Sourdough Tortillas with Charred Steak and Scallion Salsa


F&W Best New Chef 2017 Val M. Cantu, of San Francisco’s Californios, makes a lot of tortillas, but these sourdough ones embody his goal at the restaurant of marrying the cuisines of San Francisco and Mexico. You’ll need to source a sourdough starter for these, but once you have that, it’s yours for life, as long as you tend to it regularly. Slideshow: More Skirt Steak Recipes 

Sourdough Tortillas with Charred Steak and Scallion Salsa
Photo: Bobby Fisher
Active Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 35 mins
6 to 8


  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 1/2 ounces fresh sourdough starter (see Note)

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • Canola oil, for greasing

  • 12 large scallions

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1 serrano chile—stemmed, seeded and minced

  • 2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 5-inch lengths


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the buttermilk, water and sugar until an instant-read thermometer registers 95°. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk in the sourdough starter and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 20 minutes. Attach the dough hook. Add the 3 3/4 cups of bread flour and mix on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. Add 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt and mix on low speed until incorporated, about 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

  2. Cut the dough into 20 pieces. Gently shape into balls and transfer to 2 large greased baking sheets. Very loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

  3. Heat a cast-iron griddle or large skillet over moderately high heat. On a lightly floured work surface, dust 1 ball of dough with flour and roll 1/8 inch thick. Griddle the tortilla, turning once, until browned in spots and pliable, about 30 seconds per side. Wrap the tortilla in a towel and repeat with the remaining balls of dough.

  4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the scallions over moderately high heat, turning, until lightly charred, 3 minutes total. Transfer to a work surface to cool, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. In a medium bowl, mix the scallions with the lime juice and serrano and season with salt. Leave the grill on.

  5. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred outside and medium-rare within, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes, then carve against the grain. Serve the steak in the tortillas with the scallion salsa.

Make Ahead

The tortillas can be stored in an airtight container overnight.


Fresh sourdough starter kits are available at Follow the feeding instructions before using.

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