TO MAKE TORTILLA DOUGH WITH ELECTRIC STAND MIXER: Combine flour, shortening, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Mix until a coarse meal is formed. On low speed, slowly add water and mix well, until a shaggy ball of dough forms. Scrape any remaining dough from sides of bowl onto the dough ball.
TO MAKE TORTILLA DOUGH WITH FOOD PROCESSOR: In bowl of food processor, combine flour, shortening and salt. Pulse until a coarse meal is formed. With food processor turned on, add water slowly in stages. First, add 1/2 cup water through the tube until evenly mixed. Slowly add another 1/4 cup water and mix well, until a ball of dough comes together. Add remaining 2 tablespoons water so dough forms a ball.
Remove half the dough from bowl, roll and form dough into a log, and wrap in plastic. Repeat with second half and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes (this will make the dough less sticky to work with), or up to 3 days in refrigerator.
Cut two 6- or 7-inch squares of parchment for each tortilla that you press. Cut each dough log into 8 pieces (for 5-inch tortillas) or 5 pieces (for 6-inch tortillas). To keep dough fresh and supple, keep it covered while working.
TO MAKE TORTILLAS WITH ROLLING PIN: Roll one piece of dough between two pieces of parchment (or plastic wrap) until very thin. It does not have to be perfectly round; concentrate on thin.
TO MAKE TORTILLAS WITH TORTILLA PRESS: Place a square of parchment in tortilla press, flatten a disk of dough with your palms, place on parchment, add second piece of parchment on top, close cover and press. Rotate tortilla and papers 180° and press again. Leave between papers and cover until ready to cook.
TO COOK TORTILLAS: Cook on medium-hot cast-iron pan, or griddle set at 400°. Carefully peel off paper from one side, place dough-side down on the pan. After cooking one minute, peel off top layer of parchment paper (it should peel off easily), then cook tortilla for one more minute. Flip and cook two more minutes on second side. Repeat with as many tortillas as you want to make.
Serve immediately, or to serve many tortillas all together, keep warm by placing tortillas as they are made inside a plastic bag or other sealed container lined with a cloth napkin. The warmth and moisture keep the whole stack pliable.
TO SAVE: Stack tortillas with parchment in between, then wrap in kitchen towel, place in a plastic bag, and seal. Tortillas will keep for 3 days in a cool, dark, dry place.
TO REHEAT: Open bag and heat slowly in microwave, flipping whole package halfway through. Alternatively, remove tortillas from bag, unwrap towel and remove parchment; stack all tortillas together and wrap in moistened and squeezed-dry paper towels; microwave stack until warm, about 30 seconds.
Tortillas can be made with rolling pin or tortilla press. An inexpensive tortilla press can be found at your local Mexican market.
© Pamela's Products, Inc.