So, armed with a bag of masa, some wax paper and a rolling pin, I decided to get started. [I did have a package of store-bought tortillas on hand so my meal wouldn't be ruined if my tortilla skills fell below par.]
The package directions said to mix 2 cups of masa with 1 1/4 cups of water. No good. Too dry. Just keep adding water. You need to do the mixing with your hands to get the right consistency too. Once you've got it though, make 16 balls ready for pressing.
Placing the first ball on a sheet of wax paper, I covered it with another sheet of wax paper and applied my midwestern pie-crust rolling-pin skills to the ball. No good. It wasn't round; it wasn't uniform. In the cooking class I took in Mexico, we used a tortilla press, so I got out a frying pan and tried that. Finally, by tortilla #12, I had perfected the frying pan/rolling pin method of pressing tortillas. It goes as follows:
1. Place to-be-tortilla ball in the center of a sheet of wax paper.
2. Cover with another similar sized piece of wax paper.
3. Quickly and evenly, press down on the top piece of wax paper with a heavy frying pan.
4. Rock back and forth and to each side while pressing into the frying pan with all your might.
5. Use the rolling pin four strokes to 2 and 8 o'clock followed by four strokes to 10 and 4 o'clock. Be careful to keep the pressure in the center of the tortilla so the sides do not end up too thin.
6. Do this a few times, and apply the frying pan one more time. Heat a dry griddle, heavy frying pan, or comal on the stovetop to medium - high.
7. Lift the wax paper with the flattened tortilla nestled inside and flip over. Remove the top (previously bottom) layer of wax paper. Flip the tortilla into your hand and place on heated griddle, thick frying pan, or comal (though if you have a comal, you probably have a tortilla press and have no need of this post).
9. Tah dah!
These tortillas are a little thicker than the ones you're used to (unless you're really strong, in which case you can come over here and help me out), but they are excellent for open-faced tacos, quesadillas and dipping.
If you want to be more authentic about it, it looks like this.