In a mixing bowl combine the masa harina and salt. Add the shortening and rub in with your fingers so that it is evenly distributed. Add warm water and knead until mixture is smooth and slightly sticky. If the dough is dry add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Dough should be soft and moist like play-doh and not dry. Divide dough into 8 portions. Cover with a damp cloth to keep the dough soft and moist.
Line a tortilla press with plastic wrap. Place a ball of dough on the press and cover with another piece of plastic wrap and press down to form a little ¼-inch-thick patty. Peel off the plastic wrap. (If you don’t have a tortilla press you can use a heavy skillet or pot to make the dough patties or use your hands to form a patty.) Repeat with remaining balls of dough.
Preheat an ungreased comal (griddle) on medium-high heat. Cook a patty on the comal for about 2 to 4 minutes on each side until dry. While the cooked patty is still warm and as soon as you are able to handle it, pull the dough of the patty up and outward towards the edge, creating a little ridge of dough all the way around the circle to create a little “boat” or sope. Repeat with the remaining patties.
Cook sopes as directed. Place cooled sopes in a single layer in an airtight container, cover, and tightly seal. Sopes can be stored for one week in the fridge or in the freezer for one month. If frozen, allow to defrost before filling. Fill and bake as directed above.
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