Flatbreads, 101

Flatbreads are a significant member of cultural society. The social significance of flatbread is king: they’re inexpensive and usually simple to make and often quick, so they can be prepared easily for large cultural events easily.


Tonight’s flatbread of choice is the famous Corn Tortilla. We love us some corn and we especially love us some corn tortilla. And I suppose we should enjoy it now while it’s relatively inexpensive – the price of corn (and therefore all food) is predicted to rise significantly once corn farmers pull back on their yields this year.

Personally, I’m glad they’re pulling back on the yields, but not for the reasons they’re doing it. Industrial farmers are seeing bigger dollars in Soybean crops. Soybeans apparently have more yield to ethanol than corn, and since gas is what generates the spin of the earth, we’re moving to Soybeans.

So until we develop a taste for soybean cakes, we might have to pay a little more for these luscious, quick treats – but I think it’s worth it. Corn tortillas rule.

Making corn tortillas at home is probably one of the simplest and fastest snacks/ sides I have ever made. I seriously had no idea how easy it was until Justin & I picked up some Masa Harina de Maiz a few months ago to make cornbread. On the side of the bag there are cartoon directions for making corn tortillas. Masa, Water & a pinch of salt. That’s it! Seriously!

My favorite recipe uses 1c White Masa + 1C Yellow Masa and about 1.5c Water and a teaspoon (maybe) of salt to form a dough. It will look kind of like this until you shape it into a ball.


The dough is very fragile and somewhat sticky, so you’ll want to line your rolling or pressing surface with plastic. You’ll not want to use wax paper, it causes even more sticking. I used a gallon sized zipper bag that I cut the sides. I simply wash and reuse the plastic (not in a dishwasher, please)

Using either a tortilla press or a rolling pin you’ll want to flatten your doughball into a thin patty.


Using a frying pan, skillet or baking stone (if you’re going the oven route), place the peeled, flattened tortilla dough and place gently on the heated pan. No oil is necessary, but if you have an especially crappy heating surface you can sprinkle a little cornmeal to keep your business from sticking.


Heat on medium heat for about 1 minute on each side, or until they look done.

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