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Thread: Make your own tortillas, flour, or corn

  1. #1
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    Make your own tortillas, flour, or corn

    I have known how to make tortillas forever, but do I make them? No. I they've been buying them at the grocery store and accepting whatever they put into their ingredients. However, tortillas used to be cheap and fairly wholesome, but things have changed. I was aghast when I picked up a package of flour tortillas the other day. There are no longer a dozen in a package...try 5...maybe 6. They cost about 3-4 times more than they used to and they had a lot of fat and preservatives in them.

    That was it for me. I pulled out my recipe books, got online looking for new ideas and dusted off my tortilla press. I've been experimenting with various recipes and techniques and you now what? They're a cinch to make, much healthier than store-bought, only cost pennies, not dollars to make. Plus, they taste super fresh...no preservatives. And, you don't need to make more than you need for one meal.

    I make both corn and flour tortillas. I use the traditional Masa Harina for the corn ones and whole-wheat flour for the four ones. I have not experimented yet with various "flavors" such as tomato, cilantro, etc. but that's on my list too. Here's the recipe for corn tortillas. (I'll post the flour recipe later, this week.) This basic recipe has been adapted from a recipe on epicurious.com. It’s really very simple.

    Corn Tortillas

    Makes 2 dozen small tortillas

    2 cups masa harina (Not regular corn meal)

    1/2 teaspoon regular salt

    1 1/2 Cups water

    parchment, or wax paper

    Vegetable oil (for brushing)

    *Heat a large, cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

    In a large bowl, mix the masa harina and salt together. Stir in most of the water, reserving a few tablespoons. Use your hands and knead the ingredients together until a soft, pliable dough forms. If it feels too dry and crumbly, add just a couple more drops of water. You don’t want the dough too moist, or the tortilla will stick to the pan. You don’t want it too dry, or the tortilla will crack and be tough. With a little practice, you’ll get a good feel for it.

    Take a walnut-sized portion of dough and roll it into a ball. **If you are using a tortilla press, lay a clean piece of parchment, or wax paper on the bed of the press. (You can also use plastic wrap for this part, but the dough will be more likely to stick to it.)

    Set the ball of dough in the center of the press, cover with a second piece of paper, then press down on the handle. Carefully lift the top piece of paper off of the freshly pressed tortilla, making sure not to tear it. Lightly brush the pan with a very small amount of oil. Take the lower piece of paper with the tortilla on it and flip it over on to the hot pan. Carefully remove the paper.

    Cook about two minutes, flip and cook another minute, or two on the other side. (You should see some dark brown spots on the tortilla, but not deeply charred burn marks. (Turn down your heat just a little if necessary.) Remove the tortilla with a spatula, transfer to an open cloth and cover with the cloth to keep warm. The tortilla will be stiff, even crispy at first, but will soften when it sits under the cloth. Repeat the process until all of the dough is used up.

    *I have also used the griddle on my stove to cook the tortillas. It works well and allows me to make several tortillas at once.


    ** Note: If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can also roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment, or wax paper. Try to get it as even as possible, without any high and low spots. It can be tricky to get it smooth and even, so my might want to go for making thicker tortillas using this method.

    ~ C
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 02-08-2018 at 10:47 AM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps

  2. #2
    Super Member mandyrose's Avatar
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    i grew up on them my mom made them from scratch and rolled them out almost everyday i been eating wraps since i was a kid tortillas was our bread i started making them after i got married,i'm an empty nester now so i buy them once in awhile when i'm in the mood for bean burritos but i do cook pintos beans from scratch and yes they are very expensive, when the kids want tacos i do make the tortillas from scratch.i never tried adding different flavors in the mix maybe i'll give that a try sometime.
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  3. #3
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    One of my mom's friends used to make them. She had a small guest house with a wood kitchen stove in it. She kept the top of that stove shining and that is where she made her tortillas. She would build a nice hot fire in that stove and cook them on the stove top. She made 1/2 dozen at a time. They would absolutely melt in your mouth. Never tasted anything like them.

  4. #4
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    I might have a difficult time finding Masa here in Maine...that’s what I miss about living in California, especially Mexican food. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I’m definitely going to try them once I find the ingredients.

    My DH and I were just in Mendocino last October for a couple of nights at the Little River Inn and bebopped around Mendocino shops for a couple of days. I love the North Coast. We wanted to go to Pacific Star Winery but they were closed on the weekdays we were there.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    I might have a difficult time finding Masa here in Maine...that’s what I miss about living in California, especially Mexican food. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I’m definitely going to try them once I find the ingredients.
    I also have a hard time finding authentic ingredients here in upstate NY. Only recently did my grocery store start carrying Masa Harina. I ended up having to order it on line. Dried chilis are another hard to find item and my local stores used to carry several varieties. I used to be able to find Ancho, Guajillo, Pasillo and New Mexico. Now I am lucky if I can find Chipolte. So for those I will also have to go on line.

    I've never tried making homemade tortillas. I bet they are so much better than store bought.

  6. #6
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Tropit- you sound like one fabulous cook!! Your posts make me hungry

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    I might have a difficult time finding Masa here in Maine...that’s what I miss about living in California, especially Mexican food. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I’m definitely going to try them once I find the ingredients.

    My DH and I were just in Mendocino last October for a couple of nights at the Little River Inn and bebopped around Mendocino shops for a couple of days. I love the North Coast. We wanted to go to Pacific Star Winery but they were closed on the weekdays we were there.
    Ahhh....you were in my neck of the woods! Had I known, I would have asked you up here for dinner. Funny, Maine is on my travel list. I want to go to Acadia National Park and see the fall colors some day.

    You'll probably have to order masa harina online. The shipping might be expensive, but a bag of masa harina will last you a long time. Perhaps you can shop for some other things too and qualify for free shipping.

    ~ C

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    Quote Originally Posted by SusieQOH View Post
    Tropit- you sound like one fabulous cook!! Your posts make me hungry
    Thanks...that's very kind of you. I don't think I'm a fabulous cook, just a curious one.

    ~ C

  9. #9
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    OK...so here's the recipe for flour tortillas. This one has ingredients that are in most kitchen cupboards. You can make them with whole wheat, or white flour and probably some other flours s/a oat, spelt, etc. Just adjust the liquid, so that the dough is the right consistency. These are divine hot off the grill, but you can store them in a plastic bag in the fridge and they should keep for a few days. This recipe is for 4, large, flour tortillas.

    Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas
    1 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
    3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1/3 cup water
    1/4 Teaspoon Salt

    Preheat a large, cast iron skillet , or griddle to medium-high to cook the tortillas on.

    Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and knead for a minute, or two, with your hands until dough is smooth and elastic. (Add small amounts of water, slowly, if the dough feels too dry.)

    Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and roll each part into a ball with your hands.

    On a floured surface, roll out a ball, with a floured, rolling pin, into a flat, round tortilla, about 6-8 inches in diameter.

    Toss the uncooked tortilla on the pan, or griddle and cook for about 30 seconds, or until you start to see the bubbles in the dough puff up.

    Flip and cook for about another 30 seconds. You should see some light brown, toasted spots on the tortilla. If the spots are black, then turn down the heat a little.
    When done on both sides, remove from heat, put on a plate and cover with a clean cloth. (Tortilla will soften after a few minutes under the cloth.)

    Repeat this process with the other 3 balls. You may have to wipe out the pan from time to time, because the residual flour left in the pan will burn and get on to your tortillas while cooking.

    * Some people add a little bit of baking powder (1t to 1T) to the flour before mixing up the dough. I don't do that, but it would be a great way to make a "flatbread" without yeast, if you are trying for that instead of a tortilla.
    ~ C
    Last edited by tropit; 02-09-2018 at 07:26 AM.

  10. #10
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting these recipes - I'm going to dig out my dusty press and start making my own again. We have a large Hispanic population here in Minneapolis and I'm lucky to have a lot of sources for masa harina - it's even available at the kwik marts!
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  11. #11
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    tropit, do you think we can use tomato juice in place of the water or the red version.
    Also I might need to find a press online, any hints as to what to look for, am a widow so would not need a costly one. I do use organic WW for baking.
    Thank you for the flour recipe.

  12. #12
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    I have always wondered how they are made. Thank you for the recipes! I will certainly try these!
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    What brand of press do you recommend?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    I might have a difficult time finding Masa here in Maine...that’s what I miss about living in California, especially Mexican food. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I’m definitely going to try them once I find the ingredients.
    I'm in Maine also. Both Walmart and Shaw's have masa in my area.
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  15. #15
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pennycandy View Post
    I'm in Maine also. Both Walmart and Shaw's have masa in my area.
    Thanks. Good to know. I’ll have to keep my eyes open, otherwise I might try Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods on my next trip to Portland.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  16. #16
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tropit View Post
    Ahhh....you were in my neck of the woods! Had I known, I would have asked you up here for dinner. Funny, Maine is on my travel list. I want to go to Acadia National Park and see the fall colors some day.

    ~ C
    Likewise, if you come to Maine, you’ll have to let me know. I am a couple hours from Acadia but doable in a day’s trip. It is a beautiful park and very scenic. Next time I’m up in Mendo, I’ll let you know. I’ll be in Vacaville in April with my newest grandchild. : )
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  17. #17
    Junior Member luvrazz's Avatar
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    I bu them at the 99 cent store and they are just as good as any I have bought anywhere. And they last a long time in the refrigerator.

  18. #18
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    My friend used to tease me about never getting married because I could never get my tortillas to balloon up. I loved making tortillas with her mother and got those asbestos fingers from turning them on the grill. Love the memories. PS married even without rising tortillas.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    What brand of press do you recommend?
    Mine is made by Tortilladora. I bought it online, but I can't remember where. I think it was in a gardening catalog. I'd check with Amazon.com.

    ~ C

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iraxy View Post
    My friend used to tease me about never getting married because I could never get my tortillas to balloon up. I loved making tortillas with her mother and got those asbestos fingers from turning them on the grill. Love the memories. PS married even without rising tortillas.
    Cute story!

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the inspiration. I've been griping about the same thing for quite some time now but never thought to make my own. I live in the Southwest and you'd think there would be some decent tortillas available but not so much. There are one or two places but, as you point out, you have to buy a dozen. They are fresh, but expensive and because there are no preservatives they age like bread so many of them go to the birds because a dozen is just too many. I will be getting a tortilla press soon!
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  22. #22
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I have considered making them but never have. I bought some at Costco that are supposed to be fresh. I think they are partially cooked. They were really good, but there are way too many in a package. I know the ones from the store are so full of junk and preservatives. I found a package in my closet that expired 2 months ago. I store them on the shelf where they are under my bread, it is high enough up that I can't see them. They still seemed fresh enough to eat and no mold. I wonder how much preservatives are in them?????

  23. #23
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    dont eat enough of them to go thru the trouble making them.....but for those who do, sounds like a winner.

  24. #24
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    ....and I was curious about a tortilla press so went to Amazon to read reviews on some......most were not favorable it seemed, on the less expensive ones, anyway.
    I will continue to buy store-bought, for the few times I do tortilla based meals.

  25. #25
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    ....too late to edit my previous pist...so to continue my curiosity about tortilla presses I went to YouTube. They really are not difficult to make..I was fascinated....hmmm, may change my mind....summer will be here someday...now in the midst of heavy snow....and with garden veggies- taco salads, tacos,etc....might give it a whirl.......obtw-I looked at the local Walmart and they carry their generic tortilla flour....anyone try it?

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