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Inexperienced Irish Corn Tortilla Chef...

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Hi fellow tortilla makers!

corn tortillas... :(

I tried the recipe by Patricia Mitchell at this address: http://www.texascooking.com/features/may98corntortillas.htm, but I really flunked it :(

I tried using just regular corn flour because I couldn't find the Masa Harina stuff, and I also just wanted to try the recipe so I did 1/4 of the ingredients (there were only about 2 1/2 cups of corn flour in the box I bought!). When I added the water (<1/3 cup) to the corn flour (1/2 cup) it all went really runny after a good bit of mixing. What I had was more like a watery soup than dough. I gradually added little bits of flour until i thought it was ready, but i never got a consistency good enough to stay together. Ah, also I didn't have a tortilla press either so I rolled it out between two sheets of clingfilm with a rolling-pin. I hardly ever got it off the plastic but when i did it would just fall apart. How thick are they supposed to be? Also, the dough was a weird texture for most of the mixing, I'd pick up a lump of hard dough in my hand and before I'd lifted it out of the bowl it had turned into a liquid! Maybe that's just my first experience of corn flour and water, but it was bizarre and seemed to be solid one minute and then liquid the next, I just couldn't get my head around it. :blink:

This is my first time trying to make tortillas, and my motivation is that they cost so much to buy in the supermarkets here in Ireland (2 EURO for 8) (I guess in America you can pick them up for a few cent) and I'd love to have them more often.

So, to the point, my most important question is: Can I use normal corn flour (as it's called in Ireland) instead of that Masa Harina stuff? The stuff I'm using is definitely not called corn _meal_, just to clarify, because I've heard that stuff causes major problems.

If I can use normal corn flour, then I have a whole bunch of other questions, but if I can't, then that's probably my problem and I'll make a strong effort to go find some.

Many thanks in advance,


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If you like the taste of corn in tortillas and M H isn't available, I suggest you purchase some yellow corn, put some in the oven at 350 till it smells really good like popcorn, about 15 minutes and let it cool and grind it in a hand grain mill. Then make mush.

I use the following method for cooking:

1 Qt. cold water

1 Qt. boiling water

2 Cups cornmeal

1 tsp. salt

Mix the cold water and meal and pour slowly into the boiling water and stir constantly. When it turns character, stir occasionally until reduced in water content; at least one hour. I have a mush dish about 4x4x12 or you can use a loaf pan and cool and refrigerate.

This recipe is good for one person for a week. I fry mine with bacon and cook eggs on the side. Use an iron 12" if possible.

In about 1720 the English wiped out the Fitzgeralds of my clan while my g g g grand dad was playing over at some friends. He was seven at the time. The neighbors changed his name to Barron and shipped him to America. Capt. Wm. Barron was killed in Georgia fighting the Brittish in 1776. If you are a Barron from Texas, be advised that there was a Barron Wagon Train that pulled from GA to TX in the 1800's. If you can trace yourself back to Wm. Barron of GA, hello. Your Irish not Brittish.

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hi Noche,

thanks for the post. Yeah, I'm Irish, and I don't think I am related to the Barrons or the Fitzgeralds.

I'm a little confused as to what your recipe actually makes, are they corn tortillas or an oven bake pie of some sort or does it just make Masa Harina, which would allow me to make corn tortillas?

And is yellow corn just corn on the cob?

Sorry I'm not that with Texan terminology... :) ... or maybe it's just cooking terminology... :wacko:

thanks again,


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Simon --

You have my sympathy. But your suspicions are correct: corn flour and masa harina are not the same thing. The corn in masa harina is treated with limewater before being ground. It is more granular than corn flour (which is much like wheat flour), but not as "sandy" as cornmeal.

Do you know anyone in the states that could send you a bag?

Masa Harina is made by the Quaker Oats Company. You can buy it online, but getting it shipped internationally could be pricey. I guess it depends on how much you like fresh, hot tortillas.

There's a website called www.mexgrocer.com that has an interesting arrangement for international shipping. Here is a link to their Shipping Information page: http://www.mexgrocer.com/order-ship-info.html Scroll down and read about "Access USA". That might be worth looking into.


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