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AlainV

Making Tortillas at Home

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Rancho Gordo: Your new press is wonderful! Really a work of art.

Thanks, all, for so many tips on making corn tortillas.

I'm curious: what else can a tortilla press be used for? Does it work for flour tortillas as well as corn tortillas? Pie dough?

Thanks. lkm

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I use my press when forming Chinese pot stickers. Put you knob of dough in the press and gently press so you have the start of a dumpling then finish with your rolling pin....gets them nice and round.

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The press is less effective than a small rolling pin with flour tortillas due to the gluten content.

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A few months back rancho_gordo allowed us to meet his Rolls Royce of tortilla presses. I would like to introduce the M1 Abrams tank of tortilla presses. It is constructed of 100% stainless steel and weighs in at 19 pounds.

IMG_0957.jpg


Edited by danielito (log)

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A few months back rancho_gordo allowed us to meet his Rolls Royce of tortilla presses. I would like to introduce the M1 Abrams tank of tortilla presses. It is constructed of 100% stainless steel and weighs in at 19 pounds.

OK, I have to admit that is the "Big Kahuna MacDaddy Bad MamaJama" of tortilla presses.

But the question that begs to be asked (and answered) is.....why?

My cast aluminum press that weighs about 2 pounds does a fine job, *AND* I can lift it and store it easily. At least Rancho Gordo's has aesthetic appeal.

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Why?

It's nearly indestructible.

It won't rust, corrode, splinter or crack.

It functions perfectly.

And I think it is beautiful in its own way.

I own one of rancho_gordo's Rolls Royce tortilla presses. It is a thing of beauty but I doubt I'll actually use it. When I want functionality, I'll use the tank

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That's super.

I now prefer wood but there was a time I preferred metal. I can see wanting both. I don't think you can have too many fountain pens or tortilla presses.

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I made Mexican tortillas today. The recipe had too much baking powder and salt, however the texture was excellent. Tomorrow I will reduce the baking powder and salt, resulting in this recipe - 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/8 tsp. baking powder, scant 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tbsp. butter-flavored Crisco, 1 tbsp. regular Crisco and about 3/4 cup boiling water. This makes six small tortillas, enough for testing a recipe.

I'd also like to try my hand at arepas soon. It is a Latin bread made with pre-cooked, white cornmeal.

Any tips for the above?

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Hi,I would like to know more about how to make a good white flour tortilla.Do you use high gluten flour or low,or a mixture.Is lard the best ?I have an electric tortilla press and cooker but do not have to use this.Do you use baking powder or not.There seems to be two schools of thought?I do make them with a yeast dough but would like alternatives.

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I use lard and baking powder in my flour tortillas. I use unbleached all-purpose Canadian flour which is a higher gluten flour.

Fajitas%20May%2020th%2C%202011%203-L.jpg

Flour Tortillas


2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup lard/shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup warm water (might need a bit more)

Place the flour, salt, baking powder in food processor and pulse to
mix. Cut in the shortening and then add the warm water and process to
make a soft dough. Dough should be soft but not wet and sticky. Wrap in
plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 10 or 12 pieces and shape into balls. Keep covered.

Roll each ball out into a 7 to 9 inch circle. Dough should be thin.

Cook on a dry hot grill or frying pan on medium heat, turning once. Do
not over cook or they will be hard. Butter and roll up and wrap in
tea towel to keep warm as you cook the other tortillas.

(I place the ones wrapped in the towel in a low 200 oven to keep warm,
while I am cooking the rest.)

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I use the wheat flour tortillas recipe from Diana Kennedy's Recipes from the Regional cooks of Mexico I use this one because it has much less fat yet still produces a nice tortilla. It uses all purpose flour and no baking soda. I usually make up a recipe and the extra dough that is not cooked can be frozen in balls which can be quickly defrosted.

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I've been trying to perfect, with a little luck, home made corn tortillas. I mean, they're light years better than store-bought slabs of cardboard, to be sure.

 

I'm using corn masa (dried corn flour), because that's what I have access to. (I know they'd be better using the fresh stuff, but it ain't happening).

 

Anyway, I think my biggest problem, at this point, is the griddle temperature.  Can anyone tell me what the griddle/comal/cooking surface temperature should be - in degrees, please? 

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My IR thermometer says mine is 550°F or thereabouts. It probably drifts a bit hotter than that towards the end of cooking.

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My IR thermometer says mine is 550°F or thereabouts. It probably drifts a bit hotter than that towards the end of cooking.

Yeah - I was doing them around 425℉ - 450℉. Too cool, I'm sure.

 

How long do yours take to cook, Chris?

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I took a video: it looks like about 1:20, give or take a few seconds. Obviously I can make no claim that this is the only possible time/temperature combination, or that I am any particular expert (though I do make a lot of tortillas). It probably also depends on the thickness of your tortillas. I make mine pretty thick.

 

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Thanks for the video Chris.  Talk about real time. 

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Cool - is that a nonstick pan, Chris?

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Yeah, it's non-stick. I choose it because of its low sides, not its non-stick properties, though. I have burnt myself on higher-sided pans shen dropping the tortilla in.

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I went with 270g of Masa to 400g of hot tap water (~130-140F). Mixed and let it sit for 30 minutes before forming balls, then cooked in a cast iron pan on medium-high. I lightly coated the pan with veggie oil before cooking and then did it maybe 3-4 more times during the batch. The pan was hot enough that the oil smoked off when applied and water would dance across the pan rather than instantly evaporate.  I got a little puff (~3/8") across all the tortilla's with maybe 1/4 getting puffed as much as the video that @Chris Hennes posted. Made em for a taco party and they were a definite hit.

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On 2015-05-31 at 11:35 AM, Chris Hennes said:

I took a video: it looks like about 1:20, give or take a few seconds. Obviously I can make no claim that this is the only possible time/temperature combination, or that I am any particular expert (though I do make a lot of tortillas). It probably also depends on the thickness of your tortillas. I make mine pretty thick.

 

 

Bringing tortilla making forward

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Okay, I have read thru this entire thread and need to know one thing regarding the corn flour (masa?). How fine is the corn flour? We have a lot of different brands of corn flour in South Africa, but most are rather a course grind and I am not sure how fine it should be for tortillas. Any help would be appreciated. 

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3 hours ago, JohnT said:

Okay, I have read thru this entire thread and need to know one thing regarding the corn flour (masa?). How fine is the corn flour? We have a lot of different brands of corn flour in South Africa, but most are rather a course grind and I am not sure how fine it should be for tortillas. Any help would be appreciated. 

John I am no expert but I do not think that the flour they are talking about for tortillas is the same as what you and I would know as cornflour and/or cornstarch. 

Click.

If you scroll down and click on to the description you will see that it is not the same as what you are thinking. 

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There are ways to use substitutes to make masa harina.  Here is a link to several solutions to the problem.

In the past I have used coarse polenta left to soak overnight in cold water with lime water (purchased in drug store) which is safer than the calcium hydroxide used in commercial preparations of masa.

 

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