soft tortilla woes-tooooooo many crackers instead

5
10
Joined Mar 27, 2017
hi,

I have been trying for quite some time now to end up with soft tortillas (or chapati, roti). I now have a container full of crackers....good crackers.....but crackers nevertheless.

Watched a heck of a lot of YouTube videos (tortillas, chapati, roti) and found some recipies on google.

The (common) basic recipe is: 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoon baking powder, I teaspoon sea salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3/4 cup warm water.

I was wanting something not white and without lard. I started with multigrain flour, but am now at "1 cup white+1 cup whole wheat" . I have tried 2T olive oil and recently a half cup of extra virgin olive oil. I have tried mixing/kneading dough to a drier-breadlike consistency and recently tried a wet one. I have added the oil to the flour first and mixed before adding and mixing water. I have always let the dough sit covered for around 20 minutes.

I am using a nice thick bottomed stainless steel pan at a medium heat so it does not burn quickly.

I can never get the dough to bubble up in the heated pan as in all the YouTube videos. No matter how long I cook them, they dry up to some really nice crackers.....I swear, if I ever see those bubbles...I'll have to change my underwear. It seems I have tried everything. A lot of videos use oil instead of lard..... There has got to be something I am missing... Please help!!!!

anxious,

Antonio
 
1,832
538
Joined Aug 15, 2003
Well, my gut tells me that your dough is too dry. You might try using a more tacky, sticky dough and seeing if that helps. You also probably need to be using a bit more oil or ghee, as this will help the suppleness of the dough and should help the end result be softer. 

It is a fine line between an unleavened bread and a cracker (as you are finding out). 

Maybe try rolling a bit thicker too? Keep the inside chewy and not dried out?
 
3,988
824
Joined Dec 18, 2010
If it didn't puff then your pan wasn't hot enough. If the tortilla is crisp it was cooked too long. Hot and fast. When pulled off the heat put in a tortilla warmer with a lid, or some reasonable facsimile so it can steam. Stack them and right before serving flip the stack so bottom becomes top.
 
Last edited:
3,988
824
Joined Dec 18, 2010
... an if you don't mind I'll offer an unsolicited suggestion: pick a known standard recipe and master it and the technique before altering the recipe.
 
5
10
Joined Mar 27, 2017
Hey BrianShaw  & Someday,

Thanks sooo much for your replies and help.

My last attempt was with 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and that moisture was enough to make the dough tacky but I added the water and had to add more flour to get back to very tacky. I used oil on the board, roller and hands to keep it manageable while I rolled them out and tossed them on the pan. I cant imagine there is anymore room for oil. Most of the videos I watched said to roll the dough as thin as possible.

I will now try rolling a bit thicker, thanks. As I said, I would be ecstatic to find one that puffs up...

I have tried a really hot pan and all I got was burnt spots, no puffies. I eventually got the heat to a point where it was browning nicely but again no signs of bubbles with a variety of temperatures. I have been putting them right away in a towel as is suggested in many recipes and videos. I will try a container with a lid, but the tortilla is reasonably hard as soon as it comes off the burner. I will try to do the "hot and fast" once again.

Äny unsolicited suggestion is always welcome, I agree, I would love to find a method/process/ingredients where I can get those bubbles happening. My next step is to try all white flour. Once I get the technique down, I can try to add some multigrains, I am hoping I can stick with the olive oil instead of lard or shortening. If you might have a "known standard recipe" and instructions that are "foolproof" , I would be happy to try it without deviation, again hoping I can stick with the olive oil.

I am living in Italy right now and really tired of eating bread. Store bought tortillas don't exist and home made sound sooooo much more healthy. Keep the help coming. I will let you know how my next batch works.

It looks so easy in the videos, and it seems I have tried most of your suggestions. Next batch: thicker paddies, hot and fast grill, tacky oily dough, white flour....stay tuned.....
 
5
10
Joined Mar 27, 2017
Thanks again BrianShaw  for your help. Does this mean I wont be able to make soft flour tortillas without lard, and using instead only olive oil?
 
3,988
824
Joined Dec 18, 2010
The classic formula uses lard. It works. Vegetable shortening works as an alternative. I've never tried a liquid fat so I don't know if that works or not. All I'm suggesting is to master the known solution... then innovate. In my region it simply isn't worth the effort to make tortillas since hand-made tortillas are available on every street corner. The gourmet markets and restaurants seem to offer "healthier" versions. So they can be made, but I don't like the taste or texture.
 
Last edited:
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Unless your doc has put you on a life or death low fat diet go for the real deal and use lard and cut back on the fat someplace else.

Veg shortening is ok as well and will have the benefit of no cholesterol but will still have trans fats.

This is just IMO but I would rather have one "real" tortilla than a dozen made with oil.

mimi
 
982
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
If it will make you feel better go get some manteca and use instead of oil.  Shortening has little enough trans fat the label lists 0 g.

.
 
5
10
Joined Mar 27, 2017
Thanks Jimyra  and Mimi

I am thinking BrianShaw  is right in suggesting I get the uforic feeling of seeing those babies "puff up" on the grill. I am really, really looking forward to that experience! I can then later try and change to oil or organic butter.  I have seen a few videos using oil and getting the same result but as you suggest maybe a different taste. I was hoping this would be easy as in the videos and then maybe adding some flavorings such as Rosemary and Tyme. I will have to see what is available here for a healthy shortening. Somewhat limited here compared to North America. 

Looking forward to any other suggestions (especially if it includes olive oil and whole grain flours and why I haven't had any luck yet) and I'll post the results of my next attempt soon. Thanks again for all the help

Antonio
 
3,988
824
Joined Dec 18, 2010
OK... one more suggestion: corn tortillas. Better than flour in my opinion unless your making burritos. When made right you get the same thrill of puffing!
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom