As D., from a village near Uspantan, Guatemala, taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, Maine.
Note: My Guatemalan friends eat these thick tortillas like bread with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The day we cooked together they ate them with their favorite homemade Guatemalan chili sauce and chicken and vegetable soup.
Makes: 4-6 servings
Cooking Time: 45 min
- 3 cups instant corn masa flour (she used Maseca brand)
- about 3 1/4 cups water
1. Put the masa flour in a wide bowl. Add water and knead with your hands for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth, soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl clean. Form a smooth top and let the dough sit for 5 to 10 minutes in the mixing bowl covered with a clean towel.
2. Heat a crepe pan, flattop griddle, or an iron skillet (whatever you make pancakes in should work) to medium heat.
3. Watch this video to see how she formed the tortillas by hand. She did not use a tortilla press. Her dough was softer (it had more water in it) than the dough that works well in a tortilla press. You basically break off a enough dough to form a lime-sized ball, then pat it back and forth between your hands until you have a flat disc shape about 1/4-inch thick.
4. Place the tortilla on a hot, dry pan and don't move it for about 2 minutes. (Depending on your pan, you may have to wipe an oiled paper towel on the surface to help the tortilla not stick. My Calphalon stainless steel pan does not work at all for this. My iron skillet works well, as does any pan with a nonstick surface.)
5. When the side of the tortilla facing down looks golden in parts, flip it over and heat the other side for minute or two until it is golden in parts. If you are burning the tortilla before the inside is cooked (cooked looks a darker shade of yellow than the pale raw dough), then turn your heat down a smidge.
6. Place the finished tortilla in a basket. This allows the steam to release - otherwise the trapped steam makes soggy tortillas. Continue forming and cooking tortillas until all your dough is gone.