Tortillas are a foundational element of Mexican cuisine, so it's important to get them right! Chef Gabriela Cámara's freshly made tortillas contain only two ingredients, but her double-flip technique will help them puff up beautifully on a hot skillet.
4 cups white masa harina flour, may substitute yellow
2 cups water, plus more as needed
In a medium bowl, combine masa harina and water; mix well with your hands. When dough forms, begin kneading in the bowl. Continue adding water, a tablespoon at a time, until dough becomes smooth and thick; it should be the consistency of Play-Doh. Roll dough into a ball slightly smaller than a golf ball (1.5 oz or 40 g). Set aside on a baking sheet, covering with a damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out.
Preheat a comal or skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, cut freezer bag along either side to create a large plastic sheet; prepare the tortilla press by covering the bottom plate with half the sheet. Place a tortilla ball in the center of the bottom plate and flatten slightly with your hand; then cover the ball with the other half of the plastic sheet. Lower the press firmly so that the dough is sandwiched between the two plates. Open the press, flip the circle of dough (still sandwiched in plastic), and press again. Remove the flattened tortilla: it should be about 6 inches in diameter and an even thickness throughout.
Test the comal by splashing a few drops of water on the surface; they should sizzle immediately. Remove raw tortilla from plastic and gently place onto the center of the comal. Watch for the edge of the tortilla to begin to dry out and turn opaque, 1 minute. Flip and cook the other side until the tortilla turns opaque and blistery, 1 more minute. Flip back to the first side and let it cook for a final 30 seconds. It will puff up like a balloon when it’s cooked through. If the edges of the tortilla look grainy and dry, mix 1 tablespoon of water into the dough; make another dough ball and repeat the process of pressing and cooking.Once you've made your first "perfect" tortilla, you know the consistency is correct. Turn the rest of the dough into dough balls, lining them up on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a damp towel throughout the pressing and cooking process.
Line a basket or bowl with a dry towel and store the cooked tortillas in a stack, covering as you go. Wrapped up, they should stay warm for about an hour. (Alternatively, microwave the tortillas for 30 seconds.) Use cooked tortillas for Chef Cámara's Baja-Style Fish Tacos and Tinga de Pollo Tacos. For her Egg-Stuffed Tortillas and Deep-Fried Cheese Quesadillas, you will need to begin with uncooked tortillas.