Can we just appreciate tortillas for second?
They’re delicious. They go with almost anything. The corn versions are naturally gluten-free. It’s no wonder they are an ever-growing sector of the baking industry and a staple in many households. In fact, the global tortilla market is projected to reach $48.51 billion at a CAGR of 5.10% by 2023.
For bakers, corn and flour tortillas offer up a lot of options, from the kinds made to methods for production.
Three kinds are:
- Wheat Flour Tortillas: produced from refined or patent flours, they can be either yeast-leavened or chemically-leavened. These tortillas have a thickness of 2–3 mm and diameter of 15 to 33 cm. Most wheat tortillas are industrially manufactured by hot-press or die-cut processes.
- Fresh Masa Tortillas: made with a fresh masa or “whole corn dough” following the Nixtamalization process. Corn kernels are treated with a calcium hydroxide solution and ground to produce masa. The fresh masa is mixed with other ingredients and additives, and then sheeted between rollers and formed to desired dimensions.
- Dry Masa Flour Tortillas: made from commercially-available dry fresh masa and mixed with other ingredients in the bakery. This type of tortillas is preferred by food service facilities and retail bakeshops.
Here’s a flour tortilla formula:
- Patent flour, 11–12% protein content (100%)
- Water (45.0–60.0%)
- Fresh Yeast (compressed) (0.1–1.0%)
- Salt (0.1–2.5%)
- Shortening (2–10%)
- Gums (water holding improvers and dough strengtheners) (0.3–4.0%)
- Soy flour (water holder and nutritional profile improver) (1.0–5.0%)
- Vital wheat gluten (dough strengthener) (0.3–5.0%)
- Non-fat dry milk (0.3–2.0%)
- Ascorbic acid (oxidizing agent) (0–200 ppm based on flour weight)
- Vinegar 100 grain or 10% acetic acid content (mold inhibitor) (0–1.0 lb / 100 lb flour)
- Scaling/metering of ingredients
- Dividing and rounding
- Sheeting/stretching or hot-pressing
- Counting and stacking of units