Makes 12 8-inch round tortillas
2 3/4 cups (13.7 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons of vegetable shortening, cut into 6 pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1. Whisk flour and salt in a large bowl. Add shortening.
2. Use your fingers to rub in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
3. Use a large rubber spatula to press in warm water.
4. Move the dough to a counter and knead briefly to form a large ball.
5. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons a piece. A bench scraper makes this really easy. If you weigh each ball on your kitchen scale, measure 2 ounces per ball. Then you can tell your children that each tortilla is exactly the same size.
6. Transfer balls to plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to three days. Upon the third day, the dough is still safe if the enzymes in the flour have turned the dough a little gray.
7. Work on a lightly floured counter top.
8. The forgiving dough moves and picks up easily. A cold granite counter makes an even better work surface.
9. Roll the dough into an 8-inch round. A little rough around the edges means homemade and knock you off your feet delicious.
10. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat until just smoking. Wipe oil out of skillet completely with paper towels.
11.Lay 1 round in skillet and cook until surface begins to bubble, about 1 minute.
12. Flip tortilla over and cook until browned and puffed, about 1 minute longer.
Depending on the thickness of your non-stick skillet, you may need to adjust the heat of your burner. One cook rolling at the counter and another flipping at the stove speeds up the process.
This recipe is adapted from Diane Unger of Cook's Illustrated All-Time Best Bread Recipes, 2014.