I’ve always bought corn tortillas, but they were never as good as the homemade ones in Mexico. I was determined to make my own so I looked at a bunch of recipes online. How hard could it be? The only thing I thought was that it would be very labor-intensive.
Fortunately, with modern equipment like the Vitamix, I wouldn’t have to do it completely by hand. I committed to buying a 25 pound bag of organic, local yellow corn. This was indeed the smallest size available. The only other ingredient I had to buy was cal, which is dried lime, often used for pickling vegetables.
Here’s how to do it!
- Rinse 1 1/2 pounds, or 2 1/2 cups, Great River organic corn in a colander.
- Add 2 quarts, or 4 cups, of filtered water to a 10-quart saucepan.
- Mix in 1 1/2 tablespoons Mrs. Wages pickling lime and turn heat on high.
- Pour the rinsed corn in. Remove any kernels that float to the surface.
- Bring to a boil. Let it boil for a full 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.
- Once it has cooled off, you can transfer it to a glass mixing bowl. Cover with saran wrap and let it soak overnight.
- After you’ve cooked and soaked your corn in lime water, the next step is to make the “masa”, or dough.
How to make the masa
- IMPORTANT! Rinse the soaked corn thoroughly in a colander.
- Add the corn to the food processor, 1 cup at a time.
- Pulse a few times, then let it run.
- Add 1-4 tablespoons of water per cup of corn. Keep adding water 1 tablespoon at a time and blend until the dough is very soft and is no longer crumbly. The masa should be dense and moist; not sticky. If you’ve got the right consistency, you won’t need to cheat by adding corn flour.
- Form the dough into medium sized balls. Cut the top of a plastic, Zip Lock bag so that you have two sides with a fold. Place this on your rot-iron tortilla press so that the masa won’t stick to it.
- Place each ball on the tortilla press and press down so that each tortilla is thin, bake on a very hot flat, rot-iron pan. You won’t need any oil in the pan. Heat for 1-3 minutes on each side.
- Keep warm in a napkin in a tortilla basket until ready to eat.