Tortillas were the bread of ancient Mexico before the Spaniards introduced wheat. Tortillas continue to be the basis of many dishes and, luckily for us, are easy to make. You need masa harina, a tortilla press and a comal (or skillet).
2 cups masa harina
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
With your hands, mix the ingredients to form a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 2 minutes, take a little bit onto your hands and form into a ball; if the dough sticks to your hands, it is too moist so you need to add a little more masa or if it feels too dry, add a little bit of more water. When the dough feels soft, moist and forms into a ball without sticking to your hands, it is ready.
If you have a tortilla press, place a ball of dough between two pieces of plastic or waxed paper and press down to make a thin tortilla.
Place the ungreased comal or skillet over medium heat and cook the tortillas one at a time, about 1 minute on each side, or until the edges begin to lift and they are very slightly browned. Eat warm. If you will not eat all of them right away, let cool before wrapping in a cloth towel and then placing them inside a plastic bag. Keep in refridgerator.
Makes about 1 dozen tortillas.
To keep warm: either use a tortilla basket, generally a basket or the newer models made of styroam. If you want to keep them warm longer, preheat an oven to 150 F. As you make the tortillas, wrap them first in a paper towel and then in a humid cloth napkin and place in the oven. Once you have finished, wrap the stack in aluminum foil and keep in the oven until needed.
Warming cold tortillas: Warm up your comal or skillet over medium heat. Place cold tortilla on comal and heat through on each side, as they warm up the tortillas become soft.