Thick, fluffy tortillas stuffed with ground beef/chicken and mozzarella cheese filling and a refreshing avocado salad on the side.
Put some mayo, tomato and hot sauce on top and dinner’s ready in a snap!
You know what makes this dish even more delicious?
If the tortillas are freshly made with your love!
I know, I know! Nobody wants to spend several hours in front of the stove and take the hassle of rolling out the dough to get the perfect round and thin shape a tortilla bread requires.
That’s why, for people who have not mastered the technique of hand-petting yet, a tortilla press works the best as a cheeky alternative!
A tortilla press makes less mess, looks as close as you can get to "PER-FEC-TION" and takes less time to produce an authentic Mexican restaurant vibe right to your dinner table!
Want to add this gadget as a new addition to your kitchen?
But, first, let’s get some ideas about how to use a tortilla press correctly before you start rolling!
What Is A Tortilla Press?
“Tortilla” is a traditional Mexican cuisine.
It’s basically a thin, pliable flatbread that can be used to hold a variety of fillings including, cheese, chicken, spicy salsa, peaches, cream etc.
Typically, tortillas typically made from corn or wheat flour. First, you make a dough by mixing the flour/ground corn kernel with water and then give them a ball-like shape. The balls are then pressed flat to make the bread.
And that’s where the “Tortilla Press” comes into the picture!
This kitchen tool helps give the bread a more uniform thickness by crushing the ball of dough in between its 2 surfaces. Made of cast-iron or aluminum, the pressing device comes with 2 flat round surfaces that are of about 8 inches each in diameter.
Types Of Tortilla Press
There is a variety of pressing devices available on the market.
1. Manual Hand Crank Tortilla Press
These are super-easy to use. They don't require much maintenance and tend to last for a long time. You will find the option of choosing between a Wooden and Cast-Iron one in this case.
Wooden machines come with the advantage of not needing any kind of seasoning on their surfaces. However, the high-quality presses (Oak, Maple, Mesquite) are quite pricey on the market.
Cast-iron machines are user-friendly as well. However, when you start making the flatbreads, some of the moisture might get into the machine in this process. To avoid that, we recommend wiping it down after every use and season it lightly with some oil for the best result.
2. Electric Tortilla Press
These help flatten the flour/corn dough and cook it at the same time. These machines are easier to clean as the plates are usually made with nonstick materials.
However, they do require a bit of maintenance and are much bulkier in comparison.
How Does A Tortilla Press Work?
Remember we explained how you have to make a ball-shaped dough first?
Well, once you place the dough ball in front of the pressing machine, the device starts working its magic!
Tortilla press comes with leverage that's used to put pressure on top of the dough ball. The pressure helps flatten the dough on the surface board just like a rolling pin would do.
Since it’s a machine that’s putting the effort, the flatbread gets to have a uniform thickness all over the place and as a result, it cooks more evenly. Not to mention, it gives the bread an overall store-bought appearance that you like so much!
The electric version of this device helps flatten the bread as well as cook it at the same time. So, once you place the dough ball in between its surfaces, all you have to do is to press the button and the machine will flatten and bake it on its own!
How To Use A Tortilla Press For Flour Tortillas/Corn Tortillas?
Got the dough all shaped up?
It’s time to get started!
Step 1: Create A Protective Layer
In order to keep the dough ball from sticking to the bottom of the machine, you need to create a protective layer on top of its surface.
- Take a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper that’s double the size of the pressing machine’s plate.
- Fold it in half on top of the opened press.
Step 2: Place The Dough In Position
Once you are done with prepping your device, it’s time to get the dough ball in place! It’s a good idea to wet your fingers a bit at this point to prevent sticking.
- Put the dough ball into the center of the machine.
- Flatten the dough into a thinner disc.
- Make a small indentation in the middle of the dough with your finger. This will help push the dough out and prevent the center from not being thicker than its edges.
Step 3: Press, Bake And Enjoy!
You are almost done. Just a few more steps and you will get nice and warm breads ready to be used for wrapping your favorite taco or burrito!
- Pull the handle back over the top of the machine and press.
- Keep holding the machine in that position for at least 20 seconds. This will make sure the dough ball is all stretched out and hold its shape pretty well.
- Wiggle the device sideways to evenly distribute the pressure.
- In case you want a thinner bread, lift the top plate, turn the bread from one side to the other and press again.
- Voila! Peel the tortilla away from the parchment paper gently and proceed to cook as desired.
Note: We recommend setting the raw breads on a floured tea towel until you are ready to bake it.
How To Use An Electric Tortilla Press?
The method that we mentioned above works well for a manual flatbread maker. However, if you have purchased an electric machine, then the instructions are a tad different!
Step1: Press And Lift!
- Plug the machine to the nearest power outlet.
- Electric machines don’t have to be pressed for a long time. Once you place a dough ball inside the machine, close the upper plate down and lift off immediately.
- The dough should be flattened thin when you lift the plate.
Step 2: Let It Bake
- Keep the machine’s plate open and let the bread bake on the bottom plate.
- When you start seeing small bubbles on one side, flip the bread with a spatula.
- Keep flipping the bread over and over again until it starts to lightly puff, which indicates that it’s fully cooked!
Tortilla Press Recipes You Haven’t Tried Before!
If you think these flatbread makers are only good for making tortillas, then you couldn’t be more wrong!
The Dumpling Skin, which is a Chinese delicacy, is one of the common things found in any Asian grocery store. With a pressing machine at your home, you can easily make one of these quite easily!
You can also make Arepas (A crispy flatbread made from white corn) by using the pressing machine to flatten the ball of dough. However, make sure that the bread remains a bit thicker than your average tortillas in that case.
If you are looking for more ways to use this good-old device, then why not consider a batch of tasty Cheesy Beef Empanadas?
This Filipino dish requires the thinnest bread possible for giving it a pastry-like appearance. And the pressing machine can help you with that and save you a lot of time compared to rolling out all the dough by hand.
Tortilla Press Hack And Some Useful Tips
Still with us so far?
Then, you are in for a treat!
As a chef i know some secrete thing of this machine. will share some useful tips and tricks with you that will help you utilize this machine to the fullest as well as make you a tortilla expert in a snap!
How To Make Tortillas Soft?
After putting so much effort to make the perfect flatbread, it just doesn’t seem right when it gets cold, right?
Well, here’s an easy trick!
All you need is a pot and a cover that’s slightly bigger than your flatbread. Place each bread in the pot after removing from the stove and keep it covered with the lid. The heat from the pieces of bread will keep them warm and toasty!
Can You Use A Tortilla Press For A Pizza Dough?
You can use the flatbread maker to make a super-thin, crunchy pizza crust that everyone is so obsessed about nowadays!
Just roll it out very thin and don’t put any yeast in it. Once you bake it in the over, the crust should have a nice, dark brown color and a bit charred appearance for the best result.
How Do You Keep Tortillas From Breaking?
Keeping the tortillas uncovered usually results in breaking and peeling.
To keep them pliable, it’s best to stack them together on a plate after removing from the heat. Also, try using a slightly dampened towel or paper on top of the plate until the moment you need to use them.
What To Do With Soft Corn Tortilla?
If your corn tortilla has become too much soft and is sticking to the pressing device, then the reason might be that you have added too much water.
In that case, you need to knead the dough again and add a bit more corn flour to the mixture if necessary.
How Do You Keep Tortillas From Molding?
Tortillas do NOT like moisture and tend to start molding if there’s any.
So, you need to be careful and store them in a re-sealable plastic bag or airtight storage container to keep the moisture away.
Nothing beats the texture of a homemade tortilla. Be it the earthy corn flavor or the soft and supple flour ones, tortilla have made its way from Mexico straight into our hearts!
Now that you know how to use a tortilla press, we hope you have fun making homemade tortilla chips, pita bread, pizza crust, dumplings and many more delicious items.
And if you get bored with cooking these items, there is always room for experiment, right?
Hey, I heard you can even make Nachos with tortillas! (Chips come from the tortilla, Nachos come from chips).
Want to find out?
Try and let us know!
And don’t forget to share your experience with the rest of the world as we all know “Sharing is caring”!