Using a stand mixer to knead the doughPlace the flour, salt, baking powder, butter into the stand mixer bowl and add 1 ½ cups of hot water.Attach the dough hook and start the machine on low speed. Knead for about 30 seconds, if the dough looks dry add some or all of the remaining ¼ cup water..Continue to knead the dough until it looks soft and smooth – it will come together quite quickly. Occasionally stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Hand kneading the doughIn a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.Add the butter to the flour, and mix using your hands until the butter and flour are combined.Gradually pour in enough hot water to make a dough that is slightly wet and sticky.Turn the dough onto an unfloured bench. It’s important that you don’t add extra flour to the bench as it will affect the texture of the tortilla. Knead the dough until it stops sticking to your hands (this will take about 10 – 15 minutes).As you knead, scrape up pieces of dough that sticks to the bench and knead it back in. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth and soft.
Shaping The Dough
Divide the dough into 18 even sized pieces.Shape into balls, and coat in flour by dipping each ball into the extra flour, shake off any excess. Place on the bench and cover the balls with a damp paper towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.Roll out each ball into a thin circle, there is no need to flour the bench or rolling pin as the balls have already been dipped into flour.Tip: Roll out five balls then start cooking and continue to roll and cook until you have done all 18.
Cooking The Tortillas
Dry fry the tortillas in a large fry pan, preferably a heavy cast iron pan – it retains the heat better. You will have to experiment to get the correct temperature. The heat needs to be low to medium-low, just hot enough for it to cook in a few minutes on each side without burning.Before placing the tortillas in the fry pan, shake off any excess flour, as this will burn and “dirty” your tortillas. When you are cooking, if you do notice loose flour in the pan wipe it out before adding the next one.As the dough cooks, air pockets inside the dough will cause it to puff up and it will start to look cooked, at this stage check underneath it should be slight coloured in some places. Flip over and cook the top for a minute or two.Transfer to a plate and continue cooking the rest.Tip: To keep the tortillas warm, pile the tortillas on top of each other and wrap in foil that is lined with absorbent paper.
Self-rising flour can be using in place of the plain flour and baking powder.