your hands.

 You can use a large spoon, but its better to mix it with your hands because you want to kneed the dough as you mix it. If the dough seems too dry, add more hot water 1 TBS at a time. 

 The texture of the dough should not be sticky or too dry. It should have almost the texture of cookie dough. 

If it is too sticky, then add a little more of the Maseca.

Cover the dough with plastic and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet….I used a cast iron skillet…to medium high heat.

Line a tortilla press with plastic. Cut down both sides of a zip top bag leaving the bottom connected. It will make a long rectangle. Place the “bag” over the top and bottom part of a tortilla press.

Divide the dough into balls, the size of a ping pong ball. Place the dough ball onto the bottom of the press.

Gently press the top of the press down, but not too hard.

Leave the tortilla incased in the plastic and pick it up.

Flip the tortilla over onto your hand. The top of the tortilla should now be on the bottom, gently peel the plastic off, then peel off the tortilla off of the remaining piece of plastic. 

Lay the tortilla on the skillet by letting the bottom of tortilla touch the skillet, then lower your hand slightly and move it away from you. Do not flip it onto the pan or it will crease.

Do not feel discouraged if the first few tortillas crease or tear. I always seem to sacrifice at least one before I get them right.

Cook about 40 to 60 seconds. When the tortilla starts to pull slightly away from the skillet and turn a little brown in places, flip and cook for another 40 to 60 seconds.

Place on a clean towel and wrap. Repeat until each one is cooked. I found out that letting them steam in the towel for about 5 minutes, helped them become softer and more pliable.

If they cool off too much, you can place the wrapped towel in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Serve and Enjoy!

*Storing and Reheating:

*Store in a zip top bag in the fridge for up to 10 days.

*You can freeze them by placing them in a zip top bag, making sure that all of the air is out of the bag. They will last up to two months.

*To thaw the frozen tortillas simply leave them in the zip top bag in the fridge overnight or out on the counter.

*Reheat in a skillet or griddle over high heat until warmed through.

*To Reheat in the microwave, wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel and place in microwave on high in 10 second increments until warmed through.

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