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The Tortilla Press Inspired by Suzanne

Submitted by: pirate96 on November 11, 2011
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The Tortilla Press Inspired by Suzanne

Why in the world would anyone need a tortilla press? Tortillas come in a package at the store and they are good. I was reading the CITR blog and saw that Suzanne had decided to make her own tortillas.

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Well, of course, we decided to make them as it …

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Why in the world would anyone need a tortilla press? Tortillas come in a package at the store and they are good. I was reading the CITR blog and saw that Suzanne had decided to make her own tortillas.


Well, of course, we decided to make them as it appeared very easy and we would know all the ingredients, which is a huge benefit. They were excellent and tasted way better than the store bought ones. Whoever knew that something as simple could have had the taste bleached out of them?

After making them several times, the biggest pain was the process of rolling them out. I made a deal with the wife that I would make the dough and she could roll them out. That worked great as long as we were both home.

I started reading about a tortilla press–a mechanical contraption used to make tortillas. They are commonly made out of wood or metal. Evidently a press is very commonplace in market places in Mexico.

IMG_2554

I decided to combine a love for woodworking and cooking into one thing. I designed the tortilla press and decided to use hickory for the wood.

I started out with rough 4/4 hickory boards. I planed them and then used some glue to join two boards. I was very happy with the way it turned out as you can see distinct difference in heartwood and I think it looks very distinctive.

IMG_2555

Once the boards were done, I cut them to the right size and routed the edges. I also fashioned the handle and assembled the tortilla press. After sanding I then coated the wood with salad bowl oil that is food safe.

Now when we want to have tortillas we make our dough. Then we put a small ball on the press and close. A little pressure from the handle and you have a nice home-made tortilla.

IMG_2553

pirate96 blogs at Wokokon.

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Comments

14 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 11-11
    6:39
    am

    pirate96,

    Your tortilla press is a work of art. That is beautiful. I love the grain of the wood and the patter it makes. I’m sure part of the reason your tortillas taste so good is because of the beauty of the press. Great post.

  2. 11-11
    7:30
    am

    I second that! Great looking press!

  3. 11-11
    7:49
    am

    I used to make my own toortillas but didn’t like rolling them out. Do you sell your pattern? i think I could make one from just looking at your pictures…is that just a dowel that pins the lever on?
    BTW nice work!

  4. 11-11
    8:06
    am

    We need some pictures of your tortillas that you made in them too!

    I agree that it’s a work of art! Thanks for showing it to us. I think my brother should make one for his wife and one for me too! *nudge nudge* (yes she reads this blog too)

  5. 11-11
    9:18
    am

    I love your tortilla press! Makes me want to go out a make one ūüôā

  6. 11-11
    9:42
    am

    I love my tortilla press for its utility, but yours is a thing of beauty as well.

    In case you haven’t discovered this on your own, I’ve found that lining the press with plastic makes it much easier to transfer the raw tortilla from the press to the comal (griddle). A freezer bag is just the right weight. Just cut off the sides and top, or cut it to fit the press. You can peel the plastic off the top of the dough, and then flip the dough onto your hand and peel the plastic off the bottom. A freezer bag is heavy enough to be reused for a long time; I just wash it and store it in the press.

    I agree that store-bought tortillas can’t compare with fresh homemade ones. After eating fresh tortillas, the store-bought ones taste like cardboard. It’s like comparing Weber’s bread to Grandmother bread. Making them on your beautiful tortilla press must increase your satisfaction.

  7. 11-11
    9:51
    am

    Are you making flour tortillas or corn tortillas? I’m lucky enough to have a large Mexican population in my area so I can buy Masa mix and keep it in my pantry. It’s better than store bought pre-made tortillas.

    I asked at Rick Baylass’s restaurant The Frontera Grill (of the Mexico One Plate at a Time show on PBS TV) if they made their own masa. No, they’d like to but it is labor intensive so they buy masa already made up fresh from a local maker and press their own tortillas. I’d love to see in their kitchen but will settle for now and then eating their wonderful food and make my own tortillas (though if I find out the address of their masa maker, I’ll try to get some).

  8. 11-11
    9:58
    am

    Thank you for everyone’s comments. I really appreciate them but the glory goes to God as it turned out above my skill level. I think everyone should get their own tortilla press!

    Mrs Judy,
    there is not a plan as it is a very simple machine. I decided to use a metal dowel to pin the lever on and then covered it with a wooden plug to simulate wood.

  9. 11-11
    10:09
    am

    This is very inspiring, I cook my tortillas I buy in the store and they are much better than the store bought ones precooked.
    I have been longing to try my own, but time to press in my shortcoming also, so off to the wood worker for my new press. I hope you don’t mind if I use your pattern from the photo? I do have a question about the thickness. The way it is made does it press them about the thickness of the store bought ones? I think they are about 1/16″ thick.
    This is a very nice post! Thank you

  10. 11-11
    10:50
    am

    Thank you again. Please everyone feel free to copy all you want from the photos and make all the tortilla presses that we need.

    I used a store bought {shhh…. don’t tell anyone} tortilla to set the hinge depth. It does press them to that thickness.

  11. 11-11
    12:44
    pm

    Thank you, thank you thank you!

  12. 11-11
    1:12
    pm

    every considered offering your excellent press on etsy? (for those of us without woodworking facilities)?

  13. 11-11
    1:54
    pm

    bonita,

    Guess I should not let you see some of the cutting boards we made. I never have looked at etsy for presses. I would have to price the one I made at $50.

    I am not familiar with etsy enough to know if woodworking can do well on there.

  14. 11-12
    5:20
    pm

    Give it a whirl! Its too beautiful not to.

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