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Mission style tortilla recipe-- Need help [Moved from SF Bay Area board]

Hi everyone, I was wondering if someone new how to do mission style tortillas. I was a foreign student and i loved the buriitos that i could get in san fransisco. Now im back home and there are no options here for burritos, it sucks!! ive tried imitating the burritos and ive done a good job with the ingredients but no luck with the tortillas. ive read a few recipies online, and altough they turn out alrite i cant replicate the tortillas i got there that were flexible, perfect thickness, and perfect moisture. Any tips will be so appreciated! thanks a lot!
ps: i remember from when i was in sf that some places the tock out the tortillas from like a steamer?? an other heated before using it.. is that an important part of the process?? again thanks so much!!

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  1. Are you using corn tortillas? If so, they're used for tacos rather than burritos. Flour tortillas can be microwaved or placed on a burner for 20 seconds per side, or even thrown in a fry plan.

    I got some nice blue corn tortillas this week and enjoyed them with eggs.

    1 Reply
    1. You might want to read up on who to make tortillas. I do know lard helps.

      As for flexibility, depends on which taqueria you go to but heating them up is like heating up bread, it soften it. In the Mission some places steam their flour tortillas in an commercial steam press. Other places toss them on a hot griddle with a little oil for a few minutes and essentially toast them. Both methods soften up the tortilla. I prefer a toasted tortilla personally but you have to eat those right away...they get soggy if you take them home.

      The same general principals apply to corn tortillas as well although I think steaming is less frequent. A Latino friend use to toast either over an open gas flame on a regular gas stove.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ML8000

        Thank you so much for you comments, it all helps out :)

      2. Look for a recipe that includes lard. The Fresh-O-Matic steamers they use do make the tortilla moist and flexible, though more traditionally they're heated on a comal.

          1. re: Antilope

            I'd be wary of any recipe that calls for shortening or vegetable oil rather than lard. This seems pretty on-target:

            http://www.lomexicano.com/flour_torti...

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              The Mission flour tortillas that the original poster is asking about are all made with vegetable shortening.

              http://www.missionmenus.com/Pantry.aspx

              1. re: Antilope

                The OP is wanting to replicate the style of flour tortilla used for burritos at taquerias in San Francisco's Mission District, not Mission brand tortillas (this thread was moved from the SF board, presumably because OP is looking for recipes).

                Although, I would be somewhat surprised if tortillas made with lard vs. shortening were the standard in most Mission restaurants.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  hello i posted the thread, im jsut trying to make burritos. I dont know what the OP is, but its not me. I was new to the page so i put it the wrong sopt thats why the moved it. thanks everybody for their help. Im still not positive whether i shuold used lard or shortening. Does it make a huge difference? or they do the same results? thanks

                  1. re: viterbo2000

                    I have a bag of chapatti flour (Indian equivalent of flour tortillas). The base recipe calls for just flour, water and salt, but suggests adding some oil for ease of handling. I think the applies to tortillas. The fat, regardless of type, improves handling. But it does not need to be much.

                    Lard is more traditional, since it is (or at least was) the primary fat in Mexican cooking. It can add good flavor (depending on the source and processing). Shorting (at least in the USA) was created to substitute for lard.

                    So my advise is, don't sweat the fat choice. Use what you have.

                    I just checked the labels on a couple of good quality store bought tortillas - both use palm oil. I'm not surprised. That seems to be a favorite among commercial bakers who want to stay away from the hydrogenated fats (vegetable shortening).

                2. re: Antilope

                  Most of the commercial tortillas used in Mission District taquerias probably are made with shortening, but if you're making them at home lard gives the best results and will help make up for not having a Fresh-O-Matic.

                3. re: Robert Lauriston

                  For the beginner, technique (kneeding, resting, rolling, grilling) is more important than the choice of fat. Technique remains the same regardless of type and amount of fat. It is relatively easy to make small thick ones. Making the large, thin flexible ones that can be wrapped around a half pound of rice and beans is much harder. The ones used at taquerias are machine made.

                  A thread from a couple months ago about home made tortillas being too stiff
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/696192

                4. where are you nowViterbo? Far from America, I'm guessing. OP means original poster, BTW.
                  I always thought the whole shebang being steamed made the whole thing ala LaCumbre.
                  I love whole beans rather than refiried also

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bbqboy

                    hahaha, cool that makes sense!!! i actually went to school at viterbo in wisconsin and once i graduated i went to santa cruz, so i was around san fransisco a lot (great city!!!!). Caitlin is true im trying to do somehting similar to the tortillas at the mission district. thanks everybody for the help!!

                  2. Hi, i got confused cuz i think some people talked about the mission branded tortillas, while i was talking about the burrito tortillas that you can get in the area of san francisco. if anybody knows anything else about this type of tortillas let me know, cuz now im a bit confused on which one you guys are talking about. thanks

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: viterbo2000

                      Just ignore the specifics on the Mission brand of tortillas and look for a recipe and make your own. The links provided above are a good start.

                      1. re: viterbo2000

                        viterbo,

                        I truly feel for you. I miss those SF burritos so much,. There just isn't any place on the east coast that I've come across that can come close. Everyone I've ever talked to say it has to be lard or it isn't real.

                        1. re: viterbo2000

                          Mission brand tortillas are at:
                          http://www.missionfoods.com/Pantry.aspx
                          Their 'Large/Burrito Flour Tortillas' would work for burritos, though I don't know whether they are as large as the ones used Mission district burritos. With all of the rice filling, they require exceptionally large tortillas (larger than 12" diameter is my guess ).

                          I have not been happy with most commercially made flour tortillas. Many have an off taste that I haven't been able to identify. I haven't tried Mission brand in awhile, so can't say whether they have this problem or not. Trader joes is my current commercial favorite. ( 10"size

                          )

                          This Wiki article might help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Fran...

                          It claims " The tortilla steamer saturates the gluten-heavy tortilla with moisture and heat, which increase the capacity of the tortilla to stretch without breaking. This in turn allows for the size of the San Francisco burrito."

                          You can make your own - just using flour, water, salt, fat, and maybe a bit of baking powder. But it will be difficult to make something at home that is as large, thin, and stretchy as those used by the SF shops.