I got this recipe from a Mexican lady named Henrietta. She is a friend of my husband's family growing up, and she had never written down the recipe. I asked to write it down, and she wrote it down for the first time for me. :-) They are amazing! They are a little bit thicker than regular flour tortillas you buy at the store, but you have to try them. The directions sound a little complicated, but I'm trying to describe something that is easier to see than explain. They aren't really complicated once you get the hang of it.
3 1/4 cups of flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup warm to hot waterDirections
-Mix salt and baking powder into flour in a medium size bowl. Mix with your hands. Add shortening, mix well until a little crumbly, add warm water. Knead until smooth. I now cheat on all of this and do it in the stand mixer. No, it's not traditional! I put the dry ingredients in first, mix that a little with the dough attachment, add the shortening and mix until well mixed in, and add the water and mix until one huge ball forms.
-Shape dough into balls (smaller than a tennis ball but larger than a ping pong ball). It makes about 12 to 14 tacos, so you can get the feel of how much dough to use. Flatten them a little in your palm. Henrietta suggests letting them rest an hour, covered, but I usually skip this step. I've tried it and can't tell the difference.
-Now, turn your large skillet on medium high heat. Allow pan to get very hot while you lay out a piece of aluminum foil to put your cooked tortillas on, get out tongs to flip them, and roll our your first tortilla. Roll them about as thin as you can get them and still handle them, without seeing the counter underneath, into as much a circle shape as you can make. They will shrink up a little when you pick them up and once you put them in the skillet. Leave tortilla on one side for about 15-20 seconds or until no longer shiny, doughy looking, usually golden brown in a few places. Flip with tongs (or with your fingers as Henrietta and my mother-in-law do, but it's too hot for me to do that) and let cook for another 15-20 seconds on that side. Remove from heat, place on foil, and continue with next one. Usually my pattern is, when I put my 1st tortilla in the pan, by the time I roll out my 2nd one, it's time to flip the 1st one. Sometimes you have to reduce the heat a little bit after doing a few because the pan seems to get hotter.
-Brown your ground meat with taco seasoning and serve on your tortilla along with all your favorite toppings. Yummy!!!
A stack of hot soft taco shells!