There’s so much we can say about corn tortillas. Most of it has been already covered in our previous blogs, from how to store them, reheat them and the differences between them. However, we don’t have a simple guide on how to make corn tortillas.
It is easy to think that making corn tortillas is an easy task and perhaps, for many, it is. In our experience, this is not always the case. Many of us learned how to make tortillas once we were away from home. Never actually seeing the process, feeling the right texture and these are key factors when making good homemade corn tortillas. The ingredients per se are few and the process is in itself very easy but there are a few details that we hope we can communicate effectively with this guide.
-a pinch of salt
-tortilla press or a large flat-bottom dish or plate
-two plastic squares larger than the size of the tortillas you’ll make or than the tortilla press surface
-tortilla warmer or tea towel
-non-stick pan or comal
- In a bowl, mix the salt with the flour with your hand and slowly pour half of the water in. Mix well until everything starts to incorporate. Add more water little by little until the dough has come together, it doesn’t stick to the bowl and to your hands.
-This process needs time, at least 10 minutes of working the dough.
-The amount of water needed can change depending on the humidity and the type of flour. This is why is so important to be aware of the right dough’s consistency rather than the amount of water added.
- The dough is soft to the touch. You can press with your fingers and there are no cracks on the edges made by your fingers.
The dough doesn’t stick to the bowl or to your hands.
- Once the dough has the right consistency, cover it with either cling film or a clean teatowel. This is to avoid drying the dough while it rests. Leave it at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before you start making the tortillas.
- You can make dough balls as you go or you can make evenly sized dough balls before covering for resting.
- Cut a thick plastic bag on its sides to obtain two plastic layers that fit your tortilla press. If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can press your tortillas using a flat-bottomed plate or dish. The plastic squares should be bigger than the tortillas you plan to make.
- While you prepare your workstation, place a non-stick pan or a comal in the cooker on medium-high heat. The pan should be hot before you cook your first tortilla.
- Open the tortilla press and place a plastic square on top of the inside bottom part of it. Take one dough ball and place it in the middle of the plastic square. Add the other plastic square on top and close the tortilla press.
- Turn the plastic with the tortilla so you press again on the other side. The tortilla should be thin but not paper thin. By pressing twice, you make sure that both ends have roughly the same thickness.
- By now, the pan should be hot. Carefully remove one side of the plastic from the tortilla, transfer that side of the tortilla onto your open hand and carefully remove the other piece of plastic.
- Lay the tortilla quickly onto the hot surface and don’t touch it for a few moments. The right moment to turn the tortilla is once it separates itself from the pan. Quickly flip it around with your hand or with the help of a spatula.
- Some people will say that you need only three movements to cook a tortilla and while this can be true if you are new to this, the time until the tortillas are ready is the time it takes you to get comfortable with the process.
- Work with a hot surface. The hot surface will release the tortillas faster and will cook them more effectively.
- Turn the tortilla once it separates itself from the surface. Cook the other side for a few seconds. A good giveaway that is ready to be turned again is when the edges start to look cooked and lift from the pan.
- When the dough has the right consistency and the temperature is right, once you turn the tortillas they will swell and fill with steam that will cook them inside while they seal outside.
- If your tortillas are not puffing up, you can lightly press them with a spatula. Sometimes this helps. If your tortillas don’t puff, it doesn’t mean that they are not good. You will get there!
- The tortillas are ready when they have swollen up and skin has formed on both sides. They don’t need to be toasted. They will continue “cooking” once you transfer them to a clean tea towel or a tortilla warmer where you need to keep them as you make the rest.
Do corn tortillas seem like a lot of work? Yes! A lot of time, planning and love goes into making corn tortillas. However, the more you make them the more you appreciate the process and more than anything else, the result. Few things can compare to a freshly made corn tortilla. They really make the difference between a good taco to a normal taco. Corn tortillas not only are tasty but also more nutritious than flour tortillas and have nothing else in them but corn and a bit of salt and water. Clean, delicious goodness.
Check our previous posts about corn tortillas! It is amazing how something so simple has so much to give to the world. Here's our blog where we talk about how to make your best from your Corn Tortillas. Here's our blog about the difference between Corn Tortillas.
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