A warm tortilla is a wonderful complement to Mexican cuisine. There are several methods of making tortillas and creating the circular shape. A tortilla press is a useful tool that will easily achieve the shape you need, while saving you time in the kitchen. A press can be made of cast iron, metal, wood or plastic. If this is your first time making homemade tortillas, however, you may not have a tortilla press in your kitchen arsenal. Several alternatives can be found in any kitchen.
The rolling pin method is a little more time consuming but just as effective as a tortilla press. When you place the dough ball on your surface, roll out the dough in one direction. Then pull the dough off the surface, turn it, and roll it out again in another direction until you achieve an even round shape. The dough is now ready to cook.
Using two plates acts as a close substitute to a tortilla press. To prevent the dough from sticking, use plastic wrap between the dough and the plate. Place a piece of plastic wrap on a plate and then place your dough ball in the center. Place another piece of wrap on top of the dough. Set the second plate on top and push down to achieve a thin round shape. Peel off the plastic wrap, and your dough is ready to cook.
Using two skillets also mirrors the use of a tortilla press. If using seasoned cast-iron skillets, you should not need any plastic wrap to prevent sticking. Place the dough ball directly on the first skillet, and place the second skillet on top. Press with as much force as possible. You should have a round and thin disc of dough ready for cooking.
Pressing the dough with your hands is the traditional way Mexicans used to flatten out tortillas for cooking. This takes great skill and practice to achieve the correct shape and consistency of thickness. Place the dough on a work surface, start pressing down with your hands from the center, and work the dough outward.
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