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Rolling dough into circles

Making Spinach tortillas

A number of readers asked for tips on rolling round tortillas. I'll share my thoughts; feel free to leave a comment with your own tips for rolling dough into circles! :)

Start with dough that's been kneaded or patted into a nice little circle shape. Starting with dough that looks like a "cookie" will make it easier to keep it circular.

Place your rolling pin in the center of the dough, and roll to the outside. Work your way around the dough evenly, always starting in the center. Don't roll from one side all the way to the other... unless you want a square or rectangle. ;) If your dough starts looking unlike a circle, give special care to the uneven spots, remembering to roll from the inside out (never out-in).

Use a lightly floured surface. As you can see in the photo above, I was using a tablespoon measure to sprinkle flour on the sides of my tortilla as I rolled it out. Sprinkle lightly, and use your hands (or a pastry brush) to disperse it evenly.

Large patches of flour will ruin the taste of your tortilla! Add flour carefully (in small increments) and frequently (as needed) for best recults.

Turn the tortilla over as often as needed. If the tortilla starts to stick to your surface, it's time to pull it up and add more flour.

Having a good dough helps considerably. To roll a thin tortilla, you will need dough that's not too sticky, because wet or sticky dough is fragile and tears easily. However, dough that's too stiff will be difficult to roll and won't taste as good. I kneaded and added flour to my tortilla dough until it was only the least bit sticky. My tortillas were still very soft (and fragile) until they were cooked, but none of them tore when I lifted or moved them.

Even if you try to follow all of my tips for rolling dough into circles, it still might (okay, probably will!) take some practice. That's okay! I've been rolling dough for years... pretty much ever since I can remember. There are lots of recipes that require rolling (crescent rolls, pie crusts, some pizza crusts and cookies, etc.) and the more attempts you make, the easier it will get! :)


Thanks for the tutorial!

I seem to do pie dough OK, but tortillas have always escaped me! I do know I usually do side-to-side and not from the center so I'll have to try that next time. I actually know Hispanic women who refuse to make tortillas because they hate rolling them out, so I know it's not just a gringo issue, lol!

Dana's picture

Thanks for these extra

Thanks for these extra instructions Tammy! I can't wait to try doing this myself.

Rolling Around

Having worked in a pizza shop for a few years, and rolling thousands of crusts, I can say the best way to keep dough round is to start with a round ball (rolled into itself and pinched together on the bottom), as was already stated. Then generously flour the counter top and dough, and roll the dough using a "figure 8" motion, which will naturally turn the dough around and around in a circle, keeping it nice and round.

Mrs. Marks

Tammy's picture

Rolling dough into circles

Dana, you're welcome! :) Hopefully it helps. :)

Mrs. Marks, I'm not sure I understand the "figure 8" concept... maybe you could describe it in more detail for me? However, my dough does shift around (clockwise) while I roll. Once the dough starts to stick to the counter, then it gets lopsided. :D

Tammy, If your dough turns


If your dough turns clockwise when you roll, you may be doing just what I was attempting to describe. :) Anyway, instead of rolling in straight strokes this way and that, I roll forward at about a 45 degree angle, and backward at the opposite angle; the effect seems kind of like a figure eight, and the dough turns itself around.

Does that make any sense? I'm not sure how else to describe it. :)

- Mrs. Marks

Great Recipe

Thank you so much for a great recipe. I have always wanted to make tortillas and your pictures were so delicious! I made them last night and everyone loved them, especially my husband.
Jennifer M

Tammy's picture


Yay! I'm glad you liked them. :) Thanks for letting me know! :)

Thank you!

Thank you for the divine instructions. I can now make flat bread/tortillas. I have made both your spinach and whole wheat. I have played with various flours and all were winners. I am thrilled with how you could teach me. :-)

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