Beginners Guide: How to Roll Out Tortillas for the First Time?

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We all have that craving for a fluffy, crispy, and rich tortilla goodness. There is not a single day that goes by without thinking about that tasty meal and the ingredients you can pair it with. No matter what you use with your next tortilla batch, they will always have that awesome flavor to them. 

But, if you’ve decided to crank it up a notch and make your own tortilla at home (check out our guide on tortilla press reviews) , then it’s time to start preparing the dough. Whether you’ve picked up a bag of your favorite flour tortilla mix or you are making your own batch at home, the most important part of getting the ideal tortillas to roll them out properly. 

If you’ve never rolled out tortillas before, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve made an easy step-by-step guide to show you all you need to know to roll it out just right. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.

Step 1: Let the Dough Rest

Before you can start rolling the dough, you need to let it rest. This is the first and most important step to making a fluffy tortilla. Both store-bought and homemade doughs need at least 15 minutes to rest. You can do that by placing your dough in a big bowl or a cast iron. 

beginners guide how to roll out tortillas for the first-time

Then, cover it up with a towel and place it on the counter at room temperature. If you place it somewhere very cold, it will take a lot longer for the dough to become pliable. So, if you live in cold places, then it’s best to store the dough in the oven while it’s off.  

Step 2: Prepare the Cooking Tools

While the dough is resting, you need to use this time efficiently. Get your skillet or pan that you are going to cook the tortillas in and heat them up on medium heat. Sprinkle some oil.

Step 3: Knead the Dough

After the dough has rested, it’s time to start preparing it. Pick up the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured counter surface. Then, start kneading it with your hands for a couple of minutes. Shape the dough into a big ball.

Step 4: Divide the Dough Into Multiple Equal Portions

Take a knife, or use your hands to divide the big ball into multiple smaller portions of the same size. Try to get as many parts as you can without cutting them too thin. 

Step 5: Give the Dough a Round Shape

Take one of the pieces you just cut and place them in your hands. Then, place the dough on the counter and gently rub your hands over it to give it a round ball-like shape. Move your hand in a circular motion and gently press the dough against the counter until you get the desired shape. 

This should take 2 to 3 minutes, depending on whether you’ve worked with dough before. At first, the dough might appear a little bit misshapen, but once you press on the edges, you can fix it in seconds.

When you are done, flatten the dough with your fingers and flour the counter surface once more.

Step 6: Roll the Dough

Take out a rolling pin, sprinkle it with some flour to avoid the dough sticking to the surface of the pin, and roll it out. Place the pin on top of the dough, start from the center and roll it away from you and then towards you. 

The idea is to keep the round shape of the dough, so don’t roll too much on either side, or you will lose the shape. Then, turn the dough for 180 degrees and repeat the same process. Keep rolling it until you get a very clean circle. 

To flatten out the edges, use the tip of the pin, not the center, since it gives you a lot more control over your pin. That way, you can fix all the imperfections without cracking or separating the dough. Once the dough has about a 1/16 inch thickness and is just barely transparent enough to see your hand through it, it’s ready to be cooked. 

Step 7: Time to Cook

Transfer your dough to the warm pan and let it cook for about a minute on each side or until you see big bubbles start to form on the surface. 

That’s it! That’s how you roll out and cook a tortilla dough. Enjoy. 

Feel free to read about other uses for a tortilla press.