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My wife and I love making things from scratch, but we're just starting out without a lot of equipment. We don't have a cast iron pan, especially because my wife has a neuromuscular disorder, so she can't lift really heavy pans.

Can you make good homemade flour tortillas in a regular stainless steel saucepan? What should we watch out for?

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If you're helping her, can you place a griddle on the stove, let her cook, then remove the griddle for her when she's done? I've got a nice little round cast iron griddle that's only about 1/2 the weight of a similar diameter skillet. Also, although they're harder to find, there do exist cast aluminum skillets, which you can season like a cast iron pan but are 1/3 to 1/2 the weight of cast iron. –  Joe Apr 26 '13 at 0:56
    
@slim re:your edit suggestion, where did you read that the OP means flour tortillas? I don't see this in the question, just a sample recipe in one of the answers, but it is mixed flour-corn too. –  rumtscho Apr 26 '13 at 13:42
    
@rumtscho OP had already accepted an answer that definitely only applied to flour tortillas. –  slim Apr 29 '13 at 10:35
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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sure, I made hundreds of tortillas on a couple of old revere-ware saucepans before springing the big bucks ($7.50-$12.00) on a couple genuine mexican sheet-steel (not stainless) tortilla griddles. The griddles work better, because you can do 2 at a time per griddle, and flipping is easier because there are no sidewalls to get in the way of your metal spatula. Incidentally, I prefer the wooden tortilla presses to the metal ones; less persnickety. A couple square sheets of clear flexible window plastic make a good, and nearly permanent replacement for thatendless stream of saran-wrap or waxed paper.

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Usually I don't choose special containers. It is enough that it is just the right shape, and the material distributes the heat well. I prepare tortillas with any non-stick pan, making sure that tortillas are thin enough, unless they're going to be rolled up, in which case they will be a bit softer.

I find black pizza pans perfect. Equally perfect the plate, even great, but flat.

teglia for pizza

teglia for pizza!

crepiere

crepiere

I make this kind of tortilla:

  • 100 g wholemeal flour
  • 100 grams corn flour (corn)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Hot water to taste
  • Oil

In a bowl, mix flour and baking soda with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Work with your hands for 3 minutes. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Divide into 8 pieces. On a floured table, roll with a rolling pin into very thin rounds. Fry with oil.

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I suspect there may be a language barrier here. In the context of the question, tortilla means a certain type of flat bread common to cuisines of the American south-west, Mexico and South America, very thin, made from masa or wheat flour, not the omelette like Spanish dish. –  SAJ14SAJ Apr 26 '13 at 5:31
    
@SAJ14SAJ Why do you think that? The answer is valid –  TFD Apr 26 '13 at 9:03
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@TFD The use of a pizza pan, and the reference to the softness depending on whether they would be rolled made me unsure. Thus the use of the word "may" in my comment. –  SAJ14SAJ Apr 26 '13 at 11:00
    
I don't think the answer really needs offers of recipes for chili, spanish tortillas, and so on. I've left the tortilla recipe, in case it's useful to clarify what kind of tortillas you're recommending these pans for. –  Jefromi Apr 29 '13 at 21:25
    
The answer's fine. This is just the Alton Brown mentality; "the only unitasker in your kitchen should be a fire extinguisher". A pizza pan, under a diffuse-enough burner (I find even the most even-heating pans don't do well to spread a small burner on high), would make a fine griddle for any flatbread, from tortillas to pitas to pancakes. –  KeithS May 2 '13 at 22:43
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