- 1 pound all purpose flour, about 3 2/3 cups, plus 1/4 cup for finishing the tortillas
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup vegetable shortening, plus 2 tablespoons for rolling the pieces of dough
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- Combine 1 pound of all purpose flour and the salt in a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the vegetable shortening by spoonfuls or chunks. Start mixing with your fingertips, or with the mixer on low speed, until the fat has been broken into very small pieces and evenly distributed through the flour.
- In 4 to 5 additions, add the evaporated milk, each time folding it through the flour in a circular motion scraping from the bottom and folding the dough from the center out to the edges of the bowl, or beating continually on low speed in the mixer. If using a mixer, turn the speed to medium and beat for 7 to 8 minutes, until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky. If kneading by hand, at first it will be very sticky and lumpy, but as you continue to knead, it will become more elastic and less wet, with fewer and fewer lumps. After 8 to 10 minutes the dough should be completely smooth and springy to the touch, though it will still be a bit sticky. Gather it into a ball, place back in the bowl and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half. Grab one piece and squeeze out 1 1/2-inch balls of dough between your thumb and index fingers, as if you were making biscuits. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Alternatively, divide the dough in half, then in half again, and repeat until you have 16 pieces. Set them on the counter as you move along.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour on the countertop and grease the palms of your hands with one of the remaining tablespoons of vegetable shortening. Roll the balls in your hands to grease them, then roll them generously in the flour and place back in the bowl or on a sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and shortening. Cover the balls with a kitchen towel and set aside to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat your comal, griddle or nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for at least 5 minutes.
- Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin and one at a time, roll out each ball into a 1/8-inch thick tortilla. Rotate the tortilla on your work surface about 5 or 6 times as you roll it out. Do not worry if you don’t get perfect circles. As soon as you are done rolling out a tortilla, throw it on the comal and cook for about a minute, until you begin to see bubbles forming on top. Check to see if the bottom has become a little freckled and if so, flip the tortilla and cook on the other side until it puffs way up and the side that is now on the bottom begins to freckle. Remove and place in a clean kitchen towel. Continue to roll out and cook the tortillas one by one, placing them in the towel as you move along. Serve warm.