If you cook flatbreads/tortillas they should ideally inflate on the griddle.

What might cause tortilla or flat breads to break or crack in places some time during the inflation process, letting out steam and thereby preventing a full inflation?

Is it insufficient development of gluten (not enough kneading)? Or is the dough too dry? Wrong heat? What might cause this issue?

  • 1
    Are you having this issue with a specific recipe or dough? Without knowing, I could imagine many reasons, e.g. the dough being too lean/not enough fat content can cause tearing, or either under or over developed gluten, etc.
    – mfox
    Jun 17, 2020 at 15:57

2 Answers 2


Only some flatbread recipes are expected to "fully inflate" during cooking. Mexican flour tortillas, in particular, will have bubbles up to around 2", but shouldn't puff up into a balloon. So "what might cause it" is you doing things correctly.

In order to fully inflate, the inside of the flatbread needs to be weak enough when the outside gels and dries, such that the force of the steam can rip the inner crumb but not the outer crust. That means the hydration can't be too low, the flatbread can't be too thin, and the temperature can't be too low. Full inflation is unlikely to occur when cooking on a griddle (with no radiant heat from above) since the top won't be cooked. You might be able to get a griddle flatbread to inflate by cooking for a short period at a very high heat on the first side and then flipping, but I haven't tried this.


In my experience, cracking is due to dryness and could come either from a dough that's too dry to start with, or cooking too slow and too long resulting in the tortilla drying too much. If that is indeed the case that your tortilla ended up being too dry, then you should notice it in the finished product: your cooked tortilla will lose its supple pliable quality and become a bit stiff.

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