Tortilla chips, the perfect shapePosted: 13 July 2011
I’m always annoyed when I figure something out long after I should have.
For me, the perfect size for tortilla chips is small and round; mini tortillas. Like this:
Today I was at the library and was looking at The Cornbread Gospels1, by Crescent Dragonwagon, and she has a nice section on masa harina and making tortillas. She mentions that until you get the hang of it they may not come out the right size, and that the size depends on how much dough you rolled into a ball before you put it in the tortilla press. Ding! The light went off over my head and I realized that I could make the little mini tortillas with the tortilla press that I have by using a small amount of the dough. (This is what I was annoyed about; I should have realized that I could have used the tortilla press from the beginning.) And I could make them consistently the same size by weighing the dough balls when I’ve determined the size that I like. As it turned out, the very first one was right on the money, at 8 grams. If you start out with too much or too little dough it’s simply a matter of adjusting the weight; pinch some off or add a bit to it, the dough can be worked over and over; since it doesn’t have any gluten no worry about it getting tough or overworked.
Those tortilla chips above are a batch that I made. Visually they are perfect. Taste-wise they’re still a failure; there’s a weird bitter aftertaste that’s just not right. Now that I’ve figured out how to get the dough the right consistency without needing to add a lot of oil I’ve finally come to the conclusion that perhaps the tapioca starch may be the culprit. So I’m making a batch from the basic recipe, no additives to make them crisp, but I’m still adding the tablespoon of oil.
In her directions for making the tortilla dough she says to have the water very hot, almost boiling. I’ve never seen that recommendation before but I did it this time. Again, the dough is resting and will be getting squashed in the tortilla press and going into the oven in a while.