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Gluten Free Corn Tortillas

Asked by Chunkychocchip. Answered on 15th May 2011

Full question

Hi, I am unable to find gluten-free tortillas, so I was hoping make my own. However I have also been unable to find the mexican cornflour required so is this possible with polenta? Or what do you recommend? I know there is an increasing rise in gluten-free products as more people seem to need them now, but am stuck for packed lunch ideas. I really miss wraps! Hope you can help. Cheers, Chunkychocchip.

Our answer

The flour used for corn tortillas is called masa harina (dough flour). It is made by mixing corn with slaked lime (a mixture of water and calcium hydroxide) then washed, dried and ground to a flour. The slaked lime helps to soften the corn and remove the husks but it also has a nutritional benefit as it releases the niacin (vitamin B3) in the corn so that it can be digested by humans. The flour is mixed with water to make a soft dough then the tortillas are rolled or pressed into circles and cooked in a dry frying pan.

We would not recommend using polenta as it is not as fine as masa harina and is likely to result in gritty tortillas. We have seen masa harina for sale in some larger supermarkets but it is fairly easy to find on-line in the UK - from Cool Chile Co and MexGrocer UK (see links below). They both also sell ready-made corn tortillas which appear to be gluten free (but please check ingredients to be sure).

In the US many grocery stores stock corn tortillas (in the chilled section) and masa harina, or try MexGrocer USA (see link below). For Australia try Fireworks Foods (see link below)




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