Grab a copy of The Ultimate Tortilla Press Cookbook and never buy supermarket corn tortillas again. It’s a definitive guide to pressing and baking your way to homemade tortillas, and will ruin you for all others, forever. Ready to learn how to make homemade gorditas and sopes? 

Gorditas and sopes — two cousins of corn tortillas — are the masa delivery system for typical Mexican street snacks. They are easier to shape than tortillas because they don’t have to be as thin. Basically, any filling that works with tortillas, especially corn, will be great with gorditas or sopes (pronounced so-pez).

On one hand, gorditas are small, puffy pastries made from leavened dough that may be patted by hand or pressed with a manual or electric tortilla press. Once formed, gorditas are toasted on a hot comal until crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside. They are usually split and filled like pita bread with roasted or stewed meats, cheese, and salsa. If you think they sound a lot like pupusas a la El Salvador (stuffed thick tortillas), you’re right.

On the other hand, sopes are the same basic dough without leavening and a different profile. Sopes look like upside-down, mini Frisbees. With turned-up edges, sopes function like handheld tarts to hold myriad fillings, such as roasted or stewed meats, cheese, and salsa. They also may be shaped by hand or pressed with a manual press, then parbaked, shaped, and fried in hot vegetable oil.

Handiwork: When shaping gorditas and sopes, always keep a small bowl of water nearby to moisten your hands if the dough starts to stick.

Reprinted with permission from The Ultimate Tortilla Press Cookbook