The Basics: Tortilla Press

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Cooking Essentials

The Technique

Tortilla Press

A tortilla press is a vital piece of equipment that will be necessary in order to prepare many authentic Mexican recipes from scratch. Corn tortillas, tetelas & gorditas are just some of the classics that require one. It should be noted that traditionally speaking, a tortilla press is used only to make corn tortillas while flour tortillas are rolled thin using a pastry pin. Tortilla presses are available in a few different sizes & the most common types are fashioned from cast iron although they may be crafted of wood, too. It’s pretty straightforward to use however there is a procedure that must be followed to ensure doughs result in an even thickness & sticking is prevented. Learn how to use a basic tortilla press so that you may handcraft a variety of delicious meals. 

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 How To Use A Tortilla Press

 A quick internet search yield a wide variety of tortilla presses that are available. A good rule of thumb when choosing one is to first determine how much you plan to use it which will likely reveal a price point with which you’re comfortable. It needs to be strong so look for one labeled as heavy weight, heavy duty or heavy gauge. Cast iron will be strongest & avoid those made from aluminum or plastic while an enameled finish will aide in cleaning the device quickly. A tortilla press made from wood is also an option & many allow you to make larger-sized items while most cast iron presses average approximately 7 to 7 1/2-inches.

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It is necessary to use thick plastic to prevent sticking & to give a 1/4 turn or two in order to create an even thickness. Once the tortillas have been pressed, stacking them between parchment paper makes them easier to handle once it’s time for cooking. 

Cut a square from a heavy duty zip-top freezer bag leaving one side folded & attached. Position the tortilla press on a sturdy surface, open the top & place the plastic over the base. Lift the plastic & place one piece of portioned dough in the center, then cover again. Press the maker closed, then lift & give the dough a 1/4 turn. Press again, then give it another 1/4 turn creating a bout a 4 1/4-inch even circle. Carefully peel away the top piece of plastic & invert the corn tortilla onto a parchment paper-lined quarter sheet pan. 

The Tune
“Prelude To A Kiss” Billie Holiday

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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