I CANNOT make fresh tortillas for the life of me. I don't think I'm a bad cook, I make meals all the time and I love baking and working with flour, but trying to use masa makes me furious.
I don't have a tortilla press, which is one problem, but I have a pie bag and a rolling pin. I should be able to do something with that. Or by freaking hand even.
But my masa doesn't stick together. It constantly breaks apart. I've tried both more water and less water multiple times. I get a flat-ish circle that doesn't hold its shape and sticks to the pie bag / my hand / the bottom of the spatula.
This should be one of the easiest things to make.
if it cracks, it's a little too dry.
are you letting the dough rest? there isnt much/any gluten in a masa dough, but a resting period before rolling will markedly improve your results.
like making bread, use masa flour to dust your board and pin when rolling. i use a pan lid with sharp edges like a big cookie cutter to get a perfectly round edge (then re-roll the edge scraps for the next tortilla)
Since you didn't specify what type of tortilla (maíz or flour) I'm going to assume based on the picture you posted that they're corn ones. There really isn't much to it, you just add water to re-hydrate the dough, if it's too dry then add more water. I have no idea what a pie bag is but the type of plastic used universally in most Mexican homes (even ones with a tortilla press) are those plastic bags you get in the vegetable section or the store. I don't even use a tortilla press, just a flat plate and press with my manly strength from the centre.
Masa isn't like flour dough, it doesn't require rest and dusting the board is only going to dry it out. The water isn't doing some kind of binding and gluten is inconsequential, the only thing water is doing is re-hydrating. All the chemical processes of the nixtamalization has already been done.
Corn tortillas don't have added fat.
Find a tortilla recipe given in terms of weights so you have an exact flour and water ratio that is known to work. Then you could work on other aspects of making them if something is still off.
Its best just like with wheat flour to add as much flour as needed and then slowly add water.. once it is sticking add more water and then more dough little by little..
You can also use shortening.
It sounds like your flour isnt absorbing enough water evenly enough.. Theres a trick to it.. you have to kind of work with it more than you would wheat flour to absorb water evenly.
>mfw I have the same problem and I even have a tortilla press
that's not what i meant.
fuck... literally you can refer to Masa (in spanish) as any kind of dough (Wheat, rice, corn) but these fucking mexicans or maybe who the fuck had to add that word to make it more appealing to North Americans
is disgusting and lame marketing.
professional spic here, I've been making corn tortillas for years.
1. Masa must be mixed with water until no cracking can be seen on the surface and it feels a little slimmy.
2. Do not use presses or rolling pins to make tortillas, this is not only inefficient but time consuming as well. You have to be able to make them yourself.
3. You must use a teflon coated/nonstick square griddle to make tortillas, this lazy bitch nigga is going to be working under scorching temperatures so it needs to be able to not warp under heat and distribute heat evenly. Most people fuck up making tortillas literally because they were such jews they bought that $4 super thin copper square griddle you get at hispanic markets.
4. Heat must NEVER be set at maximum or low. Medium- medium high is ideal. Too much heat will burn the surface of the tortilla while not properly cooking the inside properly leaving you with a burnt tortilla still raw enough to fuck with your stomach. Too little heat and your tortilla will turn into a dry-as-bone abomination as hard as bricks. Though not raw it will still give you a tummy ache to process food nearly as hard as rocks.
5. Timing is crucially essential. Once you put the tortilla on that griddle, the clock is ticking. If you're too much of a bitch nigga then buy a heat resistant spatula to flip the tortilla over else just use your hands. Flip every 1 minute or so and cook at least 4 times on each side or until one side starts starts becoming dry and yellowish (this means tortilla has been thoroughly cooked).
6. Tortillas are created by first rolling a ping pong sized ball of masa and kneading it to get rid of imperfectly mixed masa. Then you must start turning the tortilla ball while lightly pressing it from the center toward the edges, if it starts cracking and crumbling you need to add more water. Eventually you will end with a ~1/4 thick disc thay has the most even distribution of thickness from the center to the outside edges.... (continued)
... If you end up with a tortilla that has a 1/2" fat center and 1/8" thin edges you dun goofed.
7. Finally the bigest mistake most people will make is they won't pre-heat the fucking griddle or wash it to get rid of baked on burnt crumbs left over from the last batch. Always preheat the griddle for ~5 minutes on medium before putting any tortilla on the griddle. Also make sure you have a clean griddle to work with, if it's dirty you are guaranteed to bake those burnt flakes into your new tortillas which is even worse than eating a burnt tortilla.
You're end result should look like pic related. As you master the art of making these uber cheap delicious replacements for pleb bread you can change the ping pong sized ball of masa to tennis ball masa to male bigger tortillas.
P.S. You do not need to make ultra perfect round edges, as long as it is mostly evenly thick from the center to the edges you will have a good tortilla in the end.
Thank you, anon. Appreciate the sage advice.
Every once in a while, a thread doesn't turn to shit on /ck/. Thanks anon.
>Finally the bigest mistake most people will make is they won't pre-heat the fucking griddle or wash it to get rid of baked on burnt crumbs left over from the last batch.
Interesting, I never considered the pre heating thing. I usually don't thoroughly wash my griddle so that must be why I keep seeing those small black flakes on them. Dam, thank you.
Actually this isn't bad advice. Working with freezing cold masa is difficult because it takes longer to mix properly because of molecular sciency shit I don't fully understand.
Using warm water helps the masa mix faster. It will save you time in mixing the masa so I'd recommend it.
>mom right once again
Hey do you have any tips on making puffy taco shells and/or gorditas? I'm thinking I just don't have the temp right because when I fry them they just don't puff and with gorditas they just don't get light enough to cut.
I'll just keep practicing till I fuck it up less.
Well I'm Indian so I haven't made any puffy taco shells but a lot of our flatbreads are of the puffed variety. For puffing you need higher heat than normal and reduce the number of times you're flipping. So when the first side is 50% done flip it. Then let second side be 75% done. Finally turn the heat to high and flip back on to the first side. The difference in doneness between the two sides and the rapid heating causing water to turn into heat very fast causes the puffing. You won't get the timing right on the first go but once you do it's easy.
As a Costa-Rican, the time when you are able to make tortillas from scratch is cause for celebration, that shit takes forever to finally get right and is altogether time and labor intensive
Totally worth it though. Tortillas are fucking universal side dishes. They go with fried chicken, steak, fried eggs, avocado + hard cheese, salty boiled eggs, soup, pork chops, rice. Hell tortillas could probably be eaten with spaghetti if you wanted.
They help people stay skinny and suppress hunger hard. Good luck eating something else after 10 tortillas and some fried chicken all day. I think this is the main reason why hispanics in central america always manage to stay so slim. They also interestingly hold 2 grams of protein per tortilla so it could be why they put a hurt on hunger cravings. Only ~100 calories for a medium sized tortilla too.
I'm from San Diego and I don't think I've ever seen any of my chicana friends who cook not own a tortilla press. Like yeah you can make coffee in a pot on the stovetop but fucking why?
You can make them faster by hand. The time it takes you to get the press ready, wax paper, and press out the first tortilla I already have 8 tortillas cooking on the griddle.
No sane restaurant would let a tortillera use a press ever. Think about that.
You're insane, what kind of fucking tortilleria doesn't use a press? If they operate at any scale then they'll have it automated probably, but tortilla presses are just as fast as by hand and get better, more uniform results. If you're too much of a doof to place and peel wax paper at any reasonable pace then I won't begrudge you for preferring to do it by hand, but seriously? Your argument is that it's slower?
hmmm you may have a point. If they have machines that can quickly press the tortillas into a good shape then that would be more efficient and less time consuming to use. However I think the average person can't own such a machine so doing it by hand would still be faster in my opinion especially for a skilled tortillera.
Last year I took a trip to el salvador to visit some relatives and nobody there used a press. Even restaurants there had fast tortilleras making tortillas by hand. People over there told me the ones made by press take longer and feel different than hand made tortillas.
Texture difference is a legitimate reason because the pressed ones will be denser by some degree. It might also be a cultural difference, I can only speak to Chicana/os back home having an overwhelming preference for using a press.
How do I make homemade tostadas? I bought some store ones and was disappointed. Mexican wikipedia says these are fresh tortillas that were either fried or dried on a comal. Which one do you prefer?
Oh fuck yeah just keep it thin.
Or just go buy whatever shit already made corn tortillas from the store and fry them. That alone tastes better than the premade hard shell.
Just have the oil real hot and keep an eye on it. Otherwise it'll absorb the oil and come out soggy.