I know I am breaking the rules here. It’s all about masa harina and nixtalization but getting hold of masa and ordering online results in an expensive product that is mainly paying for postage.
The question is can you make decent tortillas without masa? Of course you can stick with lovely soft wheat tortillas but I feel somewhat deprived if I can’t make something.
Thee are multiple recipes for corn tortillas assuming we all have a Mexican supermercado on the doorstep. Of course most of us don’t. What we do have readily available is corn meal. Not the white corn flour for thickening sauces but corn that’s been ground either coarse or fine. Either as polenta, corn meal or maize meal. This is usually found in the international section of supermarket shelves or in Asian or African stores.
Using it alone will not make good tortillas though. It’s dry and won’t stick together. To make it workable it needs some wheat flour and some fat/oil.
Take a 1/2 cup of cornmeal and 1/2 cup of white bread flour. Add a 1/4 tsp of salt and Mix together. Stir in 1 desert spoon of oil (or lard) and 1/2 cup of boiling water. And mix together until a solid ball stuck together. Allow to rest.
A tortilla press is ideal but a rolling pin will do. Don’t go super thin – if you want really thin a wheat tortilla will be better.
Cook on a dry pan, cast iron ideally and wrap in a tea towel or tortilla warmer.
They don’t keep well although can be fried as tostadas the next day.