Tortilla dough in SF?
December 27, 2007 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Are there markets in San Francisco where I can buy the dough to make tortillas?

Giving a tortilla press as a Christmas present tonight and would like to have some of the appropriate dough on hand. I feel like I've seen this for sale at markets before but have no idea where. Anyone have experience with this and know where in San Francisco I could pick some up easily? Cheers...
posted by garethspor to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
La Palma, on 24th at in the Mission.
posted by rtha at 9:17 AM on December 27, 2007

Try Las Palmas Mexicatessen on 24th Street in the Mission. They make their own tortillas there. If they can't help you, try Casa Lucas a block down the street.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:17 AM on December 27, 2007

What you're looking for is masa dough. If there's a Kroger's anywhere near you, I bet they have it. If not, ask at organic grocers or hispanic grocers.
posted by boo_radley at 9:19 AM on December 27, 2007

24th st, that is. Cross street is maybe Harrison.
posted by rtha at 9:20 AM on December 27, 2007

You could also make your own
posted by edgeways at 9:21 AM on December 27, 2007

Sorry, that was suppose to point here
posted by edgeways at 9:22 AM on December 27, 2007

Fresh and dry masa are two very different products. Either will make tortillas, but if you can find fresh you'll get a better tortilla. A lot of the smaller Mexican markets in the city have fresh masa, almost all the grocery stores in the bay area carry dry masa. The fresh version is ready to use, it looks like dough - the dry stuff comes in a bag as a powder and needs to be reconstituted.
posted by foodgeek at 9:28 AM on December 27, 2007

La Palma is at 24th and Florida, two east of Harrison (after Alabama).
posted by kcm at 9:28 AM on December 27, 2007

You write "tortilla press," so I assume you are talking about corn tortillas?

You want masa. Look near the flour/baking supplies or in the Hispanic section of the grocery store for dry masa.

If you want to make flour tortillas, that is even easier, and there are dry mixes for that, too.

Sorry if this wasn't terribly helpful; I'm just curious as to what type of tortillas you're making.

(O.K., here's my helpful part: Cover both sides of the tortilla press with Saran Wrap or the like. This will make your job MUCH easier. Corn tortillas are challenging!)
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:33 AM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: yes, corn tortillas it is. Thanks for all the good info so far. Keep the suggestions and tips coming. Thank you internets!
posted by garethspor at 10:03 AM on December 27, 2007

Hi, back again. It's been a while since I really looked - we usually buy our tortillas ready-made at Las Palmas - but I think they have two kinds of dough: one is made with lard, and one is not. If your gift recipient is vegetarian, get the kind without!
posted by rtha at 10:07 AM on December 27, 2007

The best brand available here (Midwest) is Maseca. I think it's a national brand. They make two types; you want the masa for tortillas, not tamales. Quaker and other brands make masa, but it's flavor-free. I get Maseca at big grocery stores.

The recipe on the Maseca bag works great for me. To keep the masa from sticking, I cut a freezer bag or other sturdy-ish plastic bag into sections that generously cover the tortilla press rounds. Method:

1. Put plastic on bottom part of press.

2. Add golf-ball-sized round of masa stuff.

3. Top with second piece of plastic.

4. Put top of press in place.

5. Press on handle.

6. Optional for thinner tortillas: Open and rotate the plastic-masa sandwich about 45 degrees; press again.

If the tortilla sticks to the plastic, it's too wet. When you have the right consistency, it will be easy to peel the plastic off the tortilla.

Save the plastic for reuse. No need to wash--if any masa is stuck on it, let it dry & brush it off. Same for the tortilla press.

I cook the tortillas on a very hot and dry iron griddle. A dry iron skillet works, too, but once you become obsessed with tortillas, you'll want the surface area of a two-burner griddle.

When you've done this a few times, you'll discover that you can make a dozen hot, soft, yummy tortillas in minutes.
posted by PatoPata at 11:10 AM on December 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

To clarify, Maseca is a bag of dry stuff. It's usually in the Mexican section of grocery stores.
posted by PatoPata at 11:12 AM on December 27, 2007

Roosevelt Tamale Parlor also sells it, as does the Primavera booth at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market on Saturdays. You want the kind without lard for tortillas, the kind with lard is for tamales and will crumble apart if you try to make tortillas.

If you go to the Ferry Plaza market and hit the Primavera table, I highly recommend the chilaquiles too. Yum.
posted by cali at 9:58 PM on December 27, 2007

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