cups all-purpose flour
teaspoons baking powder
4 to 6
tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
cups warm water (approximate)
In a large bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, and salt together. With a pastry cutter/blender (unless you are one of those, like my teachers, who always used their hands) cut in the lard or shortening. You want these ingredients to cling together slightly and hold a form when squeezed in your hands. If the mixture crumbles, you do not have the shortening mixed in well or have too little (if it makes a hard clump them you need more flour and less shortening). Add the water all at once and mix the dough quickly with a fork or by hand until the dough forms a mass. Work it in the bowl, moving it around the sides to pick up any flour remaining in the bowl. Knead the dough by folding it in half, pushing it down, and folding again. It should take about a dozen folds to form soft dough that is no longer sticky. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap to let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. Allowing the dough to rest lets any of the liquid absorb into the flour, which will give you a softer tortilla after cooking. Take your ball of dough and begin pinching off 1-inch diameter balls. Knead each of these into a tight ball by folding them over with your fingers, turning and repeating until it is shaped like a fat disk. Place it to one side of the mixing bowl and continue to do this until you have used all of the dough. Before rolling out the tortillas, allow the dough balls to rest at least 10 minutes. This will permit the gluten to relax and make them much easier to shape and roll. On a lightly floured surface take one of the dough balls and begin to roll it out. To keep a somewhat round shape, roll one directions, make a 1/4 turn and roll again, make another 1/4 turn and roll. Continue to roll and turn until you the dough is about 1/8-inch thick and 8 to 10 inches in diameter. NOTE: You can roll the thinner or thicker, if you like. Just remember to adjust the cooking time for how thick they are rolled. I roll mine the way they are done in New Mexico – slightly thicker than any store bought ones.