Eat Good Food

Making Tortillas at Home

Making tortillas at home has never been so fun – or easy!

As with anything you create at home, having the right equipment and ingredients at hand is key. Having beautiful equipment and locally grown ingredients makes it just that much better.

To that end, we like to use the gorgeous presses created by local artisan Josefina Fregoso. Josefina began producing wooden tortilla presses in 2009. Inspired by handmade functional tools, she enlisted the help of skilled local woodworkers to make these presses that can flatten dough to 7/10ths of a millimeter.

Before using, wash your press in mild dish soap, rinse, and dry with a towel. When the press is dried, apply one or two coats of board butter or mineral oil and allow time for it to sink in thoroughly.

Take care to protect wood from heat, cold, and moisture. Do not run press through dishwasher and do not leave in direct sunlight.

Makes 8 to 10 tortillas

1 cup organic masa harina
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water, or slightly less

In a medium bowl, mix together the masa harina and salt. Add the hot water gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon as you go. Continue adding water until the mixture comes together but is slightly too sticky to handle, using only as much water as necessary. Keep stirring until smooth.

Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 1 hour in a cool place. After this resting period, the masa harina will have absorbed the excess moisture and will look smooth and pliable.

Pinch off a golf ball-sized piece of masa and roll it into a ball. Keep remaining masa covered–it will dry out quickly.

Cut two pieces of parchment paper big enough to cover the inside surfaces of the press. Put one of the pieces of paper on the bottom plate of the tortilla press and place a ball of masa on the center of the paper. Cover with a second piece of parchment and flatten it slightly with your hand.

Using the handle, bring down the top plate of the press firmly.

To remove, hold the pressed tortilla (with the parchment on both sides) in one hand. Peel away the top piece of parchment from the tortilla, then flip and peel away the other piece of paper.

Transfer the tortilla to a hot, well-seasoned, dry skillet or griddle. Cook for about 30 seconds and then gently turn over. Cook second side for about 60 seconds–the tortilla should puff slightly.

Turn back to the first side and cook for another 30 seconds–the tortilla should puff completely.

Remove and keep the tortilla warm in a basket lined with a kitchen towel. Tortillas can be made 2 hours in advance, wrapped and reheated in 350℉ oven for about 12 minutes. Store tortillas in airtight containers or bags in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.

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