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Mar 21, 2010 07:47 PM

Flour tortillas came out too stiff - any suggestions?

I used this recipe (scroll down):

The only change I made was to use 1% milk rather than whole milk. The tortillas tasted very good, but I'd like to get something I can roll, or at least fold. I don't eat meat, so if lard is the only thing that will help, I guess I'm out of luck. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Most recipes call for lard or shortening, which I imagine makes them more pliable. If you're opposed to shortening, I'd even give butter a shot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rafjel

      You are quick! I have no opposition to shortening, and I even have some on hand. Thanks!

    2. the milk shouldn't have been the problem, though i'd use 2% instead of 1% next time.

      any chance you over-worked the dough? even too many passes with the rolling pin could have toughened it up.

      1 Reply
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        <any chance you over-worked the dough?>

        Yes. I am a notorious dough over-worker. OSHA has me on speed dial, probably. I'll try to calm down.

      2. "Whole milk" cannot be classified as such unless it contains a minimum of 3 1/2 percent milk fat. Using 1% milk is most probably your problem. With 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of milk in the recipe you shorted the fat by nearly three and one half times. I wouldn't recommend using butter because it's 15% water and trying to factor that into the equation becomes a mathematical nightmare.
        Also, make sure you get the tortillas on the grill as soon as they're flattend out. If you have to hold them, don't hold them for very long and keep them covered with plastic wrap or other suitable cover so they don't dry out.

        2 Replies
        1. re: todao

          I was pretty quick with them, and I did cover them with plastic wrap. It may indeed be the lack of fat. I saw some recipes that used water instead of milk, and shortening instead of vegetable oil, so maybe I'll give one of those a try. Do you have a favorite?

          1. re: todao

            I doubt if the fat or milk is the issue.

            My package of chappati flour (Indian flour tortillas) just calls for flour and water. It says to use a bit more water for a softer dough, better for chappati (stiffer dough for puri, which are fried). A bit of oil makes a smoother rolling dough.

            However, a package of flour tortilla mix (with some shortening already added), suggests adding some extra shortening (1-2 oz per 4c flour) for extra soft tortillas.

            Another thing to play with is the thickness and the cooking time. Thinner ones, if not overcooked, should be more pliable. Even cooking temperature will make a difference

          2. Don't throw them away. Since your flour tortillas won't roll, you could dry them out and break them into irregular sized crackers.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rtms

              I have no intention of throwing them away. They would be fine as a base for huevos rancheros, or a tostada. They're just not as pliable as I would like, because I was pining for a burrito.

            2. I've made the homesick texan tortillas, and to me, they were more the texture of a chalupa. I think the leavener makes them different from regular flour tortillas. I'm still looking for a good recipe that makes a flatter, more pliable flour tortilla.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ChristinaMason

                Christina or anyone interested, try this recipe link, from a early Rick Bayless cookbook, although I read somewhere that he doesn't use flour tortillas in his restaurants and has no recipes for them, as corn tortillas are what Mexicans eat.

                This is a bit different from the small h recipe:

                I would think you could sub some whole wheat flour for the white.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  Thank you. I have easy access to lard, so I guess I could give them a shot some night!