The tortillas are made from corn flour, water, salt and yeast. They are then pressed into long strips and rolled up with a roller or rolling pin. A tortilla press consists of two parts: a rollers (or roll) that rolls the dough out onto a flat surface; and a pressing head that presses down on the edges of the dough to form long thin rectangles called “tortas”. These tortas are then cut into squares to make tortillas.
There are many types of tortillas available today. Some are made with wheat flour, some with corn flour, and others with both. There are even tortilla mills that produce only one type of tortilla. Each manufacturer uses their own recipe for making the dough and different ratios of ingredients to achieve their desired flavor profile.
Tortillas have been around since ancient times when they were used to feed soldiers during battles. Today, tortillas are widely recognized as a staple food throughout Latin America and other regions of the world. Tortillas are also known as empanadas in Spanish and pata de queijo in Portuguese. The word “torta” comes from the Aztec word tlatoani which means “to tear.” It was believed that the Aztects used to tear their tortillas in order to share food.
This is similar to the war tortilla, which the Aztecs gave to the slaves who dug for gold for them.
These days, most tortillas are mass-produced and consumed. There are specialized tortilla factories that are dedicated to manufacturing only tortillas. In fact, many companies only use tortillas as a delivery mechanism for food rather than as a standalone product. This is especially true for fast-food chain restaurants.
Tortillas are made with white or yellow corn, which is ground into meal and mixed with water to create a dough. Salt is added to tortilla dough to enhance flavor. This dough is then pressed into flat circles between two ceramic plaques. These plaques contain holes that allow the tortilla to be cut into six or twelve wedges without having to cut through the dough.
These plaques are also known as pressing plates.
It is important to know that a tortilla press can also be used to make other flatbreads, such as the Arab lahuh and the South American humita. These breads use a similar method of preparation and pressings but do not taste like traditional tortillas. It is even possible to make crackers and pancakes using a tortilla press.
Tortilla presses are usually made out of cast iron and require very little maintenance. The most important part of a tortilla press is the pressing surface, which should be kept oiled to ensure that the dough does not stick to the plate. When buying a new tortilla press, it is best to pick one that is made with heavy cast iron and has at least two plates for cutting the tortillas into wedges.
There are two different configurations for the pressing plates on a tortilla press. The most common is the clamshell design where two flat metal pieces are hinged together to make a clam-shaped device. This type of plate is then pressed down onto the dough, which forces the dough out between the two shells. The other plate design is the one piece pressing plate which has a single disk with holes in it.
This type of plate is then pressed onto the dough.
In recent years, tortilla presses have become a common tool in non-professional bakeries and kitchens. Many people now make their own tortillas to save money and ensure freshness. The first step in making tortillas is to prepare the dough. The most common types of dough are white and yellow cornmeal, but some recipes call for a mixture of cornmeal and wheat flour.
In order to make the dough for corn tortillas, you must first soak the corn in water. This liquefies the outer hull of the corn and releases an irritant called “hurtin”. Once this process is done you may grind your corn into a fine powder. You should mix in salt at this point because it helps to preserve the corn and enhance its flavor.
Next, you should mix in shortening or lard to the ground corn mixture. The shortening helps to create a softer dough that is easier to work with. At this point, you should add any other spices or flavorings that you wish to have in your tortilla. It is generally accepted that most authentic tortillas contain salt; however, some cooks like to experiment with other spices.
After the ingredients are mixed well, you can begin making the dough. As with all yeast products, it is important that the ingredients be mixed in a set order. First, you should add warm water to the powdered cornmeal mixture. Adding the water will cause the powder to dissolve and make a thick paste.
It is helpful to have a electric mixer at this point to ensure that all of the cornmeal dissolves into a dough. After the water and cornmeal are mixed well, you may begin adding salt and shortening while continuing to mix. At this point, you should slowly add hot water until the dough is pliable but not sticky.
Once the dough is ready, it can be divided into equal portions. The number of tortillas you wish to make will determine how large you make each portion. Once the portions are made, you should roll out each piece of dough with a rolling pin and then carefully place it into the tortilla press. Next, you should close the clamshell of the tortilla press and gently apply pressure to the dough.
Most clamshell presses have a lever on one side for easier application of pressure.
After you have flattened the tortilla, you should carefully peel back the top plate and remove the tortilla. You can either cook the tortilla at this point or place it in a cloth bag and refrigerate it for later use. Before cooking, the tortillas should be allowed to come to room temperature. This allows them to soften and makes them more pliable when being cooked.
The most common way to cook a tortilla is on a flat griddle or skillet. You should apply a small amount of vegetable oil or shortening to the pan to prevent the tortilla from sticking. It only takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side to cook a tortilla. A good test to see if it is done is to carefully peel back a corner of the tortilla and check to see if the dough looks golden brown.
Once the tortilla is done, you may serve it or place in a cloth bag and keep warm until all the tortillas are cooked.
Tortillas are an important part of Mexican cooking. They are traditionally served as a base for other dishes such as tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, and burritos. They are also eaten on their own with a variety of different sauces and garnishes. These dishes are extremely popular in Mexican restaurants throughout the United States.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Making Tortillas by AG de Alba – The Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingüe, 1987 – search.proquest.com
A preliminary look at the globalization of the tortilla in Mexico by TG Gabel, GW Boller – ACR North American Advances, 2003 – acrwebsite.org
The social life of the tortilla: Food, cultural politics, and contested commodification by D Lind, E Barham – Agriculture and Human Values, 2004 – Springer