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Handmade Corn Tortillas

Riley wanted to make corn tortillas - "just like we did at the Cooper-Molera Adobe on our field trip!" - for our Californio Thanksgiving Feast. That meant two things: we needed a tortilla press and I needed a recipe. Check. But I wanted to do a test run before Thursday's lunch. Check. These were delicious...and will be perfect for Thanksgiving.
 
2 cups masa harina
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
1 T olive oil

Start by putting 2 cups of masa flour in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of very warm water and a splash of oil to the masa flour (according to the directions on the package, some brands may call for different amounts of water). Mix in and let sit for 5 minutes or so. Begin working the masa with your hands to make the dough. Knead the dough for several minutes. If at any point through the tortilla making process the dough seems too dry or too wet, add a little more water or masa to the dough.

 
Take a piece of the masa dough and shape it into a ball the size of a plum, or slightly large golf ball.

Take two pieces of wax paper or plastic from a plastic bag and cut them to the shape of the surface of the tortilla press. Open the tortilla press and lay one piece of wax paper on the press. Place the masa ball in the center. Place another piece of wax paper over the masa ball. Gently close the press and press down, until the dough has spread to a diameter of 4-6 inches.



Heat a griddle or a large skillet on high heat. Working one at a time, hold a tortilla in your hand, carefully removing the wax paper on each side. Allow the tortilla to rest half on your hand, and half hanging down, and gently lay the tortilla down on to the skillet. Start working on pressing the next tortilla. Cook the tortilla on the hot pan for 30 seconds to a minute on each side. The tortilla should be lightly toasted and little air pockets forming.


Serve immediately. For our afternoon snack, we topped the tortilla with feta cheese crumbles and some homemade salsa!

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