How to Flatten the Dough with a Cast Iron Tortilla Press

Tortilla is a flat round bread that originated in northern Mexico. The popularity of tortillas has rapidly spread to other regions and today is widely used throughout the world.

A tortilla is traditionally made from either corn or less commonly wheat flour. You can incorporate tortilla into many meals It is usually consumed hot with various toppings or fillings.

You can purchase tortillas in your grocery store, but most people prefer the taste of homemade tortillas. Once you try homemade tortillas, you don’t want to return to store-bought ones again.

What Is a Tortilla Press?

A tortilla press is a kitchen device designed to press the dough and flatten it into a thin, round shape.  Many cooks claim that with the use of a tortilla press, they can shape the dough easier and faster. This way you can also get more consistent thickness than when rolling the dough with a rolling pin.

cast iron tortilla press

Types of Tortilla Presses

Tortilla presses are available in various shapes and sizes and can be made of different materials. When buying a tortilla press, take a size that suits your needs or a larger one. If you buy the press with a larger diameter, you will be able to make both – larger and smaller tortillas. Tortilla presses are usually made of cast iron, but you can also purchase wooden and aluminum presses.

Cast Iron Tortilla Press

The cast iron press has a heavy construction that can create the necessary pressure on the dough to obtain the required thickness. Due to the weight of the plates, you need less effort to press the dough. The uniform pressure helps to get pressed pieces with a consistent thickness.

preparing the dough for pressing

How to Use Cast Iron Tortilla Press

To get the desired thickness of the dough, it is best to mix it according to the directions. Be careful with the amount of water you put in the flour. The dough should be neither too thick nor too thin. Cover the prepared dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for about 1 hour.

Shape the dough into golf-ball-size pieces.

Place the ball of dough between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and put it on the middle of the bottom plate. These sheets of wax paper are necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to the press. You can use the same sheets to press a whole batch of tortillas.

pressing the dough

These sheets make cleaning a breeze. Use a brush to clean the device after use. If there is food stacked, just wipe the press clean and dry it with a cloth or paper. Also, coat the device with a thin layer of oil periodically to prevent rusting.

Close the top plate of the press and gently press it with your hand. Don’t put too much pressure. Instead, let the weight of the metal do most of the work. Then lift the plate, turn the plastic with the dough in it by 180 degrees, and close the top plate again. With this turn, you get a thinner and more uniform tortilla.

When the pressing part of the job is done, separate the top sheet of wax paper from the dough and place the tortilla in the palm of your hand to remove the second sheet of paper as well. Now your tortilla is ready to go directly on the hot griddle.

How to use 8-inch Uno Casa Tortilla Press: YouTube video

Dry fry the tortilla for about 20 seconds over medium heat, then flip and cook for another 20 seconds. Turn the tortilla a few more times and press it gently with the spatula. Once brown spots appear, take it out. Cook as many tortillas as you plan to consume right away. The unused dough can be stored in the fridge for 3 days.

fresh tortillas

Tortilla presses work well for pressing dough prepared from corn flour. Flattening balls of wheat flour dough with a press is a little difficult, and many cooks prefer to use a wood or steel roller instead.

How to Make Thin Tortillas?

To make the tortilla really thin, you need to rotate it several times and lightly press the handle each time.

Another way to make thinner tortillas is to prepare a softer dough.

Inserting sheets of paper between the bottom plate and wax paper will put more pressure on the dough and help to create a thinner tortilla.

To get a paper-thin tortilla, finish the flattening job with a steel roller.

The Downside of Tortilla Presses

The handle is the weakest point of this device. Although very heavy, cast iron is brittle and can’t withstand very strong pressure put on a small surface. If you push down hard, the handle may break.

To get a tortilla of thinner and uniform thickness, open the press several times and rotate the dough. Always press gently.

Final Words

Along with the growing popularity of tortillas, the interest in tortilla presses is also increased. More and more people opt for homemade tortillas because of their taste and the absence of additives.

There is no perfect tortilla press. Tortilla presses made of aluminum and wood are not as efficient as cast iron presses. They make uneven tortillas and can break easily.

Cast iron tortilla presses can also break under pressure. Even with that, a tortilla press made of cast iron has the strongest pressing power and best overall performance among the available options on the market.

filled tortillas

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