How To Roll Corn Tortillas
To roll tortillas without breaking them it is important to do it while they are warm and soft. You can heat the tortillas in a microwave, an oven, or a skillet. Just brush some oil before heating them and they will be soft enough to be rolled out properly with any of your favorite fillings.
Wrap up a stack of up to 2 dozen corn tortillas with a dish towel or slightly wet paper towel, then microwave them until soft. If you are working without warming the tortillas, you can wrap a fresh stack of tortillas in a clean kitchen towel, and then put this towel inside a big zipperlock bag. If you do not have a tortilla warmer, then you can put your stack wrapped in a towel into a big bowl, and then cover that with a plate.
Put down a big sheet of foil or a tortilla warmer to hold your finished tortillas (something that will help steam and keep warm). Transfer cooked tortillas into a large bowl or dish lined with a wet tea towel (this will help keep it from drying out too quickly).
At this point, you can either repeat this process with leftover dough, or you can re-roll one or two at a time as your fresh-cooked tortillas bake. I recommend keeping this loop going, cooking a single tortilla at the same time as pressing in your next dough ball.
If tortillas really sticking, I suggest mixing in some extra flour to get a uniformly mixed dough before pressing in additional dough balls. The thinner you roll your tortillas, the quicker they cook, and the higher your yield will be (this can take a little experimenting; you can always roll your dough again). If you decide to flatten out all of your tortillas, and then bake them all, take care to pull off each tortilla from the pile of flattened tortillas — they may stick together or crack at the edges, particularly those at the bottom. Bring the tops of pressed tortillas to the top of the tortilla dough, and press with your hands to flatten the dough down to about 1/8-inch thickness.
If you do not have a tortilla press, lay the dough out between two layers of parchment paper, then use the rolling pin to press. This will yield about 6 inch tortillas, and you can adjust how much dough you use to get larger or smaller tortillas. Peel off the excess dough from a 5 inch biscuit cutter before lifting, and then pull off the uncooked tortillas and place them on a cutting board or a cookie sheet (something you can move them around).
|Wrap in the dish towel||Wrap up a stack of up to 2 dozen corn tortillas with a dish towel or slightly wet paper towel, then microwave them until soft.|
|You can also put your Stack Wrapped in a Towel||If you do not have a tortilla warmer, then you can put your stack wrapped in a towel into a big bowl, and then cover that with a plate.|
Do not skip this step: A dough that is this thick needs to rest and soak in water before moving forward, otherwise, you are going to have a tough tortilla. Grab something heavy with a flat bottom, such as a cast-iron pan, pie plate, or baking sheet, and push down your dough to create a flattened tortilla.
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Heat up your dry pan, and then warm up your tortillas, one at a time, about 15 to 20 seconds on each side. If cooking in a nonstick pan, turn down to medium heat and cook the tortillas for slightly longer. You can toast your corn tortillas on a dry grill or griddle for less than one minute per side (any longer, and they become too crisp for anything other than corn chips).
They will take about 5-10 minutes in an oven, depending on the size of the stack, and you will get a similar result to using a microwave. If I have my oven already on, and only want a couple of tortillas, sometimes I just throw them straight onto my oven rack to warm up quickly. You can reheat tortillas that have just been cooked for a few seconds in the microwave, or you can wrap them up in foil and put them in the 300degF oven until heated through.
While heating works fine with most store-bought, refrigerated tortillas, it takes longer for them to heat through and soften. To keep them warm and soft while making them, you can keep them stored inside the warm tortillas, or wrapped up in a tea towel to retain heat and moisture. To keep your best humidity levels and keep your tortillas as fresh as possible, you will want to keep them stored in a refrigerator or freezer wrapped in a cotton tea towel, and then in a plastic bag.
By making sure that your tortillas are fresh, helping to maintain their moisture, and warming them up before using, you will keep them from breaking down or breaking. This helps fresh-made tortillas keep the heat and moisture they need to stay soft and pliable. Heating the tortillas releases their flavor and makes them flexible, so they do not break under the weight of your carnitas.
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Microwaving is a quick way to get the tortillas soft, and it makes it easier to roll them up without cracking. Heating your tortillas in a pan or on the stove is an old-school way, and it is what I use the most. I use this method only for dishes that are going to be baked, such as a casserole or enchilada, as tortillas get soggy when heated; not exactly the desired consistency for a burrito or taco. If you are warming corn tortillas using the microwave method, just wrap them with a wet washcloth or paper towel, and only pick up one tortilla at a time while working.
I took a stack of 8-10 tortillas and wrapped them in a damp dish towel or paper towel (to make the towel damp, simply run a little tap water over the towel and pat any excess water off); then placed the wrapped stack onto the plate and microwaved for about 2 minutes. Reheat and soften in microwave by wrapping tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat for about 10 seconds. Cooked tortillas will look slightly dry and crumbly right off the grill, but they will continue to steam and soften within the clean dish towel while you finish cooking the rest of your batch.
It is important to always heat your corn tortillas one at a time, immediately moving them into the warm tortillas, or wrapping in a clean kitchen towel for storage until you are ready to serve.
If using the grill or stovetop to heat corn tortillas, you can wrap them in foil and put in an oven so that they remain warm. You can create a foil baggie and pile up your freshly cooked tortillas as you go, closing the baggie every time to keep the steam out (this is what I do).
Why do my corn tortillas break when rolling?
If corn tortillas are stale, that is one of the primary causes of breakage. A tortilla loses its flexibility after a few days and can no longer be rolled up or filled. A classic tortilleria, a bakery that solely produces fresh tortillas, is the best location to find them.
How do you prepare corn tortillas for tacos?
About 12 inches of vegetable oil should be added to a big pan and heated to 350 degrees. Cook one tortilla in the skillet for 10 to 15 seconds, or until it is blistered but still tender. To create a taco shell, flip the tortilla over with tongs and fold it right away.
How thick should you roll tortillas?
Once the dough has been turned 90 degrees, push once more. The tortilla will remain circular thanks to this. Roll out the dough carefully to a thickness of about a dime and a diameter of approximately 6 inches using a pastry roller (small or large). As the tortilla cooks in a hot skillet, it will become thicker.