Just as I was about to buy a tortilla press, my family gets on a 'wrap
sandwich' kick with those 10-12" wraps. Ii don't see presses that
big-- so I start looking into building one.
Pretty simple to start with-
But then I figure If I'm going to cut up either the oak or cherry 5/4
slab in the garage-- I might as well get the most use out of this
thing. So I want to make it adjustable. I'd like to be able to
adjust in 1/16" increments from 1/16 to say 1/2".
I know there has to be a more-or-less simple way to do this, but I'm
drawing a blank.
I've thought of using laminate shims to build up the base. Seems
like a dirt catcher, and kind of in-elegant.
I've been looking at adjustable cabinet hinges, but haven't found any
that adjust more than 5mm & I want at least 12.
Any other ideas? Even if it wasn't for a tortilla press, I'm sure
someone here has passed this way before.
Those are flour tortillas, right? They are not made with a press.
They are rolled out by hand with a small pin. My SIL showed me, using
a 8-9" inch section of wooden broomstick handle. Flour, lard, water,
The ones you buy are.<g> But I don't want to buy them. That
probably is why they don't make a lot of the big honkin' presses,
My rolling skills are sorely lacking. Especially if I'm trying to
end up with something round enough to roll reasonably.
I've got lots of other plans for the press, though. Pitas, chips,
burgers. . . maybe even squeezing the liquid out of grated zucchini.
Size is what got me looking at making my own -- but all the other
thoughts I've got are what make me want it to be adjustable.
That's how I make them, also. After rolling them flat, I cut
square, since that makes them easier to wrap.....
When I want them to be round, I take something like a large can
or pot, and just press it down and take the excess off the edges
to help with the next tortilla.....
I'd really like a real press, but I've never seen or used one.
going to Jim E's website and see what he's talking about.....
As far as generating the great pressure, I suppose one could
always back the pickup truck over it... :>)))))
Andy in Eureka, Texas
PS I don't use tortilla flour anymore. I use equal parts yellow corn
flour, and it seems to knead and flatten pretty much the
Do you have a similar technique?
I've spent time there also, and I agree completely....
One of the best things I tried was corn on the cob, sprinkled with
lime, from a street vendor.....
The masa dough for tortillae is available here, since our county
about 26% Mexican, but it costs twice as much as flour.... I
did some experimenting, and mixing yellow corn meal with flour
half and half gives the same texture when kneading, and rolls out
almost the same..... I use a tablespoon of baking powder per
cupful....... Bake it as mentioned in Jim E's website.... It is
great.... I make about a dozen at a time and store them in a
sealed baggie in the fridge. Then, before using them, I microwave
each for about 15 seconds...... It's not as good as in Mexico, but
at least as good as the packaged variety here... and I have the
pleasure of doing it myself....
Andy in Eureka, Texas
PS give peanut butter burritos a try.... really good ....
The larger the diameter of the tortillia/wrap the more force is required
if you are flat pressing it. Consider a roller press patterned after the
pasta rollers, or if you really want a flat press, look to a screw type
cider press type design and use an adjustable stop setup for thickness.
I've never used a small press, even. Is there really that much force
involved? The few videos I've seen make it look effortless.
Something to consider, for sure. [though if I'm using that cherry,
and put some substantial pins and hinges on it I suppose I can bring
my 4' pipe in from the garage.<g>]
That won't help me keep them round.
Hmm-- I've got a small [2gallon?] cider press in the garage. That
might be just the ticket. Make some 'insert plates' ala Smitty's
idea above. . .
A roller press would seem to be a lot easier to use, and a little
practice would hone your skills :o) Shaping the dough first in a flat
round would make it come out pretty round...feed through twice, turning
90 degrees the second time, would get it round enough to suit most.
This looks good:
I've used my pasta roller for lots of craft stuff with kids, so it isn't
very difficult to make a roundish shape with a roller (or a rolling pin,
for that matter).
As a child, my mother had one of those washing machines that was
a big tub, and over it was a set of rollers that you feed clothes thru
it squeezed the water out and shirts looked like a plank when they
came out...... I bet that thing would make a great tortilla....
Andy in Eureka, Texas
I *think* they are easier to wrap when consistent. But then again--
I'm the son of an engineer & as I get older, on occasion, I find
myself making jobs more difficult than they ought to be.<g>
Thinking now, that if I made a big roller, I could just cut the rounds
with a 'cookie cutter' - and toss the rest in a 'chip' pile. That
should be pretty efficient, and keep the dough from being overworked.
Oh, God! You toss 'em in the trash if they're 1/2" out of round? My
mom would have been a tremendous engineer and would have brought every
project in on time, under budget and with no injuries. She made a good
nanny, practiced well before I arrived :o)
as I get older, on occasion, I find
Opposite of how it SHOULD be (I speak from long experience) - yer
supposed to take it easy :o)
I pile a lot of stuff on my tacos and usually have juice dripping from
my elbows by the time I finish. A nice, oval taco would wrap around
more "stuff" and not split.
Tortillas are one thing I've never made from scratch, but you've got my
curiosity going. I've tried crepes, with good results. I was recently
introduced to a yummy snack - cracker (plain flavor or Ritz), cream
cheese, one big, fat blackberry, and a dribble of lemon curd.
Norwegian version of a tortilla is lefse, made usually with some cooked
potato - warm it on the wood stove, slather with butter and brown sugar.
Fills one much like I imagine a large rock would. Some people eat
lutefisk with 'em, but it stinks to high heaven.
My next project is lemon ice cream with peach tart tatin (Peach, caramel
sauce, puff pastry)...gotta go!
The commercial tortilla machines I've seen have used both press type and
roller type mechanisms. Either type can be made to work. In both types
the real key was in the portioning and rolling of the dough balls before
feeding to the press.
Jim, thanks for the reference. Now that I see how the press
and have an idea of how much pressure is involved, I would propose
1) Use two boards that are each about 9" x 9" square.
2) using the plastic bags as directed, put the tortilla
iin the middle, add the top board , and place on the floor.
3) Stand on the top board. Rock back and forth a little.
4) Pick up the press and put it on the counter, and remove
This has gotta be a lot easier.... but it won't work for skinny
I will work very well for me :>)))))
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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