Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to use a tortilla press

Yesterday's post was how to make Gluten-free flour tortillas. Today I'll show you how to use a tortilla press. I find the tortilla press much faster and more convenient than a rolling pin, but it doesn't get the tortillas quite as thin as I like, so sometimes I roll them out just a little more after I press them.

A tortilla press also works for other kinds of flatbreads. (Hint: more flatbread recipes to come :)

There are many different types of tortilla presses, and you can find them in many kitchen stores or online. For me, I wanted one that was iron, not plastic or aluminum. After keeping my eye out for one for a while, I finally found this one at a local latino market for about $8.
Here is what it looks like open:

Here is a tip for easy tortillas: use a Ziploc bag to prevent sticking and for zero cleanup. I know... plastic... use your own judgement there, whatever you are comfortable with. Since I've reduced plastic in many areas (especially related to food), I feel OK using plastic occasionally, and in this instance. 
Side note: these Ziploc Evolve bags use 25% less plastic, are produced using 50% wind power, and come in 100% recycled packaging. I get mine at Target.

Cut open the plastic bag:

Lay it on the tortilla press. This is a quart size bag and a small tortilla press:

Place your gluten free tortilla dough in the middle of the tortilla press:

Close and smoosh (that's a technical term ;) 

Open, and... voila!

Now just peel your tortilla off the plastic and set aside. Repeat with remaining tortilla balls. 

Here are some that I rolled out after pressing, because I like them a little thinner. Then I got lazy and just pressed them and didn't bother to roll.

Cook tortillas in a cast iron pan or griddle. 

Tortillas are very versatile- use them for garden wraps, breakfast wraps, PB&J, hummus, soft tacos, bake them in the oven to make tortilla chips, cut them into shapes with cookie cutters to make the kids smile. They freeze well, so you can make a large batch and keep them in the freezer until you need them. I use parchment paper in between to keep them from freezing together.


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