Recipe: Baleadas (With Tortilla Recipe)

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

The Baleada (Spanish pronunciation: [baleˈaða]) is the quintessential street food of Honduras. Although many cities on the Northern Coast of Honduras lay claim to the origin of this tasty dish; in La Ceiba, the city where my father grew up, a woman named Dona Terra claims to be the creator of the original baleada.

Baleadas are comprised of a thick flour tortilla, filled with cheese, cream, and mashed fried red beans. But beans are just the beginning...if you're willing to get creative the topping combinations can verge on endless!

Baleadas are a true staple in most Honduran households. The best-known kinds of baleadas are the baleadas sencillas (the simple baleadas). Featuring a delicious mix of queso seco ( a crumbly dry cheese) and mantequilla (a Honduran style sour cream). Another common variety of baleada is the baleada mixta (mixed baleada) which has the same fillings as the baleada sencilla but with the addition of scrambled eggs. Whether it's for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, it's always the right time to eat one.

My mother's recipe yields the absolute best tortilla I have ever eaten. She uses baking soda and eggs, which are very traditional. I have opted to use my sourdough starter in place of those two items, to make a more easily digestible and thus healthier tortilla. I learned how to make tortillas from watching my mom over and over again, but I'm still searching for perfection in my own recipe. Let me know what you think!

And for the record: Baleadas beat Burritos any day of the week. Don't @ me!

What You'll Need (for the levain build)

85 grams mature sourdough starter

150 grams King Arthur Organic Bread Flour

50 grams King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour

175 grams warm water

Mix all of these ingredients together and let sit, covered, at room temperature for about 3-4 hours.

Mix all of these ingredients together and let sit, covered, at room temperature for about 3-4 hours.

What You'll Need (for the dough mix)

300 grams King Arthur Organic All Purpose Flour

125 grams warm coconut milk

100 grams warm water

45 grams Levain (from the above build)

5 grams Kosher Salt

50 grams vegetable oil

What You'll Need (for the baleadas)

1 batch Frijoles Refritos Hondureños

1 block Queso Hondureño (substitute with any white cheese)

1 package Crema Hondureña (substitute with sour cream, warm butter, salt mixed together)

Crystal Extra Hot Sauce

  1. The first thing you will do is add your levain to the warm water and coconut milk in a bowl and dissolve.

  2. Add the flour, salt, and vegetable oil into the bowl and mix with your hands until everything is incorporated.

  3. Turn the dough out onto your work surface and knead with the palm of your hand. If the dough is a bit sticky, it will come together through the kneading process. Don't add more flour, as this will make the tortillas more dry. Add small amounts of vegetable oil while kneading as this will help smooth the dough out and create a nice elastic surface.

  4. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes after the kneading process.

  5. Shape your dough into a log and cut into 5 even sections.

  6. Now, using the palm of your hands but with your fingers around the edges of each piece, shape into round balls.

  7. Let these rest for another 30 minutes.

  8. While the dough rests, take this time to take your cheese and cube or shred. Also prepare your cream and any other toppings you'd like to put add ( avocado, eggs, tomato, steak, etc.) I like my baleada to be sencilla, or simple - just the beans, cheese, and cream with extra hot sauce of course.

  9. Once you are ready to shape your tortillas, make sure your frijoles are heated up and ready to go.

  10. You can use a plate to flatten the tortillas out. All you have to do is put a bit of oil on the plate and press with the tips of your fingers to push the edge of the dough to the edge of the plate. Conversely, you can take a pizza dough approach and use just your hands.

  11. Warm a skillet up to low/medium heat and cook each tortilla for about 4 minutes per side. Make sure your pan is up to temperature so that when the tortilla hits the pan you begin to see small bubbles within the first 45 seconds.

  12. After you've cooked your tortillas, fill them with the frijoles and your desired fillings. Don't skip on the Crystal Extra Hot Sauce.

  13. Voila. Ya estas comiendo baleadas.

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