Corn Tortillas: Simple Gluten Free Bread Substitute

Corn tortillas are a round and flexible corn-based bread that is highly economical and fast to prepare. Some health benefits include the fact that corn tortillas are free of gluten and cholesterol. Although it is typically used to wrap Latin foods like spinach stir fries (like zorrillo, etc), grounded beans with culantro and chunks of avocado, they may also be used for many creative dishes (like rolling my papaya salad). 
How to make corn tortilla - gluten free bread recipe
Corn Tortillas: Quick & Simple Gluten Free Bread Substitute

To make corn tortillas at home as a gluten free bread substitute, you will need
  • A mixing bowl (If you are using a pot as a press, use the pot as a mixing bowl to use fewer kitchen wares) 
  • Masa de maiz cascado (crushed corn flour. The label of this flour may speak of the flour being ideal for tamal / tamale, a steamed dish). You may use either the white or yellow type. However, the taste and texture differ slightly. The white type is more pliable while and tastes more like regular wheat flour while the yellow corn flour is more gritty. 
    Corn Tortillas: Simple Gluten Free Bread Substitute
  • Pinch of salt or to taste 
  • Water  -- --
  • Spoon (for mixing) 
  • A surface that is firm and flat 
  • A plastic bag with one or both side(s) slit completely open as shown in the images below OR 2 pieces of plastic 
  • a tortilla press OR a saucepan 
  • flat non-stock cookware  Oil (for frying) 
  • cotton ball for spreading the oil on the cookware
  • A tiny saucer to hold a little oil for coating the pan between tortillas
  • a heat source from the bottom (like a stove top) 
  • spatula (for flipping the tortilla) 

How to make corn tortillas as a gluten free bread substitute at home:
  1. Pour the masa de maiz cascado to a bowl 
  2. Alternate between gradually adding (more) water to the masa de maiz cascado and thoroughly mixing (with a spoon). Continue mixing until all the water is absorbed into the masa de maiz cascado into a soft ball. The ball should feel like a ball of mashed potatoes.            
  3. Create discs that are roughly 0.5 inches thick and 2 inches wide 
  4. Place a disc onto one sheet of plastic onto the flat surface (like a kitchen counter or the inside of a tortilla press) and cover it with the next so that the 2 sheets of plastic sandwich the disc
    Corn Tortillas: Simple Gluten Free Bread Substitute - recipe instructions
  5. Gently press on top of the top sheet of plastic with the saucepan until the tortilla spreads out to a diameter of roughly 4 inches 
  6. Press down on the tortilla dough with your fingers to flatten the tortilla further. This will improve its ability to fold without splitting. 
    Corn Tortillas: Simple Gluten Free Bread Substitute - recipe
  7. Soak the cotton ball with oil and use the cotton ball to spread a thin layer of oil over the inner surface of the cooking ware. -- --
  8. Turn on the fire to a low to medium setting 
    Corn Tortillas: Simple Gluten Free Bread Substitute
    The heat is so low in this photo that it is hard to see the flame. For a pan that does not have a non-stick surface, heat the pan very well before applying the oil. The tortillas will not stick if the pan and oil are very hot.
  9. Peel away the top sheet of plastic. 
  10. Place the raw corn tortilla into the palm of your dominant hand.
  11. With the non-dominant hand, gently peel away the other sheet of plastic from the tortilla (so that the tortilla is in the palm of your hand). 
  12. In a quick movement, slap the tortilla onto the hot cooking surface
  13. Within a few seconds, shift the corn tortilla around within the pan (to prevent it from sticking)
  14. Flip the tortilla a few times when it holds together and assumes a slightly drier look. In some cases, a few dark spots may occur on one or both sides where the tortilla got extra heat. Stack the tortillas onto a plate 
  15. To store, place the tortillas in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to roughly 3 days. 
  16. To heat cold tortillas, cook in a microwave oven for a few seconds, roughly 20 seconds or until warm

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