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To make the dough:
- In a large, shallow mixing bowl, combine the masa harina and salt. Gradually add the warm water, stirring with your hands, to make a cohesive dough.
- Mix and knead the dough with your hands in the bowl until it’s smooth and somewhat firm, about a minute or so. If the dough is sticking to your hands and feels wet, add more masa harina a teaspoon at a time. If the dough crumbles when you roll a piece into a ball, add more water a teaspoon at a time.
- Cut the side seams of a quart-sized zip-top bag or plastic produce bag so that it opens flat along the bottom seam and then cut along the bottom seam to make two pieces of plastic. You can reuse this bag every time you make pellizcadas, sopes or tortillas. Set aside.
- Divide the dough evenly into 18 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place the balls on a clean work surface and cover them with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel to keep them moist.
- Preheat a comal, cast iron skillet, nonstick pan, or a griddle, over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until evenly hot.
To press the pellizcadas:
- Working with one ball of dough at a time, sandwich it in between the plastic bag pieces on the bottom plate of a tortilla press. There should be a piece of plastic under the ball and another piece of plastic on top of the ball. Gently close the tortilla press until the dough is about 1/4” thick and about 3” to 4” in diameter. You may need to press it a couple times to get the desired thinness.
To cook pellizcadas:
- Peel the top layer of plastic away from the pellizcada. Remove the pellizcada along with the bottom layer of plastic and place it in your palm with the plastic side up. Peel away the plastic and quickly, but gently, lay the pellizcada on the preheated pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until opaque and speckled, and they can easily be flipped without sticking to the pan.
- Remove from the heat and place it on a flat surface or cutting board. At this point, it will not be cooked all the way through. Using a kitchen towel or cloth napkin to protect your fingers from the heat, press and gently pinch a rim around the edge of the pellizcada; the masa should still be soft enough to do this.
- When finished forming all the pellizcadas, add oil to the comal or skillet, or brush each pellizcada with oil, and cook for one minute more on each side or until it’s cooked through and freckled with brown spots.
- To serve immediately, remove pellizcadas from the heat and top each with a tablespoon of warm refried beans, some chicharrón en salsa, crumbled cheese, and chopped onion.
- To serve later, wrap pellizcadas in a clean kitchen towel, seal in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for longer storage. Reheat on a hot surface (comal, pan, or griddle) for a few minutes before serving. If desired, reheat in a bit of oil to crisp up the outside of the pellizcada.