Making Homemade Tortillas is Simple, plus Five Ways to Boost Them
We make tacos with fresh tortillas constantly. They're a taco night game-changer, and so so so easy. You can make the dough in a heartbeat using masa harina, which is available tons of places. Once the dough is made (seriously, two minutes tops) you can keep it refrigerated for days and days. I'm including the basic recipe below, with a list of five favorite variations. A simple tortilla press makes quick/easy work (and is worth the small investment), but in a pinch I've also used a heavy cast iron skillet to press out the tortilla dough.
Keeping tortillas hot: I like to make the tortillas shortly before serving, but you can make them ahead of time, store them stacked in the refrigerator, and reheat just before serving. Wrap hot tortillas in a clean cloth kitchen towel or keep in a tortilla basket at the table.
Types of masa harina: There is quite a selection out there. There are some who swear by the Maseca brand (labelled "Instant Yellow Corn Masa Flour", which is powder fine, and lends a silky texture to your dough. But, on the organic front Bob's Red Mill is good. I find it slightly more coarse, with a need for a bit less water. I've also like blue masa and yellow organic masa by Gold Mine Natural Food Co., it's the coarsest of the bunch, needing even less water. Play around, and adjust the amount of water, bit by bit, until the dough is easy to handle, tender, and doesn't stick to your hands.
2 cups masa harina
1 1/2 cups water
Combine the masa harina and water in a bowl and stir for a minute or so. Divide the dough in half, and each half into quarters - so you have four balls. Take one of the balls and make four smaller balls - sixteen balls total. One at a time, press each of these smaller balls in a tortilla press until flat. Then cook on a hot (preferably cast-iron skillet). When you see a bit of browning, blistering happening, flip and cook the other side. Cook as many as your pan will fit, remove, and keep warm by stacking and wrapping with a clean cloth until ready to serve.
The dough will dry out quickly, so keep it covered until you're ready to press it out. Tightly wrap any unused dough and refrigerate for later use.
Makes 16 tortillas.
Turmeric & Hempseed Tortillas: Add 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and a pinch of crumbled saffron to the masa harina.
All Green Tortillas: Add 1 tablespoons green powder (spirulina, wheatgrass, crushed kale chips, etc.), 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds, 3 tablespoons chopped chives to the masa harina.
Mushroom Paprika Tortillas: 1 tablespoon mushroom powder (I use porcini), 3 garlic cloves (smashed & chopped into paste), 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1/2 tablespoon ground flax seed.
Blue Corn & Black Pepper Tortillas: Use blue corn masa harina, and add 1/2 teaspoon+ freshly ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons mixed sesame seeds.
Dragonfruit Cayenne: I use 3 tablespoons dragonfruit puree in place of some of the water, alternately, you can use beet juice. I like to counter the sweetness of both with 1/4 teaspoon+ ground cayenne.
Prep time: 3 min - Cook time: 5 min