A staple in our house has always been taco night. However, I got a pit in my stomach every time I read the back of the pre-packaged tortillas at the grocery store. 

Nixtamilizing in moutains of Oaxaca

I knew that all these ingredients were not necessary in a real tortilla and didn’t want to feed that crap to my kids. So then I started making my tortillas using dried masa flour from the store and that was better, but turns out, still not good enough.  It was like making bread from scratch at home, but doing it entirely from white flour!  

I know many people trying to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diet turn to corn as a “healthy” substitute.  I was one of them. However, the ONLY way corn is its healthiest is if it is nixtamalized! Thankfully, this ancient technique is very easy to accomplish in YOUR kitchen and we are thrilled to show you how!  

Tortilla making in Cal y Maiz

If you want to feed your family real corn tortillas, then try our Modern Stone Age Family’s tortilla recipe! We use this at least twice a month in our home kitchen to make our tortillas from scratch with only 1 ingredient!! These tortillas taste better and are a million times better for you than anything you can buy at the store or even make from dried masa flour. The recipe is based on our family's research trip to Mexico this past December where we learned this ancient practice at Cal y Maiz in Mexico City and from a traditional family in the mountains in Oaxaca.

We hope you use it to nourish your family and enjoy it as much as we do!
Bill, Christina, Brianna, Billy & Alyssa

Modern Stone Age Family Homemade Torilla Recipe

  • Maize kernels

  • Pickling lime of Cal (calculated by weight of the corn – see below)

  • Water (3x the weight of the corn)

Step 1: Weigh corn to know how much pickling lime or cal is required and calculate the amount needed. Hint: for 1% multiply weight of corn by 0.01, for 8% multiply by 0.008, etc.

  • White corn (1.0%)

  • Blue corn (0.8%)

  • Red corn (0.6%)

  • Black corn (0.5%)

  • Pink corn (0.5%)

  • Yellow corn (1.3%)

Step 2: Measure cal or pickling lime and add to a little water - will sizzle and heat up. Hint: Cal is available at Mexican Grocery Stores and Pickling Lime can be found anywhere canning supplies are sold!

Step 3: Rinse corn while cal is reacting with the water

Step 4: Place corn and water in a pot (3x the amount of water calculated against the weight of the corn). Add cal and mix well to combine

Step 5: Bring pot to simmer (DO NOT BOIL) and simmer for the amount of time indicated

below. Hint: You will know when it is ready when you can rub the kernel between your fingers and the skin will slip off and it is al dente when bitten

  • White corn (20 minutes)

  • Blue corn (17 minutes)

  • Red corn (30 minutes)

  • Black corn (30 minutes+)

  • Pink corn (17 minutes)

  • Yellow corn (30 minutes)

Step 6: Cover and sit at room temperature overnight

Step 7: To grind nixtamal into masa without a stone metate transfer some of the nixtamalized maize to a food processor.  Do not overfill! The dough it creates is very thick and too much will overwork the motor in the food processor.  Turn the food processor on to grind into a moist dough. The hydration should already be correct, but you may need to add a very little amount of water to get everything to grind and combine properly.  When it is smooth remove the masa dough from the food processor and place in a covered container to ensure it does not dry out or lose any moisture.  

Step 8: Press tortillas and cook. Preheat a griddle or skillet to medium high heat.  If you have a tortilla press cut both sides of a plastic bag the size and shape of the press.  Remove dough from the container approximately the size of a golf ball, and place between the two pieces of plastic on the tortilla press.  Pick up both pieces of plastic and the tortilla together and lay it in the palm of your hand. Gently peel off the top layer of plastic. Transfer the tortilla and remaining layer of plastic to the opposite hand flipping it over as you go so that the remaining piece of plastic is now on tip.  Gently pull off this piece of plastic leaving behind nothing but the tortilla in your hand. Transfer the tortilla to the preheated griddle and cook for a few minutes until the bottom begins to brown and blister. Using a spatula flip the tortilla and cook for a few minutes on the remaining side until it browns and blisters.  Remove from heat. Repeat with remaining dough.

Step 9: The tortillas can be kept warm by storing them, stacked together, in a towel until you are ready to use them.

ENJOY and taste the difference!