Corn tortillas are a staple food, the base of meals from all over the world. Traditional corn tortillas are made with hominy corn treated with lime and water. The dough is called “masa” (meaning “dough”) and powdered masa can be found in many grocery stores under the name of masa harina.
Home cooks who do not wish to, or are not able to purchase masa harina, may look into masking the masa at home using a lime (calcium hydroxide) or other acids to hominy corn, a process called “nixtamalization.”
A simpler, albeit less traditional option available is a mixture of home-milled corn flour and whole wheat or Kamut. Corn flour by itself produces a crumbly mass that will not hold together and thus another grain flour is needed with gluten to bind the corn into a cohesive, workable dough for tortillas.
I experimented over years to find a mixture of freshly-ground corn flour and other whole grains to make a delicious, supple corn tortilla. There are many variations you can use to change the flavors and textures, this recipe is a great place to start!
From my first cookbook, “Wrapping It Up! Making Sensational, All-Occasion Wrappers and Fabulous Family Meals“, I think you’ll love this easy, tasty recipe. For my family, we quadruple the recipe, make taco shells and tortilla chips and freeze the extras.
Basic Corn and Wheat Tortillas
Makes 8-10 eight-inch tortillas
* For every cup of water, use 1 cup corn flour. Add enough whole wheat flour to create a smooth, supple dough.
1 cup very hot water
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fine, freshly-ground corn flour (I use non-GMO organic popcorn)
1 or more cups freshly-ground hard white wheat flour
1-2 Tablespoons honey or sweetener of choice, garlic, cayenne, chili powder to taste.
Mill popcorn in the WonderMill.
Mill hard white wheat in the WonderMill.
In a large mixing bowl, place the water, corn flour, olive oil, salt, any sweetener and seasonings. Mix well. Add enough whole wheat flour to create a moist but not sticky dough. Knead the dough with a mixer for 3-4 minutes or by hand for 6-8 minutes, adding whole wheat flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.
Cover and let dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into equal pieces. (I weigh my dough for consistency). Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered to avoid drying out the dough.
Roll each piece into a ball and each ball into a thin round 6-8 inches. Use flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the surface.
Gently pick up the tortilla and place it in the skillet, being careful to make sure no edges overlap or wrinkle. Cook for 1-3 minutes, or until you see small bubbles begin to form on the surface of the tortilla. Flip the tortilla over and cook the same amount of time on the other side. Remove to a plate or rack and cover with a clean towel.
Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
You can make tortilla chips and taco shells using the same homemade tortillas. Check out this video.