- 21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra to form tortillas.
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄3 cup shortening or lard
- 1 cup hot water*
*Note: Add the water little by little to form the dough since in humid climates slightly less water will be needed.
In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add shortening or lard and, using a fork, pastry blender or your hands, incorporate until the mix resembles coarse meal. Add hot water a little at a time until the dough holds together. See note above.
Turn dough onto a work surface and knead for a couple of minutes, until it is smooth. Divide into 10 pieces, rolling every piece on your work surface with the palm of your hand to form a little disk. Cover the dough disks with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30–45 minutes. The resting period will develop the gluten and forming the tortilla disks will be easier. Do not skip this step.
After the resting period, place an ungreased griddle/comal over medium heat. Prepare a lightly floured surface for rolling out the tortillas—if you add too much flour to the surface your tortillas will be dry. To form a tortilla place a ball of dough on your working area and flatten slightly with your hand, then set the rolling pin at the center of the dough and press forward without making it to the edge and then press backwards towards yourself, stopping before the edge. Turn the tortilla 45 degrees and repeat pressing forward and then towards you. Flip the tortilla and repeat the same process until you have a thin disk of about 10 inches. If you are new to rolling tortillas, be patient: It takes a little practice.
Place tortilla on the hot griddle. This step is a really quick one: Be careful with your timing. During the first 20 to 30 seconds, the tortilla starts forming air bubbles and light brown spots will show at the bottom side of the tortilla. Turn the tortilla, and during the next 20 seconds, more air bubbles will form. Turn again; at this time the tortilla will puff up. This last step will take about 10 seconds. Remove the tortilla and wrap with a kitchen towel. Repeat with the rest of the dough disks.
Makes 10 (10-inch) tortillas