Product Review: Mica Electric Tortilla and Flatbread Maker
by Vickilynn Haycraft
Weight: 4 1/4 pounds
Upper and lower non-stick cooking surfaces, each 8 inches in diameter
Stainless steel outer case
Thermostat indicator light
In the Haycraft home, we love whole grain tortillas for a variety of meals including Mexican pizzas, burritos, wraps, quesadillas, tostada casseroles and just for eating out of hand.
Good quality tortillas can be expensive to purchase, and like other pre-packaged items, they might not be available when you need them. I like the idea of making as many of our foods as possible at home. This way, I can make sure the best ingredients go into our foods, and I can always have them when I need them for a recipe without having to run to the store. Also, in most cases, the cost of homemade tortillas is a fraction of the cost of store-bought. This is a good thing when trying to save money!
I have tried different methods of rolling tortillas, and yes, OK, my hand-rolled tortillas do resemble the great state of Texas! I confess that because tortilla rolling is so time-consuming and cumbersome for me with a physical disability, I have not made homemade tortillas as regularly as my family would like. When I do, I dread the effort and time it takes.
This all changed when I received the Mica Tortilla Maker to review. As I removed the Tortilla Maker from the box, my family gathered around and pronounced this thing as "cool"! I must concur. It is definitely "cool." It is "cool" because it works and it works well.
The criteria that I use to review a product is pretty simple. The product must live up to its claims in performance, and in the end, it must be worth its cost, whether it is an essential purchase or not. For me, the Mica Tortilla Maker lives up to its claims. In my opinion, it is worth the purchase price and pays for itself with savings over buying tortillas.
The Mica Tortilla Maker is very simple to use and clean. The eight-inch non-stick surface wipes clean when cool. No washing is necessary, which is a definite plus. The entire unit weighs less than five pounds. So, it can be moved and stored easily. (Be sure to wait until the unit has completely cooled before moving or storing.)
To use the Mica Tortilla Maker:
I prepare my dough in my Bosch mixer, but the dough can be made by hand in a food processor, Kitchen Aid, or any mixer. Even a bread machine will work! Then, I let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Next, I preheat the Mica (open) until the red light goes off while dividing the dough into portions and rolling each into a ball awaiting the cooking process.
When the unit is ready, I start by placing a ball of dough that I have hand-flattened slightly onto the warmed surface. Then with gentle pressure (not pressing down too hard), I close the lid and press the handle for only about one second. Then I turn the tortilla and repeat one to two more times until the tortilla is round and flat. The diameter of the cooking surface is 8 1/4 inches, so the size of the tortilla can be between 7-8 inches.
Then with the unit open, the tortilla cooks on the bottom heating surface for about 30 seconds to one minute. The surface will show little bubbles. With my hand, I then flip the tortilla over to cook on the other side, about 30 seconds.
The unique feature of the Mica Tortilla Maker is that you can close the top lid to cook roti and other flatbreads on both sides at once, and the bread will puff. Other tortilla makers I tested were not able to perform this function. This flattening and cooking process is so easy that I enjoy making double and triple batches. The tortillas freeze well and work well for batch-cooking.
Overall, I found that the Mica Tortilla Maker was a well-performing product that saved me not only time and effort but a great deal of money. I recommend this product highly, and I use it regularly in my own kitchen.
Basic Flour Wrappers/* Flour Tortillas
From: Wrapping it Up!
Making Sensational, All-Occasion Wrappers And Fabulous Family Meals
© 2002 Vickilynn Haycraft
Makes 8-10 eight-inch wrappers
1 cup warm water (100-115 degrees)
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
about 2 or more cups flour of your choice to make supple, moist dough
1 - 2 Tablespoons honey or sweetener of your choice
pinch chili powder
pinch ground cumin
pinch garlic powder
* If you leave out the sweetener and all the optional ingredients and press it thinner, this is a traditional flour tortilla.
Mix the desired ingredients and knead briefly. The dough should be moist, but not sticky. Let the dough rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes. Divide the dough into portions and roll into equal-sized balls, about 2 -3 inches in diameter. Cover dough balls with a clean, slightly damp towel to prevent the dough balls from drying out.
Preheat the Mica (unit open) until the indicator light goes off. Flatten one dough ball slightly and place it on the upper portion of the bottom plate (closest to the hinge). Gently, press the top lid down and hold 1-2 seconds. Open the lid, turn the flattened dough and repeat one to two more times or until the dough is flattened and round. Let the tortilla cook about 30 seconds to one minute and flip it over. Let it cook 30 seconds more, remove to a rack and cover with a clean towel. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Do not overcook the tortillas or they will become hard.
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Vickilynn Haycraft is a wife, mother of 5, homeschooling parent, writer, columnist and reviewer. To subscribe to Vickilynn's free weekly newsletter on better health, "Real Food Living" visit her website at realfoodliving.com or send an email to: Vickilynn@realfoodliving.com