Burritos are defined by their tortilla shells tightly fit around the filling ingredients. Folding a burrito properly can make or break the dish. The best tips for creating the perfect fold include proper tortilla preparation, lining up the filling, and determining what folding pattern, which includes standard and alternative methods, will work best for the burritos at hand.
Tortillas should be lightly warmed in the microwave before folding. A damp cloth can be placed over the tortillas to prevent them from drying out. It's also possible to place the tortillas in the oven and heat until just warmed. They should be laid flat on a smooth work surface, such as a counter, after warming to make the folding process easier.
Filling for burritos tends to be a dense combination of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Overfilling the tortilla will make it difficult when folding, however, so take care not to add too many ingredients depending on the size of the tortilla that you are using. Filling should be scooped vertically down the center of the tortillas, leaving open gaps at the sides and bottoms to allow for the folding.
The standard method of folding a burrito begins with the open tortilla segment below the filling, which is pulled up from the bottom and pressed gently against the ingredients to prevent them from spilling out of the bottom. One long side is then folded over the filling ingredients and tucked below the filling. The remaining side is folded over the rest of the burrito and the other side, with the top edge tucked inward. A dotting of taco sauce or sour cream under the edge of these final sides can create better adhesion. The burrito should then be flipped so that the sides are on the bottom before serving.
An alternative tactic of folding a burrito is to begin with one side folded over the filling ingredients. The bottom edge is then tucked up over the first fold. The other side is finally crossed over and the top is tucked into the gap created at the top of the burrito.
Folding a burrito properly depends upon allowing the wet ingredients to adhere to the dry tortilla. When the burrito is folded, it should be placed in a casserole dish, folded side down, for 10 to 20 minutes. That provides enough time for the ingredients to settle and bind. A burrito can be tested by lifting it in an up-and-down motion similar to eating, retrying the fold if the burrito falls apart.
The type of burrito being served dictates how accurate and tight the folding needs to be. Breakfast burritos and other types typically eaten on-the-go require the best folding so they don't make a mess. Burritos that will be served wet, smothered in enchilada or taco sauce, don't need perfect folding, as they will have to be eaten with a fork.