This is my preferred style for making gorditas. Giving them a shallow fry at the end of the cooking period gives them great flavor!
Servings: 4 (approx. 6 Gorditas)
- 2 cups masa harina
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
- 1.5 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- cooking oil
In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups masa harina, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Add 2 tablespoons lard and combine well (I usually crumble it into the mixture using my fingers.)
Now add only 1 cup of the warm water and combine as much as you can using a spoon or spatula. Add the rest of the water incrementally until you have a cohesive ball of masa dough. I usually dump the mixture onto a work surface and add the remaining water a few tablespoons at a time, kneading the dough until it comes together. Set aside and cover until you need it.
Pull off a 3 oz. chunk of masa dough and use your hands to roll it into a ball. (3 oz. is somewhere between a golfball and a racquetball.)
Surround the dough ball in plastic (I use a Ziploc bag with the top cut off) and use a flat-bottomed casserole dish to flatten the dough ball to a thickness that lies somewhere between 1/8" and 1/4". Keep in mind that you can always make them thicker at the cost of a longer cooking time. You can alternatively use a tortilla press for this step.
Pre-heat a dry skillet or comal to medium heat. Cook each side of the Gordita until light brown spots are forming, approximately 1-2 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, heat up a thin layer of oil in a separate skillet. I use a thermometer to get the oil up to 360F, and this corresponds to a medium setting on my stove.
Add the partially cooked Gordita from the dry skillet and cook it in the hot oil for 1-2 minutes or until the bottom side is brown and crispy. You can optionally cook the second side in the oil but I frequently will only cook the first side in oil. Set aside to drain on some paper towels.
Use a knife to cut open the edges. Insert your favorite filling and serve immediately. I filled this batch with refried beans and cheese.
I will sometimes add some butter along with the lard but this is optional.
Medium heat on my stove does the job for both cooking the Gordita in the dry skillet and shallow frying it. You could also use a thermometer to test the temp of the oil, with 360F being a good target before adding the Gordita.
Sometimes it can take some fiddling to get the consistency of the dough right. If it's wet and sticking to your hands simply add a light dusting of masa harina. If it's crumbly and won't combine you need to add a couple more tablespoons of water.
I used these refried beans for this batch along with plenty of shredded Jack cheese.