Heirloom Corn & Edible Field Flower Tortillas

Corn tortillas with edible flowers pressed on them.
Relive our HEARTH Dinner Series with this recipe from our Chef in Residence, and friend, Tim Byres.

Homemade tortillas can be made with fresh nixtamal masa or from a dry masa flour. This recipe shows you how to make a dough out of masa flour if fresh masa dough is not available.

Yields 48 tortillas.

8 cupsheirloom masa flour
Assorted edible flowers
Masa harina dough balls on a plate.

Measure out the masa into a large bowl. Add 6 ⅔ cups water, 1 cup at a time, and work the masa with the water aggressively by squishing it through your fingers until you get a dough that holds together without crumbling. Tortilla dough really depends on the weather; sometimes you will use more water, sometimes less.

Cut out two 6-inch squares of waxed paper and set them aside. Measure out the dough into 2-ounce pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a ball shape.

Child pressing tortilla on tortilla press.

If you have a tortilla press, lay one square of waxed paper down on the open press, set a ball of dough in the middle of the waxed paper, and place the other square of waxed paper on top of the ball. Close the hinged top of the press and apply even pressure, flattening the dough into a thin tortilla.

If you don’t have a tortilla press, you can achieve the same goal using the bottoms of two heavy sauté or omelet pans lined with waxed paper. Once each tortilla is pressed, remove the top layer of waxed paper and add the edible flowers on top of the pressed tortilla, replace the waxed paper and press the flowers in. 

Child taking corn tortilla off of tortilla press.

Remove the top layer of waxed paper. Using the bottom layer of waxed paper to handle the tortilla, place it on a hot, cast-iron surface (such as a skillet or a comal). Sear the tortilla for about a minute on each side, until lightly brown in spots, turning with your fingers if you’re skilled or with a spatula. You don’t want to cook the tortilla too long—it should remain pliable.

Corn tortillas on cast iron on stove.

You can press all the tortillas in advance: Keep them divided by squares of waxed paper so they do not stick together, then wrap the stack in plastic wrap. Place the tortillas in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them. They are best if cooked the same day. Cooked tortillas may be stacked on top of each other without paper dividers, and you can reheat pre-cooked tortillas when you are ready to serve.