Tortillas. Flat bread. Extra-thin pizza crust? The concept is the same. Take flour of some sort, add seasonings of some sort, liquid of some sort, and then make it flat and cook it.
There's something special about corn tortillas, though, and as I think about it it comes down to 2 things. 1 is the kind of flour (you totally have to have this MASA HARINA stuff) and the other, frankly, is how darn easy they are to make.
CORN TORTILLAS: (makes between 12 and 18)
- 2 cups masa harina (special corn flour. NOT cornstarch or cornmeal!)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 TBS olive or vegetable oil
- 1.5 cups water (warm is better)
1. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl
2. Mix wet ingredients together in a measuring cup (I put in the oil first, then add the water. It gets mixed enough this way.)
3. Pour 1+ cups of the liquid (not all of it) into the dry ingredients and mix with your hands. Add more liquid as needed to form a slightly sticky dough. (in winter, in my house, I need the whole amount. It will vary.)
4. Knead for about 30 seconds or until the ball comes together nicely. Let rest for a few minutes.
5. Prep your ziplock bag! Turn a gallon-size ziplock bag into a long rectangular sheet of plastic by cutting off the zipper end and slitting the sides. Leave the "foot" of the bag intact to act as a hinge.
6. Divide the rested dough into 12-18 small balls of dough. I form them into balls using a cupping method with my hands, not rolling. This kind of tosses the dough back and forth in my hands and works well. Cover the balls with a damp towel.
6. Preheat a skillet or griddle (ungreased)
7. Using a tortilla press or 2 pie plates (or your hands, or a rolling pin), press the individual balls of dough out to your desired thickness. Use the ziplock as a mat - it makes it VERY easy to peel the tortilla off and get it onto the griddle.
8. Cook each tortilla for about a minute on each side, or until the steam stops coming off of it.
9. Stack the tortillas in a damp towel and let continue to steam and get pliable.