you can use pretty much any fat you want when making flour tortillas -- even oil! I prefer lard or butter, but honestly, almost any kind of homemade tortilla is delicious.
if you have a kitchen scale, it's very easy to do this recipe using the weight measurements. if you zero out the scale after adding each ingredient, you won't dirty a bunch of measuring spoons and cups! plus your tortillas will be much more consistent from batch to batch.
- 410 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
- 75 grams (1/3 cup) room temperature butter, lard or shortening (if using oil, use 60 ml)
- 6 grams (1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons, depending on the type of salt you use) salt (I prefer kosher salt)
- 237 ml (8 ounces) hot water
combine flour, baking powder, butter and salt in a large mixing bowl. add the hot water and work it into a dough, using a wooden spoon or your hands. once it's come together (the sides of the bowl should be mostly clean), take the dough and place it on a smooth, clean surface to knead (I use a marble pastry board, but a clean countertop is fine, too -- it just might be a bit stickier to work with). the dough will definitely be sticky at first, but keep kneading it for 5-6 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the water and to develop a bit of gluten. if it's still much too sticky after kneading, you can dust a tiny bit of flour on and work it in a bit at a time, but use as little as possible -- too much flour makes for tough, dry tortillas. it's definitely better to keep the dough a bit sticky rather than put too much flour in it.
once you have a fairly smooth dough, divide it into 12 portions and form it into balls. put the dough balls back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. after it's rested, heat up a griddle or comal over medium heat. dust the surface of the pastry board or countertop lightly with a tiny bit of flour (again, you don't want to work too much flour into the dough), take out a ball (leaving the rest covered while you work) and roll it out into a thin circle, making sure to pick the tortilla up to flip and rotate it as you roll it out -- that will help it keep its shape better and will also prevent it from sticking to the board. roll out a couple, then start cooking the first one. the griddle should be hot enough to make the dough bubble up well within about 30 seconds without burning the tortilla. flip it to cook the other side, adjusting the heat as needed. while you're cooking one tortilla, always have one ready to go on the griddle as soon as the one you're cooking is done (this keeps the griddle from getting too hot and scorching the tortillas). you'll find a rhythm as you work. as the tortillas are finished, place them on a plate lined with a clean kitchen towel. when they're all done, wrap them up in the towel and enjoy! if you need to keep them for longer, you can put them in a ziploc bag when they're completely cool.