A Homemade Tortilla Press

| 6/30/2015 11:44:00 AM

Renee-Lucie BenoitI had a hankering for homemade tortillas one day recently, but my personal experience making them has not been, shall we say, highly successful. They always turned out too thick, too chewy and oddly shaped.

I got my inspiration from the lovely Indian women in Mexico near San Cristobal de la Casas who made them completely by hand. They worked the dough and then cooked them on big metal plates over an open fire. Boy, oh, boy, were they good! Since there's only a small likelihood that I will ever be able to catch up to their expertise in my lifetime it seemed that I needed some mechanical assistance. You can get beautiful metal tortilla presses from Williams Sonoma and elsewhere but that's no fun and ... expensive! So we decided we would make our own. Phooey on buying one! I looked all over the Internet for a design. I could find some but the instructions seemed incomplete. Making our own tortilla press showed us where the design flaws are so I pass this on to you so you can make an even better one!

2-by-10-inch wood (did you know that a 2x10 is actually 1 1/2 inches by 9 inches?), cut into three pieces: 1 – 9-by-9 inches (Top) and 1 – 10 1/2-by-9 inches (Bottom) and 1 – 2-by-9 inches (Presser Bar)
1 – 16-inch 2x4 cut into 2 equal pieces (8 inches long each) (Support Bars) and notched at the bottom 1 1/2-by-1 1/2 inches
1 – 15-inch 1 1/2x1 1/2 wood (Handle)
2 – 2-inch removable pin hinges
4 – 3-inch wood screws
1 – 5-inch bolt with washer and nut
Wood glue

Skilsaw, table saw or hand saw
Power drill or hand drill
Hand sander (A power hand sander makes the job go faster but sanding can be accomplished without power tools. It just takes longer.)
Sandpaper, rough P36 and fine220

How to:

Here's a hand-drawn schematic to label all the parts.