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From watching videos and going to local Mexican restaurant, it seems the tortillas are much thinner than how I am able to get them when I try to make them at home.

Should I be pressing harder all the way down? It feels like there's a limit to how much I can press before it starts sticking to the paper too much, is it possibly a problem with the dough consistency?

I use Masa Harina and follow Rick Bayless' video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRwMu9ERCKk

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  • Always? Not if you shop at a place that sells Panamanian style tortillas
    – Joe
    Aug 7 at 13:23
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    Not that I know the answer, but are you flattening them by hand, using a rolling pin, or using a tortilla press? I suspect the answer is that people who make tortillas every day know exactly how much water to add to get the dough to the right consistence to press them thin, and the technique to press them thin without tearing them, while people who only make them infrequently don't.
    – The Photon
    Aug 7 at 18:34
  • I'm using a tortilla press. thanks guys, i'll practice more
    – Vall3y
    Aug 8 at 14:11
  • The recipe is here for anyone who doesn't want to follow the video: rickbayless.com/recipe/corn-tortillas
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 9 at 5:33
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There are a variety of reasons your tortillas might be thicker than you'd like. My first tip to you is to line your tortilla press with a thick plastic sheet on each side instead of paper; I use a circle cut from a freezer bag. This makes it easier to peel thinner tortillas loose.

Beyond that, some troubleshooting:

  1. Flour consistency: grainier doughs, such as those made from hand-ground hominy, can't be pressed as thin as ones made from very fine ground masa harina. I've made tortillas from our local Oaxacan market's masa para tamales, and those are pretty chubby because of the coarse grain.
  2. Dough consistency: if your dough is too sticky you won't be able to press it thin without it sticking hopelessly. If it's too dry it'll be too stiff to press thin, or will crack. It takes some practice to get exactly the right consistency.

That aside: enjoy your thick tortillas! Those are actually a legit tortilla style, and they help keep your taco from soaking through and coming apart.

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Make sure and use lard, I cut the baking powder in half of what many recipes call for and let the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator. Those would be my thoughts.

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    Baking powder? I've never heard of putting baking powder in tortillas before. Is this a regional thing?
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 9 at 5:32
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    Adding baking powder is recent as I just started seeing that in corn tortilla recipes around 8 years ago. Totally don't need it. Often you can taste it in there and it's awful.
    – Sarah
    Sep 23 at 15:15
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This might be more of a hardware issue, than a recipe issue. The most common tortilla presses found here is the US, are small, round, and have a mechanism that simply doesn't allow for the thickness you desire. They typically look like this:

enter image description here

Something like the press pictured below will get you a thinner tortilla. It's larger surface and different hinge layout allows for pressure to be exerted on the masa differently. The result is a thinner tortilla.

enter image description here

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  • Thanks a lot! I do have something just like the small one
    – Vall3y
    Nov 25 at 11:59

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