Fresh-Milled Corn and Wheat Sourdough Tortillas

This is the comment thread for the Breadtopia blog post originally published here:

To leave a comment, click the Reply button below

If you do not see the “Reply” button, you will need to log in or register an account. Please click the blue “Log In” button in the upper right of the page. :arrow_upper_right:

Thanks for sharing your recipe, as well as comments. Your post of corn-wheat tortillas has prompted a myriad of thoughts. Being from New Mexico I was used to freshly made corn tortillas. Store-bought corn tortillas are generally bland and tasteless, in my opinion. Thus, I recently experimented with making masa from yellow dent corn - using the nixtamalization process - and continuing on to make tortillas. I am pleased to report they were a complete success.

However, my husband prefers flour tortillas - primarily because of their pliability. Your recipe seems to be the best of both worlds - flavorful and pliable. Do you think that a combination of ground nixtamalized corn and milled White Sonora wheat (or Spelt or Kamut) - without benefit of the sourdough component - would yield tortillas as flavorful as the ones you made? There is no better time than the present to experiment. I will give it a go after the holidays and report back.


Congrats on nixtamalizing the yellow dent corn. I haven’t tried yet, and it’s great to hear that it works.

I think you’ll be fine without the sourdough. The corn and wheat are still so flavorful. Also, a long rest before rolling should help the dough consistency regardless of fermentation.
(I’m sure the nixtamalization of the corn will also make a positive difference in the pliability and ease of rolling.)
I’d love to hear how it goes.

Melissa: I actually found this recipe in the link a year ago and made it using the food processor. Making corn tortillas is a real skill and hats off to the Latins that show it as so easy. The resultant Masa in the food processor required significant additions to get it to the point of being usable and then it was a pure struggle. I actually had to have a couple of adult beverages to finish the process. I found making the Nixtamal and then drying the corn before processing is the way to go. I tried various methods including using my Mockmill and found thorough drying and then making flour which can be mixed in close proportions work the best.

As far as the Nixtamal is concerned the long soaking really makes a very strong flavor, it actually stunk up the house for days until I could get rid of it. I experimented and finally came up with a procedure that makes a mild flavor product and “fairly” easy to mix into Masa. There is a real learning curve with plain ole Masa, water and salt.

If you want to see my instructions for dent corn I would have to clean them up a bit and could forward.

Lol at needing some adult beverages to finish. Some baking and cooking projects are beastly for sure.

I haven’t been deep in the nixtamalization process myself but I do find it interesting. Kudos for finding a way. Do you by chance have a blog? I could link to your nixtamalization instructions from the tortilla recipe?

I tried the blog thing and found it too much work. I’m retired and have way too much to do. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:anyways if you want I can send to you and if you feel it is worthy do one of your posts to the blog. I like sharing with folks especially if they are trying to learn. (Like I am some kind of a guru…NOT)

My process included screwing up my Mockmill, having to get new stones from Germany and then in the end needed Breadtopia for other parts. Eric was kind enough to just send them he must have felt sorry for me. BUT I learned from it. Hey and now I can make corn torillas!!!

Dennis, I would love to get your recipe/process for nixtamalization and making tortillas. I have a Mockmill and would like to expand how I’m using it. I also have a wet grinder to make masa, but I haven’t used it yet. Thanks!

YES YES YES! I’d love your instructions! I just bought a mock mill and would love to try milling my nixtamlized corn in there. How did you dry it? How dry was it? Any issues with the mill dealing with residual moisture from nixtamalizing it?

Then, yes…how did you make your tortilla masa dough from the nixtamal?

Well if it was a month ago I would have said I had it all figured out BUT my wife and I have made tortillas several times and found we had a difficult time pressing the tortillas. Come to find out I was not using a fine enough grind. I have ordered some parts for my dehydrator and after working out the kinks in the drying process plan on updating my entire write-up. I don’t mind sending you what I have if you use fine corn flour in your mix. Everything else then would be the same except the drying process of the kernels. If you want just let me know.

I can tell you that the corn has to be dry, meaning if you take a dried kernel and hit it with a hammer it will shatter. Then it is dry enough. Actual % of moisture around the 10%. I have plugged up the stones on the Mockmill because the corn was not dry enough.

My last attempt I used a burr grinder and found the corn still had some moisture inside, it would have made a mess of the Mockmill, trust me you don’t want to go there.

It will probably be a couple of weeks before I am finished and I will post on the forum in reader’s recipes.

I did not like using wet masa for tortillas as using my whole grain corn flour for additions took an hour of letting it absorb before continuing. By the time we were ready to eat we were 3 sheets to the wind. :smile: I had some issues with grinding fine enough and getting it dry enough and am working on it now. Will post the process in the forum when I know it is correct, probably in a couple of weeks from now.

If you want what I have I can share but you would need to use fine flour in your mix.

That’s super helpful. I am not going to go through the trouble of drying out my nixtamal. I will continue trying to perfect grinding it in my food processor.

@festusbodine @DennisM

This article just appeared in the New York Times cooking section. He’s lauding fresh ground popcorn as more flavorful and textured in comparison to storebought nixtamal and masarepa flour (not compared to what you two are doing with whole corn).

A Colombian Chef Shares His Secret to Better Empanadas

“So he tried boiling regular supermarket popcorn in a pressure cooker before passing it through a hand-crank grain mill and kneading it with a bit of water into masa. The flavor and texture was outstanding.”

Interesting article appreciate the link. Although he did mention adding water to get the mix correct. I found just the opposite as it was too wet. Will have Diane read through the article as she went to Med school in the DR and has a bit of knowledge on the different Latin foods and the dough consistencies (she actually said that she thought my flour was too coarse for tortillas.) Don’t think she has made empanadas at least can’t remember, but that isn’t unusual, EACH YEAR GETS WORSE!.

Interesting to try though but I do remember it was kind of messy, the wet grinding that is. Everything I have ever read is absolutely not to use popcorn, so I guess considering this article and the fact others have said you can’t IS ALL THE reason to give it a whirl. :grinning:

BTW I just received my dehydration filter paper yesterday and finished modifying my dehydrator with a fan (for faster drying times.) Hopefully over the next couple of days I’ll get some testing done for drying the corn properly.

Have to try this flour & corn mix and with the sourdough even sounds more interesting.

You made the comment " Using only home-milled un-nixtamalized corn is not a viable option for tortillas."
Because of non-nixtamalized or home-milled? You tried it?

Here are comprehensive instructions for nixtamalizing whole corn that @easummers linked to in the forums.

Our first excursion into tortillas was from this on “Mexican Please.” Maybe it was the home-milled (not fine enough) flour as an additive I was using caused our issues but the outcome was definitely not like portrayed in the article.

I believed it was due to the non-nixtamalized nature of the cornmeal. No matter what wetness I went with, I couldn’t get the dough to hold together.

But thinking about what I’ve learned from your recent posts, I think my finely milled corn flour probably had way more bran than the nixtamalized corn flour I’ve since bought. So I think I should sift next time and see if I can get unnixtamalized but sifted fresh-milled corn flour to glue together enough to make a tortilla.

That’s what I’m thinking too LOL

:clap::crossed_fingers: on your dehydration filter paper and fan modifications

As I am ready to nixtamalize another batch I will take 1/2 and sift also and see if that helps. Us Gringos keep trying to perfect what the Latins have been doing for a thousand years, LOL, I watch their videos and are amazed. EVENTUALLY we will figure it out, screw up enough and we will get it.

When speaking to a friend in Florida about this issue he had taken a motorcycle trip to Mexico some years ago (when it was safe to do so) and had the experience of eating with a Mexican family, He watched her grind the whole grain corn against A ROCK and make her flour. She added some salt and water and hand pressed out the torillas. The best he had ever eaten. The reason I mention is he said it was whole kernel corn, she had dried in the sun after soaking (no freakin dehydrator for her :grinning:). These people have the feel for all this.

This reminds me of my mom’s sun dried tomatoes. Tomatoes from her garden set on baking sheets on our balcony, and I have never tasted any as good as hers since.

We have tomatoes LITERALLY coming out of our ears. Diane made some cheese polenta (from homemilled corn) and topped it with whole Cherry ripe tomatoes. OMG…between the fresh cheese polenta and the sweet tomatoes!!!

I am beginning to think from some research and looking at some “Mexican Experts” the issues with hydrating the dough are all with the flour. None I have seen over the past couple of days let their dough sit to hydrate, even those making grinding wet and adding Maseca. It has to be the flour and how fine it has to be. It also may be processed so the parts that take time to hydrate are removed. Look on your package and see if it has to be refrigerated. If not it has to be rolled with parts of the kernel removed.

For me with the home milled (coarser grind) it was imperative to let it rest an hour to hydrate. I hope this new batch turns out differently. Also the dough using the fine flour which they call instant seems to take on a much different texture and I observed. I attempted to find some research on the process for the Maseca but info is limited.