Homemade Corn Tortillas are a requisite companion to many a Mexican dish. While you can buy them at the store, there is nothing like homemade.
Good corn tortillas are the one foods I miss the most from home. During a trip to Texas, I was blessed to be able to spend time with my brother Ramiro and his new wife, Norma Leticia. I was especially excited when she told me she had owned a Mexican food business for a couple of years and how she prepared a variety of authentic tacos. During my stay there, she prepared the very traditionalchorizo con huevo(chorizo with egg) with homemade corn tortillas.
I have made thousands of tortillas over the years, but when I took that first bite of hers, it just melted in my mouth. The texture was soft and very flexible, compared to mine, which always seemed a little more dry and would crack sometimes. I instantly quizzed her and asked what her secret was, LOL! So, here is my interpretation of Norma’s recipe. I can’t believe just a few changes made all the difference in the world. Gracias, Norma Leticia Mendez.
In a large bowl, add the water and the salt, stir to combine. Gradually add in the masa harina until the dough forms. It will be slightly sticky — if too sticky, add another couple of tablespoons of masa harina. Cover with plastic wrap and let set for 20 minutes.
Cut the plastic bag into 2 separate, but equal squares that fit the inside of tortilla press, about 5×5.
Preheat the comal or griddle to medium/high heat for 6 to 8 minutes. The right temperature on the comal makes a big difference on if your tortillas will puff up or not. Roll 18 to 24 dough balls, about 1½-inch in diameter. Keep them cover with plastic so they don’t dry out.
When ready, roll it several times in your hands, rolling it to resemble a cigar, then back into a ball shape before pressing in lined tortilla press. I believe this releases a little of the moisture, plus add some air into the dough. Transfer to lined press. Press down gently until it forms a tortilla about 4 inches. Making sure the tortilla fits in the palm of your hand, peel off the plastic and transfer to hot comal or griddle. If the tortilla tears, just roll it into a ball and start over.
Tortillas are ready to turn when they release easily from the comal. Turn over and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Turn again and using a flat metal spatula, press gently on one side of tortilla. This will create an air bubble in between the tortillas, making a softer and lighter tortilla! Yay!! Remove from heat and keep warm in between two kitchen towels. Cool completely before storing in plastic storage bag. Keep refrigerated and reheat on a hot comal for a minute.
1. The dough is a bit stickier than my old recipe, so rolling several times in your hands releases a little of the moisture before cooking.
2. My hands are small, so I can only make small tortillas, bigger hands, bigger tortillas!
3. Don’t give up… My first half were not the greatest… The second half were awesome… Practice, practice, practice…