This is what I think...watch out, she's thinking again...
It's the corn tortillas that are made with lime which is calcium hydroxide (or slaked lime). And, from what I've heard, it is a lime solution that the corn is soaked in to either remove or soften (I can't remember) the hulls. this is how that Mexican meal called masa is made; it is ground from these soaked corn kernals and is what makes those authentic corn tortilla so special and so good. I think (there she goes again) that the lime solution is totally rinsed away before drying and grinding the masa.
Here's 2 recipes I have; one uses corn meal and the other uses masa.
1½ C water
¼ C oil, divided
1 C cornmeal
1¼ C whole-wheat flour
1 tsp salt
Bring water to a boil, add half the oil, stir in cornmeal, cover and cook slowly over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining oil.
Mix in flour and salt, and adjust water (or flour) to make a soft dough.
Make 12 2-in. balls. Flatten them and roll into thin 6 or 7-inch circles.
Fry on ungreased griddle until lightly browned
Makes 12 tortillas.
Or, for a more traditional recipe: recipes.howstuffworks.com/tools-and-techni
I will just paste it here but there's pictures on the website:
It is easiest to use a tortilla press to form corn tortillas. If you do not have one, you can use the bottom of a pie plate or heavy skillet.
Cut two 7-inch squares of plastic bag. Combine masa harina and 1 cup of water in a medium bowl. Continue to add water by the teaspoon until a smooth stiff dough is formed.
Test consistency of dough by rolling a piece of dough into a 13/4-inch ball. Flatten it slightly.
(they forgot to insert here that you should place one piece of plastic on the bottom plate first) Place the ball on the (plastic on the) bottom plate of a tortilla press, slightly off-center from the handle. Cover with a second piece of plastic.
Press down firmly to make 6-inch tortilla. Peel off plastic from both sides. If edges are cracked or ragged, dough is too dry. Mix in additional teaspoons of water until the dough presses out with smoother edges. If tortilla sticks to plastic, the dough is too wet; mix in additional masa harina, until dough no longer sticks when pressed.
Cook tortilla on skillet according to recipe. Be sure to turn the tortilla quickly -- each side is finished cooking when the edges dry up. Continue flipping until both sides are dry and flecked with brown spots.
Remove cooked tortilla from skillet and place in a kitchen towel. Tortillas will likely be slightly stiff but will soften as they stand.
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