Yes, everyone makes common cooking errors. like, for instance, toasting grains and spices or overcooking mushrooms. Becky Soloman bemoans her brittle, dry tortilla dough to associate food editor Rick Martinez in the clip below. Martinez offers the following guidance for ensuring that it never occurs again. Greetings from Effed it Up.
I can’t for the life of me get the masa for the tortillas to stay together while combining and pressing. Please, any assistance! Traditional masa harina was purchased from my neighborhood Latin grocery store. I poured 1 3/4 cups of it in a basin and added 1 1/4 cups of hot, hot water. Even though I think I’m following the instructions, I always end up with dry, crumbly balls that won’t adhere together in my press to form a lovely patty.
Don’t give up; preparing corn tortillas requires patience, and with practice, each batch gets better. However, I’m going to give you corn masa 101, which will guarantee a tender, malleable dough each and every time.
Making tamale or tortilla masa requires keeping in mind two important considerations:
It takes some time for masa harina (nixtamalized or processed maize flour; we use Maseca, which is sold in most stores across the country) to hydrate completely.
Masa requires kneading to produce the right texture. Masa harina will have a dry, crumbly texture that hardly holds its shape when water is added. It will become extremely sticky and nearly hard to deal with if you add more water. If you were to bake it right away, the resulting tortilla would have jagged edges and a texture that seemed dry and gritty. The remedy? Time. Corn flour takes a little longer to absorb water than wheat flour—about 20 to 30 minutes. Imagine it as a dried sponge. When dry and porous, yet when wet, soft and malleable. Furthermore, kneading the dough helps to hydrate and aerate it.
The dough will be quite tacky and will adhere to your hands as soon as you start to knead it. This is as a result of the water adhering to the maize particles’ outer surfaces. The dough will become softer and less sticky as you knead it. It should take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how much dough you are producing. If the dough still feels dry and crumbly after a few minutes of kneading, add 2 Tbsp. of warm water at a time and knead for a few minutes before adding any more. You will need to wait a few minutes to determine whether you need more water because the corn won’t immediately absorb it.
My mum taught me how to test for the ideal consistency. Use an open palm to slap the dough. Continue kneading if any dough clings to your hands. You are prepared to press (or roll) and cook if your hand is clean when it is removed. To prevent it from drying out while you are pressing out the tortillas, be sure to cover your dough with a damp kitchen towel.
A corn and flour tortilla is there?
Have you just spotted these fashionable Half and Half Tortillas in your local grocery store?
These use both maize and flour in one tortilla, in contrast to the majority of store-bought tortillas, which only use one. Sound absurd? The result is a tortilla that is heartier but still has a lot of maize flavor.
This past week, I finally got around to using them in an experiment, and I’m pleased I did! I deemed these to be definite keepers, and I believe this recipe provides a significant improvement above counterparts found in stores.
Are maize or flour tortillas more difficult to make?
According to legend, a peasant made the first tortilla for a king. While it might or might not be the case, there is evidence that suggests the Aztecs were using maize tortillas as early as 10,000 B.C. Their diet consisted primarily of corn, and while the first tortillas were little more than cornmeal and water, the Aztecs eventually discovered that they could more easily hull the corn kernels by soaking them in lime (not the citrus fruit, but the alkaline substance you get from heating limestone), and this is still the base for a traditional fresh corn tortilla today.
A great corn tortilla is flavorful and has a lot of texture.
Instead of texture being lumpy, hard, or inconsistent, texture is when something has a particular toothsome consistency. These are typically on the smaller side because a large corn tortilla would probably shatter.
Corn tortillas are the best choice when cooking basic tacos since they enhance the flavor of the dish overall and support the other toppings. Tacos made in California or tacos made in California style are almost always served on maize tortillas. Oh, and you very surely will be eating your tacos on corn tortillas if you’re in Mexico (outside of a few areas in northern Mexico). A basic taco in California or Mexico might consist of meat, onions, cilantro, spicy sauce, or other hot chilies of some kind. That’s basically it.
The traditional tostada is a flat, fried tortilla topped with delicacies and is often prepared with corn tortillas rather than flour. To learn more about tostadas and improve your technique, watch this video.
Since fajitas typically contain meat, peppers, onions, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, and other ingredients, you wouldn’t actually use corn tortillas for them. All of those items would not fit inside of a corn tortilla without breaking.
Yup. Check to see if any of the tortilla chip brands you find in the supermarket are manufactured using flour tortillas. The best chips you’ve ever had may be had by making your own corn tortillas and frying them at home.
Always use maize tortillas while making taquitos; otherwise, it’s a flauta. I advise slightly undercooking your meat before putting it in the taquitos while creating taquitos. Make sure to place the taquitos seam-side down in the pan while pan-frying them (my preferred method) to prevent them from falling apart. A pair of strategically positioned toothpicks can do wonders if you’re deep frying.
Well, I suppose if you’re in a bind…but in all honesty, no. Even in Mexico, an excellent quesadilla won’t be cooked with a corn tortilla.
For enchiladas, always use corn. They are the obvious choice because they can withstand being drenched in sauce and cooked without fully disintegrating. The simplest way to prevent your corn tortillas from breaking while rolling enchiladas is to first briefly soak them in some of your enchilada sauce (a broken tortilla will come apart more easily in the oven).
It is said that the first people to make flour tortillas were Spanish Jews who were deported to New Spain (essentially, Panama) during the Inquisition and who did not consider maize to be kosher. They used wheat that they had brought from Europe.
In addition to the base component, one of the key distinctions between corn and flour tortillas is that flour tortillas need lard or vegetable shortening to bind the dough together so as to prevent the creation of an odd cracker. Although flour tortillas are softer than corn tortillas, they lack the same flavor. However, because flour tortillas are more flexible and can stretch and bend, they can be made in much larger sizes than corn tortillas can (and won’t shatter as easily at those sizes as a corn tortilla would).
Use a flour tortilla to contain all the ingredients for an absolutely epic taco if you want to keep everything together. In states like Texas, where Tex-Mex is popular, flour tortillas are frequently used for just about any taco.
Since corn tortillas typically don’t exist in large enough sizes, only flour tortillas may be used to make a true burrito. Contrary to popular belief, the secret to preparing good burritos is not to overfill them; instead, you need to leave enough of a tortilla border on all sides so that when you roll it, it will be sealed. Does the idea of your burrito having insufficient contents make you sad? You can purchase flour tortillas that are sufficiently large that it won’t be an issue; some of those gigantic tortillas can form a large burrito without being overstuffed.
Since flour tortillas are large enough to be formed into bowls and fried, they will be used for the tostada bowl (not a traditional tostada). Because the toppings/fillings on these are usually not sparse, a large bowl is required. Consider one of these as a burrito without the restrictions of having to be rolled; that is the best method to prepare one. Yes, this is merely a burrito that has been overloaded and its shell cooked.
You must use flour tortillas in this situation. The flour tortillas hold up a little better with all the fillings you get for these and won’t come apart and expose your shirt to guacamole and beans. Just be sure to buy flour tortillas that are smaller in size because they make it easier to eat fajitas. I would be perplexed and unhappy if I requested fajitas and was then given a single enormous tortilla. Fajitas are more like a tiny personal taco bar than a roll-your-own-burrito excursion.
Nope. No, not at all. It isn’t worthwhile. Time, tortillas, and oil are all being wasted. In terms of appearance, texture, and flavor, corn tortillas that have been transformed into chips triumph over flour tortillas.
See the taquitos section above. These are essentially the same as taquitos—a tortilla that has been tightly coiled around a filling that is typically composed of meat before being fried—but they are frequently larger than taquitos. The end result is a bit soft, a little crispy, and quite flaky, which is actually the reason flour tortillas don’t work well for chips in this situation. The same taquito advice is applicable here, although if you’re deep frying, you’ll need a few more toothpicks.
Another dish made solely of flour tortillas is quesadillas. They are firstly large enough to provide a pleasing flat cheesy stuff. The same soft but crunchy flakiness that you might find in a flauta is also present when done properly, as mentioned in point number two. To get the aforementioned flakiness, I advise using a griddle or cast-iron skillet with a little butter on each side.
Tortillas made of flour don’t really hold up to being drenched in sauce. Because it can be difficult for the sauce to penetrate completely when it is restricted to one side or the other, tacos with a lot of toppings work best with flour tortillas. However, soaking a flour tortilla in sauce will result in a mess, and flour tortilla-based enchiladas lack structural strength.
How do I make tortillas with flour?
This is the way we like to warm flour tortillas when we have the time. Achieve a 300° oven temperature. To properly reheat your tortillas, wrap them in aluminum foil and bake them for 10 to 15 minutes. In our experience, stacks of 6–8 tortillas or less work best. You can do numerous packets at once if you have more tortillas than this.
My corn tortillas don’t puff up, why?
You’ve come to the right site if you want to learn how to make corn tortillas from scratch. You can create your own corn tortillas at home with the help of this step-by-step tutorial. In comparison to flour tortillas, corn tortillas are a healthier option. 25 years ago, to be exact, I recall a woman asking me about my home country, my people, and our cuisine. She inquired about “Tortillas de Harina” as we began discussing recipes (wheat flour tortillas).
When I told the woman that I didn’t know how to make them, she couldn’t believe it. You are Mexican, she remarked, but wheat flour tortillas are more popular in northern Mexico whereas corn tortillas are primarily consumed in central and southern Mexico. Homemade corn tortillas are a fantastic treat, however they are typically from the tortilla factory.
How to make corn tortillas from scratch
We occasionally make conventional burritos or “quesadillas” with wheat flour tortillas, but these aren’t regular meals. Later, I also discovered how to create my own tortillas using wheat flour. But I tend to cook corn tortillas more frequently at home.
White, yellow, or blue corn kernels are used to make the long-lasting corn tortillas. They are a meal unto itself; they are not merely our daily tortilla.
Masa-harina and water are the only ingredients needed to make corn tortillas. No wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, or fat of any kind are required. I’ll use masa-harina for this recipe for corn tortillas because I know that many of you won’t have access to fresh corn masa. Masa-Harina, which is frequently found in modern Latin grocery stores
Since the outcomes will be very different and the corn tortillas will be less dry than those made with masa-harina, I prefer the genuine article (fresh corn masa). Please prepare your tortillas with fresh corn masa if you have access to it; the flavors are unmatched.
If you want to learn how to produce masa at home, read this post. Embrace it!
These are a few of the varieties of maize tortillas that are available in Mexico. The white taco tortilla is placed top right after the oval-shaped “flautas” in the top left corner. White corn tortilla bottom right and yellow corn tortilla bottom left are both common items. Tacos typically employ smaller corn tortillas.
Since they are gluten-free, low in fat, and vegan, corn tortillas are a healthier alternative to flour tortillas. You can store them in the fridge for at least five days or in the freezer for up to three months if you put them in a freezer bag. If the dough looks dry when you are ready to create the tortillas, add a little water and knead it again. You can also prepare the dough in advance and keep in the refrigerator.
Some tips while making your corn tortillas.
- Making corn tortillas does not require the use of a tortilla press; instead, many women in Mexico and other Central American nations shape the tortillas by hand.
- Add more water to the dough if you see that your tortillas’ edges appear somewhat cracked.
- It’s possible that you put too much water if the tortillas stuck to the press. Well-knead the dough.
- You must thoroughly knead the dough if you want your tortillas to puff. To force the puffing, you could try pressing down on the tortilla with a spatula as it is finishing up cooking. Check the heat and the cooking time as well. Tortilla making requires practice. If you keep trying, you’ll eventually master it.
- Depending on how hot your skillet is, heat the tortillas in it for 45 seconds on each side, then wrap them in a linen napkin to keep them warm.