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Tortilla question

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I prefer making my own flour tortillas. But I have problems. The torillas shrink. Twice. I get them rolled out nice and thin, about 7 inches in diameter. Then I peel them out from between the baggie layers and the gluten contracts once. Into the hot cast iron pan and they shrink again, down to about 4 inches. And they get thicker as they shrink.

How do you get a nice sized tortilla and still keep it thin?

The original recipe called for bread flour. I get identical behavior from all purpose flour. Haven't tried cake flour. The dough gets a 45 minute rest before rolling so it should be relaxed.

Thoughts? Ideas? Techniques? Other recipes?

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #2 of 5
I make my tortillas using fine ground organic white flour and masa harina. I guess the proportion would be about 3:1. I go by the color as I'm mixing them. Too much masa and they tend to come apart. After I mix them, I add a little salt and mix some more. Then I add just a little lard that I've melted and mix that in with a fork. (I make my own lard.)

When that's all mixed I add water. I've tried both right from the faucet and warmed up. It doesn't seem to make much difference. As I add the water, I use a bamboo paddle to mix it (turn it.) Until you get used to it, don't add too much water at a time. After you get used to it, you can put quite a bit in at the beginning, and then as it comes to it, little bits at a time. It is right when the ball pulls away from the bowl cleanly.

Then I take and put it in the 'fridge for an hour or so. This lets the flour, masa, and water a chance to "get together."

I don't know why yours are shrinking unless it has something to do with the bread flour, which is fairly coarse. The flour I use is similar to pastry flour and the masa is very fine as well. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 5
Phatch, do you mind posting your recipe ?. when I make flour tortillas, I don't have a problem keeping them thin when cooking them, the only problem is using them a couple of hours or so after they are made, the tend to get more crispy than the commercial tortillas, maybe I am doing something wrong, I have been storing them in plastic wrap in the fridge. I will post my recipe later, as I don't have it beside my desk.
post #4 of 5
Try keeping the dough in a bowl in the fridge covered with Saran Wrap. That's what I do and it keeps for 2-3 days. When I go to use it, I take as much as I need and let it warm up before rolling.
post #5 of 5
We made all our flour tortillas at a Southwestern place I used to work at. Our prep cooks would make and roll them out in the morning and wrap them. Later, when the night crew came in we would cook them, so they had plenty of time to rest, reducing shrinkage. When you cook them initially, don't overcook them (which is very easy to do). Just cook then until they loose that damp sheen that raw dough has. This takes only about 20 - 30 seconds each side. Then stack them immediately with parchment between them. This helps to retain moisture. As soon as they are cool, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
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