How to Roll Corn Tortillas so They Don't Crack

by Blake Guthrie

One frustrating aspect of making enchiladas is the propensity of the tortilla shells to crack when you begin to roll them. Corn tortillas dry out easily, so it's best to use them when they're at their freshest and store them in a firmly sealed plastic bag with the air removed. The shells may still fall apart on you, unless you know the simple trick to keep a corn tortilla from cracking up.

Steam Them First

A dry corn tortilla needs moisture to keep from cracking. The simplest way to put moisture back into a tortilla shell is to steam it until it's pliable enough for rolling. And one of the simplest ways to steam a tortilla is to place it in a steamer basket over a pot with boiling water in it. Make sure the bottom of the steamer basket isn't touching the bubbling water. The shell should steam for about 15 to 30 seconds.

Microwave Steaming

If you don't have a steamer basket or want to wait for water to boil, you can steam the tortillas in a microwave. Run the shells under hot tap water and place a small stack of them on a plate. Cover the shells with a wet paper towel and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Let stand for at least a minute before rolling.

About the Author

Blake Guthrie is a freelance writer and award-winning singer/songwriter based in Atlanta, GA. He has won–-or been a finalist in–-numerous songwriting competitions, including the OurStage.com Top Ten, the Eddies Attic Open Mic Shootout, the Independent Music Awards, the KRCL Performing Songwriter Showcase (Top Ten) and the International Songwriting Competition. For two-years in a row he was selected as “Critics Choice” for “Best Singer/Songwriter in Atlanta” by Creative Loafing, the largest newsweekly in the Southeast (this was BEFORE he started writing for the magazine). He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.

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