Saturday, April 26, 2014

Tortilla Press

The foods I choose to bulk store for eating during disaster events need to be simple and be cooked on a camp stove or campfire. Tortilla's are one of them.

You can use a rolling pin to roll out the tortilla but a tortilla press makes it so easy and makes each of them a uniform thickness. If you were in a tent or some other minimal shelter you may not have a rolling pin or a flat surface to use it, then the Tortilla Press is the answer, easily making the thin Tortilla.

I purchased my press through Amazon for $13.00 it is a 6 inch diameter size. I  recommend you consider the optional 8 inch diameter press then should you want a larger tortilla you have the press for it. This Norpro press is precision made of die cast aluminum, nicely finished and a well built kitchen tool.

This is the very first time I tried to make my own Tortillas. I don't care much for Mexican food so I don't eat them often. If I do I've always purchased them from the supermarket. It was time for another cooking test for making survival meals and I have to say these are just to easy to make.

To test this press and alternate flours I made Tortilla's using the 5 following flours:

Masa Harina Flour:
Makes the best Tortillas and is the easiest to use.

White All Purpose Flour:
Works very well and makes great Tortillas.

100% Whole Wheat Flour:
Works very well. Especially for the fact I have wheat grain in storage I will always have the ability to make Tortillas.

Will not form a dough at all. It should not be considered as a possible substitute.

Cornmeal Re-Milled with gluten added:
I ran the cornmeal through my flour mill to mill it finer and also added gluten to it and it still will not form a dough. It should not be considered as a possible substitute.

Masa Harina Flour Tortillas.

All Purpose White Flour Tortillas.

100% Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas.

Recipes I Used:
Makes 10 (5 inch) Tortillas

Masa Harina Corn Tortillas
  • 2 cups Masa Harina
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt

All Purpose White Flour
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

100 % Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tbs gluten (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt

  • Blend together all the dry ingredients.
  • Then add liquids and mix until a dough forms. You can add more water or flour at any time if needed to make a pliable dough.
  • By hand shape the dough into a log about 1 inch in diameter and divide into 10 pieces.
  • Using your palms form each of the 10 pieces into a ball.

Using the Press:
  • You will need to use parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking to the press's metal plates.
  • Lay a piece of parchment on the bottom plate, then the dough ball, then the other piece of parchment paper on top the dough ball.
  • Close the press to squeeze the dough thin.
  • Open the press and remove from the press.
  • Peel the dough off the parchment paper. The dough peels of very easily.

In a dry medium-high heat fry pan cook each side of the Tortilla for about a minute or so or until brown spots appear on the dough. Very simple!

The Tortilla press is a great addition to any kitchen.
Tortilla making is a simple and very quick process. The only issue to be aware of is dividing the dough into pieces. The 2 cup recipes above produce 10, 5 inch Tortillas. My press is only a 6 inch press, I recommend the 8 inch in case you want a larger Tortilla plus you can always make 5 or 6 inch ones in the 8 inch press. Although the 5-6 inch ones are fine for me.

Dough ball size is the only thing to try and keep uniform. A small ball and the Tortilla will be smaller in diameter, a large ball and the dough will squirt out beyond the press plate edges. You would then have to trim the excess and reform the trimmings into a ball again.


  1. The Masa Harina is gluten-free so if you're looking for gluten-free options add this to your list. The press is on my list to get.

    Another related item to make with the masa harina is pupusas - youtube has a number of videos that look interesting. I find gluten-free eating is rather challenging for the prepper but I am becoming familiar with options now instead of waiting.


  2. Mike,

    Nice tortilla press. You don't like Mexican food at all? How about Cuban food? I guess it doesn't really matter because you can make tortilla's and place anything inside of them.
    Enjoy your tortilla press :-)

  3. Rita,
    Thanks for bringing the Gluten Free to my attention (yeah, I know now it's printed on the bag just didn't register at that time!). I will have to look up all the Masa Harina recipes I can find. Maybe I'll find a good substitute for bread.
    I briefly looked into gluten free eating and it is very difficult to come up with easy meals without using bread. Maybe Tortillas just moved to the top of the list?

  4. Sandy,
    Mexican food is not something I'd go out of my way for, I'm a burger, fries, pizza and pasta kind of guy and it shows :-). I do like Cuban sandwiches but other than that and don't think to experiment with eating ethnic foods.
    The Tortilla does make it handy for filling it with everything including leftovers. I think it will be a great survival food menu addition.

  5. Rita,
    I did look up Pupusas. They look interesting and I will be trying them out soon. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Hey Mike i know this is a late comment but tortillas keep well and you can ad lard honey fine choped nuts or dried fruit to the dough for a good survival meal on th go.They just seem to go with beans and rice so well.I havent made any at home but i have a lot of BBQ customers that buy whole butts and make pork tamals and corn toetillas on sunday to last the week.

  7. Take two of those tortillas and place a mixture of spiced mash potatoes and you are in business. (Indian dish - Aloo Parantha)

    Very easy to make and filling when smeared with butter on the outside or a spicy chutney. (Coriander)

  8. Stay and Gary,
    Thanks for the suggestions. The more I think about the Tortilla the more it fits with long term survival foods such as beans, rice, pasta, can meats and fish and all the dehydrated veggies.