Finally, I decided to give this staple a place of its own on my website. I’ve been including these cassava tortillas in some of my past recipe posts, and have been posting videos, pictures and directions on my Instagram every time I made them. But I think this post will make search easier for you. These cassava tortillas are very easy to make, they only include four ingredients, if you count water and salt, and they are pliable and delicious and can be stored in many ways.
Since I came to Romania, my mom is slowly giving up bread / grains and these cassava tortillas have been a very good vehicle for her to replace the bread she was used to eat. She was not eating too much, but still, a slice of toast was something she would eat once a day. So I usually make a batch of 8-9 cassava tortillas, which my mom and I share, and sometimes my husband, who loves them but is not willing to give up his bread, is allowed to have one or two. Usually I store them in the fridge in an air tight container, or in a plastic bag, for the second day. If I want to keep them for longer, I separate them with parchment paper, and freeze them in a freezer bag or container. They are easy to warm up in a pan, and they remain soft and pliable. However, if you need a sort of tostada, or tortilla chips, you can leave them longer in the pan and they become crispy.
The recipe is very easy, but I guess can be intimidating if you are making this for the first time or never worked with cassava flour before. So I’ll explain the whole process step by step.
If you are in the US, Otto’s Cassava Flour is the best, in my opinion. I found good cassava flour in other countries in Europe, in specialized stores or gluten free sections in supermarkets. In Romania there is only one option as far as I know, made by Pronat, and you can find it in their online store. Get the EXTRA FINE, works much better with everything.
What do you need to make cassava tortillas
THE PAN – You need one safe non-stick pan (don’t use anything made of teflon) like a ceramic, stone coated pan (e.g The Green Pan) or even better, a well seasoned or coated cast iron; or, a cast iron griddle, this way you can make more at once. You will not use any fat on the pan, and the heat had to be medium. Make sure that when you add the first tortilla, the pan has to be well heated. You will also figure this out by yourself, with experience, depending on what source of heat you have, or what kind of pan.
OTHER TOOLS – You need a scale, a mixing bowl, a rolling pin, two sheets of parchment paper and a working surface. I roll them manually but of you have a tortilla press you can use it. If you want them to be shaped perfectly round, use an 8″ bowl to cut them.
INGREDIENTS – You need cassava flour, extra virgin olive oil (you can use avocado oil instead). From 100 grams of cassava flour you make 5 tortillas, about 8″ each, so from 200 grams you will make 8 dough balls, and you will have another two from the escess dough. Ten in total.
HOW TO PREPARE THEM – Add the cassava, olive oil and salt to a bowl. Start adding lukewarm water and mix with your hands until you get a homogenous dough that sticks together (it will be crumbly at first). Knead it well for about 10 minutes, the dough will get elastic and sticky and it won’t break when you will roll out the tortillas. Portion the dough in eight balls, and roll each of them in between two sheets of parchment paper. I cook them one by one so I roll out one while the other one is cooking. I use a bowl to cut them in round shapes, if you use a tortilla press it will be easier. However, they are also pretty when you have irregular shapes (see pictures), so choose whatever way fits you. If you cut them in rounds remove the excess and at the end you will have more dought for one or two tortillas.
HOW TO COOK THEM – Once I have one tortilla rolled out and shaped, I remove the top parchment paper, take the tortilla with the parchement paper on the bottom and flip it upside down in the hot pan. Cook for about 2, 3 minutes on each side, or more. The time will depend on how hot your pan is, what kind of surface it has or the heat source. Use the first one to experiment. I noticed that the cooking pattern and time will be different if I use two different pans, even though they are both ceramic coated. They will also start making bubbles, which is great as the tortilla it will form little pockets indide. Some have smaller bubbles, some bigger, but that’s a sign that your dough works well. Once cooked transfer them to a plate and cover with a thick layer of towels so they stay warm and soft.
I ended up buying and seasoning a cast iron pan and I made tortillas in it and it works really well, I do prefer the cast iron now.
HOW TO STORE THEM – You can store them in a container with a lid, in the frige, for up to two days. They’ll stay soft and you can warm them up in a pan or on a griddle. If you want to make tostadas (crispy tortillas), leave them longer when you re-warm them, they’ll crisp up. You can also store them in the freezer, but make sure you separate them with parchment paper, so they are easy to separate when they are frozen.
Quantities for 8-10 tortillas
You need 200 grams of cassava flour, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and start with about 1/4 cup lukewarm water (and a few tablespoons more, or as necessary). You will add water until the dough will become homogeneous, well hydrated and pliable, but will stay hard. Knead it well for about 10 minutes, adding more water if necessary (like you would nead a normal bread), the dough will get elastic and sticky and it won’t break when you will roll out the tortillas. From this quantity you will make 8 dough balls, and each will be shaped in one 8″ tortilla. If you shape them round, you will have excess dough, which you will save and at the end you will have dough for two more tortillas. If you feel like the dough gets dry, wet your hands and knead a little bit more to rehydrate. In case you want to make a smaller quantity, from 100 grams of cassava flour you will get 4+1 tortillas (the plus one is the excess one).
Let me know if you make them! Enjoy.