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Honduran Baleadas (And Homemade Flour Tortillas)

Baleadas are a Honduran street food made up of a thick, homemade flour tortilla filled with re-fried beans and cheese. These soft tacos are super comforting, it’s easy to understand why the’re so popular! 

Honduran Baleadas Bean Tortillas with homemade flour tortillas

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What are baleadas? 

Baleadas are a simple, yet delicious, street food that come from the north coast of Honduras. 

They consist of a thick flour tortilla that is filled with re-fried red beans, a sprinkle of grated cheese and cream. 

What are re-fried red beans?

Red beans are a very popular side dish in Honduras. Whether re-fried or served in a red beans and rice side dish, you will find them served with nearly any meal. 

Honduran red beans are a particular type of bean that are often hard to find in the States. They are the color of a kidney bean, yet smaller in size. (Closer in size to a black bean.) 

If you live near a Hispanic market, you may be able to find these red beans labled “Frijol de Seda”, “silk beans”, “Central American red beans“, or “Salvadorean beans”.

Pinto beans, have a much different flavor. So, if you want to use re-fried pinto beans in your baleadas, go ahead, but the flavor will be different than the Honduran classic. 

According to one of our Honduran readers, black beans give you the closest flavor to Honduran red beans. So, we have used our recipe for homemade re-fried beans to make the re-fried black beans that we are using in our baleadas. 

Yes, it’s an extra step to make your own re-fried beans. But, the unexpected extra flavor dimension that the black beans give makes it so worth it!

Honduran Baleadas Bean Tortillas served with cheese and cream

What cheese is used in baleadas?

A hard white cheese known as “queso duro” is the traditional cheese used in baleadas. 

This cheese has a salty and robust flavor and is traditional to Honduras and El Salvador. It is often used as a garnish for re-fried beans, soup and salads.

If you live near a Hispanic market and can find “gueso duro” to make your baleadas, then go for it! If not, don’t worry. According to one of our Honduran readers, a hard, grate-able cheese like Parmesan is a good substitute, so that’s what we have used in our recipe today. 

What is Honduran sour cream?

A Honduran white cream called “mantequilla blanco” is a must for drizzling over baleadas.  

This is a Honduran style sour-cream that is a bit more runny than sour cream in the States. 

An acceptable substitute for this mantequilla blanco is sour cream that has been watered down with some milk. 

How to make homemade flour tortillas

A key component to a baleada is the thick flour tortilla. 

If you’ve never made our own tortillas, then this is the best tortilla recipe for you to start with. It is super easy to work with. And, the fact that these tortillas are rolled thick means that you don’t have to worry about rolling them to a perfect thin-ness.

To make these flour tortillas, you mix a simple dough together and knead it until smooth and soft. Then it rests to relax the gluten and make rolling it out easier. 

After resting, you simply divide it and roll it out into circles. 

The tortillas are cooked on a dry skillet, roughly 1 minute on each side, until just lightly golden.

Honduran Baleadas Bean Tortillas with homemade flour tortillas

Don’t skip making your own tortilla for this recipe. 

Once you taste homemade flour tortillas, you won’t want to go back to store-bought. 

And, we’re not sorry!

Variations on our baleadas recipe

The recipe for baleadas we are sharing with you today is the dish in its most simple form. 

Beans, cheese, and cream in a homemade flour tortilla. 

But it doesn’t have to stop there!

Other common fillings for baleadas include scrambled eggs and/or avocado slices. 

With scrambled eggs or not, we’d take one of these tasty treats for any meal of the day!

More Honduran Food

If you’re interested in exploring more Honduran food, you’ll want to check out Honduran Enchiladas, which are unlike any enchiladas you’ve ever seen! Pupusas de queso are also a great, cheesy treat that is popular in Honduras and El Salvador. 

 

Yield: 8 baleadas

Honduran Baleadas with Homemade Flour Tortillas

Honduran Baleadas Bean Tortillas

Baleadas are a Honduran street food made up of a thick, homemade flour tortilla filled with re-fried beans and cheese.

Prep Time (Including Resting) 40 minutes
Cook Time (Including Tortillas) 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

For the Flour Tortillas

  • 4 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 - 1 ¼ c milk or water, divided
  • ¼ c butter, lard or oil, softened

For the Baleadas

Instructions

For the Flour Tortillas

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Mix in ½ cup of milk or water.
  3. Work in the liquid fat with your fingers until the dough comes together. Add more milk or water, a little at a time, as needed.
  4. Turn the dough out onto your counter and knead for 5-10 minutes, until you have a soft and smooth, but not sticky dough.
  5. Cover the dough with a dish towel and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  6. When you are ready to cook your tortillas, heat an ungreased griddle or skillet over medium heat.
  7. Cut the dough into 8 equal portions and roll each into a ball. Roll each ball into an 8 ½ inch round, roughly ¼ inch thick. If your dough springs back on you, let it rest a little longer before continuing rolling.
  8. Place rolled dough onto the preheated, dry skillet and cook for 1 minute on each side, until lightly golden in spots and slightly puffy.
  9. Once cooked, you can jump straight to making your baleada (filling and folding), or you can finish making all your tortillas before filling them.)
  10. Continue with remaining dough, reducing the heat of your skillet as necessary. Keep the finished tortillas warm and soft by wrapping in a clean tea towel.
  11. Once all your tortillas are finished, make your baleadas!

For the Baleadas

  1. Mix the milk with the sour cream, adding a little at a time, until the cream is pour-able. Set aside.
  2. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat.
  3. Place tortilla in the skillet and heat both sides to soften.
  4. Transfer the tortilla to a plate and spread the beans on one half (roughly ¼ c). Sprinkle with your grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 Tb) and drizzle with cream (roughly 1-2 tsp).
  5. Fold the baleada in half.
  6. Continue with remaining ingredients and serve warm!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 baleada

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395

 

RussBuss

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

I lived in Honduras for many years back in the 90's and there are a couple of corrections I'd add to your recipe. And I do know because baleadas were one of my favorite street foods, lol.

First off, most (but not all I admit) of the street vendors that I frequented, used a very thin flour tortilla, but also larger in size, possibly due to trying to stretch their food resources as this was a common food of poorer campesinos. They also had this wonderful stretchy texture that you just cannot find from any store-bought brands.

Also simpler was "pan con frijoles" which was basically a dinner roll sized piece of bread with those delicious beans and the crema, and here's another correction, the authentic taste must use mantequilla RALA, a thin, sour and salty spread which is NOT at all like plain sour cream. But you can make a close substitute with sour cream, milk or cream, salt and a pinch of citric acid (might be able to substitute a dash of white vinegar or maybe cream of tartar to get that special"tang").

And I agree with the red bean point, the flavor is just different, but you can easily find dried red beans in most super-markets and if you want a really authentic flavor, it's not hard to make, but you do need to fry, refrigerate and then refry at least once, but the more times the better. Really should use lard too (nobody claims they're the most healthy food ;?), but vegetable shortening will do, and it's what happens during the refrying, at the bottom of the pan over time where you leave it on low long enough that when you go to stir, there's a layer of crusty BUT NOT BURNT, stuff that gets scraped up and mixed back it and repeated many dozens of times that, imo, gives it that real authentic Honduran refried bean taste. IMO the third day is really the best, so make a lot to begin with, lol.

Sarah Ozimek

Thursday 9th of September 2021

Thanks for sharing!

Weekly Meal Plan – Jillian's Pilgrimage

Thursday 18th of February 2021

[…] Baleadas and fresh vegetable […]

K

Saturday 7th of November 2020

When do u add the butter to the dough?

Sarah Ozimek

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Hi K. The butter gets added in step 3. After you add the 1/2 cup of water or milk. Enjoy!

Kay

Thursday 5th of November 2020

Hi there thank you for your recipe I learned from old school hondureña ladies how to make the masa for baleadas. But they (we) NEVER measured. Ever. We just dumped all the dry ingredients in a bowl and worked in the liquid ones and pulled it all out on a pastry board. I came here to find the exact measurements jaja ?

I wanted to add that I use milk in mine and a little water if the masa is too dry & I add 1 yoke-whole egg in my masa. I top them with feta cheese since it’s salty and crumbles easily, parm cheese and I put the sour cream in a squeeze bottle. Many in my region substitute with the Mexican cream and I add a Puerto Rican fried egg (that’s what i call a deep fried over easy egg) to mine not scrambled

I feel like though ur amount of baking powder is wrong cause the other day I used 1 tsp with 3 cups of flour and it didn’t proof good

Sarah Ozimek

Thursday 5th of November 2020

Hi Kay! Thanks for your tips! Yours sound so tasty. How much baking powder do you typically use for 3 cups of flour?

Kevin Dorcena

Friday 10th of July 2020

This dough is a rock. What a waste

RussBuss

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

@Sarah Ozimek, it's a poor cook who blames the recipe, lol.

Kay

Thursday 5th of November 2020

U are supposed to adjust and add more water a tsp at a time to get the right consistency And for me I put one egg in the dough and I use avocado oil. I feel the dough is softer like this

Sarah Ozimek

Sunday 12th of July 2020

Hi Kevin. Did you add the remaining liquid as directed in step 3, to reach a good dough consistency?

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