Sunday, June 10, 2012

Baleadas: Honduran Tortillas

This past Spring, my Middle Sprout went on a church-sponsored Mission/Building trip to Honduras.
She returned with a suntan, callouses from hard work, wonderful stories, pictures, and a craving for the local street-food called Baleadas.

Olivia (middle) with friends, in Honduras. 2012
Baleadas are one of Honduras's most traditional foods; basically a very large, thick, soft flour tortilla folded over refried beans and queso duro - a hard, salty cheese. Sometimes they're made "extra fancy" with scrambled eggs, avocado or Mexican style Sour Cream. They are sold EVERYWHERE in Honduras - even at fast food restaurants and the airport.
So of course we decided to try making our own.
SUPER easy, delicious, cheap and filling.
And vegan.

Here's the recipe that we used; a combination of several we found online.

It was easy to work with, and produced tortillas most like what Olivia had in Honduras.

  • 2 cups white flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • pinch of salt 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup very cold water 
  • 2 Tbsp shortening (Crisco is vegan and works the best here but you can also use Earth Balance or other vegan margarine) 
  • 1 Tbsp soft coconut oil (ALL coconut oil doesn't work well in this recipe - but a little bit really makes a huge difference in texture - it's texture/molecules/something too scientific for me - is more like lard, the original fat used in these tortillas)So. Anyway.

    Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
    Work in the shortening (or margarine) and coconut oil with a pastry blender or fork until the fat is all worked in and the flour is crumbly.
    Stir in 1/2 cup of the water to form a dough.
    Add more liquid or flour as needed to form a smooth dough that isn't too sticky. Remove the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth.
    Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

    Heat a griddle or lightly greased skillet over medium flame (or a comal if you have one, I know everyone does, right?).
    Cut the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.
    Roll each ball out into roughly an 8-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick.
    (At least that's what all the recipes say to do - but ours are NEVER 8-inches round, and usually a bit thicker - but always good!)

    Place a dough round onto the hot pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until the tortilla has browned spots and is lightly puffed.

    Remove from pan, set aside, wrapped in a hot, damp towel, and repeat with the remaining dough rounds. Your kitchen may get a bit smoky!

    Top with:
    • Mashed or refried beans, 
    • Avocado, 
    • Scrambled tofu of your choice, 
    • A drizzle of hot sauce,
    • A bit of vegan Parmesan or some salted, roasted sunflower seeds whizzed with nutritional yeast if you want the "salty-cheesy" component  

Fold over, and enjoy!


Sarah Goblot said...

Sounds really good! Is she a veganand if so did she have any trouble eating over there?

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

No, in response to a reader's question, Olivia is not vegan. She is vegetarian however, but found it pretty easy to find plenty to eat.

radioactivegan said...

This sounds really good - and pretty easy! Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

that sounds so delicious!

Carolyn said...

I love that you are using some fat but not a stinkin' boatload- really good flatbreads need a little bit. And I have coconut oil on hand, so this recipe is on the list! Thinking about refried black beans, hashed potatoes, and guacamole for the innards...