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Homemade corn tortillas taste different than store bought tortillas. Lighter, actually less of a corn taste. And I think they’re much more filling. The one downside to them is they are so much tastier than store bought that I can’t buy premade corn tortillas any more. Since they are labor intensive, that can sometimes be a problem.

Most corn is genetically modified so I try and buy only organic corn or corn that is labeled non-gmo. I wasn’t finding corn tortillas with either label so I decided to make my own. You have to use Masa Harina as regular corn flour will not do. I couldn’t find organic or non-gmo masa harina. After much searching on the internet and calling manufacturers, I learned that the process of turning corn into masa harina includes mixing it with slaked lime, thereby negating an organic label. Although Bob’s Red Mill brand Masa Harina is not labeled non-gmo (due to possible cross-contamination from other fields,) they told me they only plant non-gmo seeds.

Making corn tortillas is time intensive so it is often a family affair. Just before our son’s sixth birthday he was proud of his ability to put the tortillas on the griddle and flip them all by himself. He told me, “This is what it feels like to be a dad.” How could I ever go back to store bought?

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups Masa Harina
½ tsp Salt
1 ½ to 2 cups hot Water
Avocado oil for griddle

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the harina and the salt together. Slowly add the water making sure to mix well. Add enough water to make the dough the consistency of playing dough. Cover and set for an hour.

A 1 ½ tablespoon scoop will make approximately 5 inch tortillas. Two inch balls will yield approximately 6 inch tortillas.

You can make tortillas with a rolling pin, but they come out better with a tortilla press. I bought a cast iron press online, though you can buy them made out of aluminum as well. (In Tucson, Food City usually has aluminum presses.) Cut two pieces of parchment paper into 7 inches square. You can use similarly sized pieces of waxed paper as well. However, the waxed paper quickly becomes damp and is only good for 1 to 3 tortillas before you need to replace it. Someday I may buy extra silicone sheets and cut them for repeated sessions of tortilla making.

Place one piece of parchment on the tortilla press. Place a harina ball in the center, close the lid and press firmly down on the handle. The side by the handle is usually thinner than the side by the hinge so I turn the “sandwich” (tortilla and parchment) around 180 degrees and press again. (If you are using a rolling pin, put the dough ball between the two pieces of parchment and roll to desired thickness.)

Carefully remove one piece of parchment by slowly pulling and lifting. When it is totally removed, lightly set the parchment back on the tortilla. Turn over the “sandwich.” It may be easiest to set it on the counter. Slowly peel and lift the second piece of parchment. Start wherever the tortilla seems thickest. It is common for the tortilla to start to tear during this process. It can usually be fixed by pressing the dough together through the parchment and trying to peel in another area. Sometimes a section of tortilla is so thin it will just tear away from the tortilla. Recycle that dough by putting it back in the bowl with the dough for making more tortillas.

Turn the tortilla over so the side without parchment is lying in your palm/hand. Remove the loosened parchment and set aside. Flip the tortilla onto a griddle that has been pre-heated and sprayed with avocado oil. Cook the tortilla until it looks a little dry and the edges have started to curl up. (About a minute or so.) Turn over and cook until the bottom is golden brown. Adjust heat to allow for even cooking without burning.

These can be used for soft tacos, in enchiladas, made into tostados or tortilla chips, or any of your other favorite uses for corn tortillas.

Freezing tips:
Freezes well as dough or cooked tortillas.

If freezing extra dough, make it into dough balls and freeze on silicone or wax paper covered cookie sheets. Once frozen store in freezer containers. When using, remove enough balls for the desired amount of tortillas and allow to thaw at room temperature. Mix thawed dough with a small amount of water (start with 1 to 3 teaspoons, depending on amount of dough) to bring to playing dough consistency. Remake into balls and cook as above.

If freezing pre-cooked tortillas, separate tortillas by layers of waxed paper and store in a freezer container. These thaw quickly when removed from the freezer.

TORTILLA CHIPS

To make into tortilla chips cut the cooked tortillas into the desired size and shape and deep fry in avocado oil.

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Corn Tortillas

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