Clayudas are one of the two outsized tortillas Oaxaca is famous for. The other is the delicate soft tortilla called Blandas. Both are twice the size of traditional corn tortillas. Clayudas are also heartier and often toasted so they can serve as the base for another famous Oaxacan dish called Tlayudas (Mexican Pizza).
Blandas y Clayudas- Oaxacan Oversized Corn Tortillas
- Tortilla press or small cast -iron skillet
- 12-inch cast-iron skillet
- Quart or gallon plastic freezer bags
- Large bowl
- Rolling Pin
- 3 cups Finely ground best-quality masa or 2 cups masa harina mixed with 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
Basic Corn Tortillas (12 6-inch)
- Have a tortilla press or heavy small cast-iron skillet. Cut a rectangle 6 by 6 inches out of a quart size plastic freezer bag, Open it and cut a minimum of an 18 by 9-inch rectangle. Open the press and lay plastic across both surfaces, creased edge next to the hinge. Keep rectangle nearby if not using a press.
- Add fresh masa or masa harina & water dough to a large bowl. Work masa with your hands. It should feel like a stiff cookie dough. If not pliable enough, work-in 2-4 tbsp water. With wet hands, roll dough into 10-12 ping-pong sized balls and cover them with a damp cloth.
- Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Grease griddle with a vegetable oil moistened paper towel rubbed over the surface. Place a dough ball in the center of tortilla press between the 2 flaps of plastic (see notes for non-press method). Lower the top of the press and push the handle down to form a 5-5-inch round tortilla, 1/16-inch thick. Open the press and peel off the top flap of plastic. Lift out the tortilla a peel away the bottom flap.
- Place the tortilla on the hot griddle or skillet. Cook about 1½ minutes. Tortilla should be lightly flecked with brown on the underside. Turn with a spatula and cook for another 1½ minutes. It should puff up slightly at this point. Turn once more and press it down. Remove to a plate and cover snugly with a towel. Repeat until no more dough balls, stacking and covering them as they are done.
Blandas (6 to 8)
- Only finely ground fresh masa will work in making the soft, delicate blandas. Use the exact same recipe for basic corn tortillas but use a gallon plastic freezer bag to cut out a 9 by 18-inch rectangle. Form 6 to 8 masa balls and cover with a damp cloth.
- Heat the large skillet as above. Lightly sprinkle the plastic flaps with masa harina and place a doughball between them. Flatten dough with a heavy flat-bottomed skillet until a thin large disk forms. After pressing down, use a rolling pin to get disk even rounder and thinner.
- Carefully separate the tortilla from the plastic liner and gently place in the lightly oiled hot skillet. Cook 1½ minutes on one side, turn and cook another 1½ minutes while pressing down gently with a spatula of towel. Turn and cook 1 more minute, pressing down on the top gently. Transfer to a covered plate. Flor bag, grease pan, and repeat.
- Make these exactly like Blandas but instead of fresh masa, use 2 cups course masa harina and cook them for 1½ minutes on the final cook. Top with Oaxacan string cheese, beans, and meats as described in Tlayudas (Mexican Pizza).
- If you don’t have a tortilla press, use a heavy flat-bottomed implement, like a cast iron pan. Place the plastic liner on the counter with a ball of dough between the flaps. Press skillet down gently and evenly to form the same 5 to 6-inch round and 1/16th-inch thick disks. Proceed as above.