Canonization of Junípero Serra - Tortilla Making

With the canonization today of St. Junípero Serra, we had a little community celebration at our house. Lots of kids learning about California mission life and how they lived and what they ate.  The culmination of the event was making our own corn tortillas which were eaten with toppings of frijoles, peppers, and cheese. We are doing another similar event tomorrow.

We started out by learning about how to grind corn on a makeshift metate. (Just for fun - we didn't use this flour in the actual preparation or cooking.)

Then everyone rolled out their own tortillas, placed between sheets of wax paper.

They were then fried on the griddle. The kids patiently waited and kept an eye on their special creations.

And finally everyone enjoyed their finished tortillas, topped with frijoles, peppers, and queso fresco. 

If you are learning about St. Junípero Serra and celebrating his canonization this week, give fresh tortilla making a try!

Making Corn Tortillas From Scratch

2 cups masa harina
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups hot water

Mix the masa harina and the salt together in a mixing bowl. Pour in the water and stir to combine.  Using your hands, knead the dough for a minute or two in the bowl. The dough is ready when it's smooth, but no longer sticky, and easy forms a ball.

Rest the dough for 15-30 minutes to fully absorb the water and texture of the tortillas. When ready, pinch off a few tablespoons of dough and roll it between your hands to form a ball.  Adjust the amount of dough to make larger or smaller tortillas.

Without a tortilla press: Place the ball of dough on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Place another piece on top of dough ball. Use a rolling pin to flatten the tortillas. Start in the middle and roll out to the edges until thin and about 6 inches in diameter. Peel away the top paper, flip the tortilla over onto your palm, and peel off the back paper.

Warm a large, flat cast iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook for 2 minutes, until the edges are starting to curl up and the bottoms look dry and pebbly. Flip and cook another 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.  Serve with selected toppings. Makes about 20 6-inch tortillas.

St. Junípero Serra, Pray for us!

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