I have never been a big fan of store bought corn tortillas. I have always found them to be very dry and tasteless and had to gag them down.
I could eat a whole bag of flour tortillas, no problem, but the problem is they are so high in calories. I wanted a healthier alternative so I decided to venture out and make my own corn tortillas with the following qualifications: 1) must taste delicious and 2) must not be dry.
On my adventure, I discovered that most corn tortillas are vegan. Since I didn’t know that, I decided to put that into the title of this post to share the knowledge.
The basic recipe for corn tortillas is mix some masa harina with some water. My recipe is super simple and super tasty. I have added more seasonings to my mix to make the tortillas even more yummy, just in time for Cinco de Mayo.
It used to be difficult to find Maseca in stores but with the explosion of foodie culture, you can kind find it in any grocery store these days. There is no need to be afraid of the words masa harina it is just corn, ground to the consistency of wheat flour. You can read more about masa harina at Chowhound.
2 cups masa harina
½ t salt
½ t garlic powder
½ t chili powder
½ t cumin
1 ½ cups hot water*
*You should use the hottest water that you hands can handle. My hands are kind of sensitive to heat, therefore I wouldn’t recommend using boiling water. I have a Japanese hot water kettle that you can set the temperature on. My water is 175ºF and it didn’t burn my hands while mixing (in step 3).
Step 1. Mix masa harina with the salt, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin.
Step 2. Pour in the hot water and mix with a spoon.
Step 3. Continue mixing with your hands to make sure it is mixed well.
Step 4. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit 2 hours.
Step 5. Portion out into balls and keep under moist paper towel.
I used a 2 ounce ice cream scoop to portion out my dough. I ended up with 8 large dough balls and a little bit of dough leftover for one smaller ball. I broke each 2 ounce ball in half to create sixteen somewhat even, smaller balls. (17 total corn tortillas)
Step 6. Heat non-stick pan to medium heat. (I used a cast iron skillet.)
Step 7. Flatten tortillas and place into pan, heat one minute.
There are a couple of ways to flatten your tortilla dough into thin disks. One way is a tortilla press, like the one below. This is a simple, one step process to flatten your tortillas. This yields a more consistent round shape and thickness.
I don’t have one and instead use method two. A rolling pin and two pieces of parchment paper. I press the dough ball with my hand first and then use the rolling pin to flatten it completely. The edges are kind of jagged using this process but I just call it rustic.
Step 8. Flip and cook one more minute.
Step 9. Wrap cooked tortillas in a clean dishtowel to keep warm.