Tortas— Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Everyone has their biases; it's human nature. Sometimes a tortilla is the perfect way to enjoy a dish, but sometimes, what you really want is a bolillo. We always lean in that direction when it comes to the best way to serve a brothy, meaty, stew. Tortillas just can't stand up to the liquid, and turn into a soggy mess. A bolillo, which is essentially a small baguette, soaks up the juices and delivers them to your tastebuds, not your lap.

For Cinco de Mayo, we decided to make some tortas, and good bolillos are the literal foundation of a good torta. To make our bolillos, we used the following recipe, and cooked the loaves in the Fourneau.


375 grams white flour
125 grams sprouted whole wheat flour
15   grams salt
3     grams yeast
380 grams water

16 hours

Divide dough into six portions. Fold and form into small baguettes. Allow one hour bench rest before baking.

Bake each bolillo in the Fourneau bread oven at 485 degrees for 12 minutes with hatch closed, then for another 12 minutes with hatch open. (TIP) If you have a baking stone or steel, position it in your oven below the Fourneau. When each loaf has finished its turn in the Fourneau, place it on the baking stone to continue browning. This will speed up your through-put.

Once you make your bolillos, the ingredient possibilities are endless. We made a simple stew from leftover meat trimmings ... some chuck roast and some ox tail that wouldn't come off the bone easily when we were doing our hamburger experiments. (more on those hamburger experiments later!) We cooked these trimmings in a steel pan on the grill until they were thoroughly browned, and then boiled the cooked trimmings in salted water with onion, parsley, celery, and peppercorns. After several hours of boiling, all of the meaty bits fell off the bone, and we were left with an incredibly rich, meaty broth.

We strained off the majority of the broth, (and of course saved it for later) then turned our attention to the unctuous, shredded meat that remained. This was seasoned with a bit of vinegar, jalepeno, and tomato sauce. All I can say is, this stuff was consumed within 10 minutes of being completed. It was amazingly good.

In addition to the stew, we made our tortas with sliced avocado dressed with lime, pickled onions, cilantro, and boston lettuce. The creamy smoothness of the avocado enhances the buttery flavors that are in the bread, and the pickled onion makes the stew taste even juicier. It's divine. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Sharon Burdett
Sharon Burdett


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