Pan de Yuca (cheesy bread)

I want to introduce you to a yummy wheat-free bread. It’s called Pan de Yuca, but I call it bahn-bahn (my own made up word). You’re gonna lick the computer screen when you see the pictures below.

This bread is common throughout the Central and South America. It goes great with so many foods. It’s easy to make, taking about 25 minutes from mixing bowl to oven to your plate. I especially love it warm for breakfast with honey drizzled cream cheese.

There are two main ingredients in this bread that may be new for some readers: tapioca flour (tapioca starch), and queso fresco cheese. Both can be found in the Mexican stores or in the Latin/Hispanic section of the grocery store. Tapioca flour is often sold in Asian stores as well.

Some of us know tapioca from two main foods: tapioca pudding, and boba tea.

Tapioca comes from peeled, ground, soaked, and dried cassava. Many countries around the world eat cassava. Learn more about world-wide cassava production and use HERE.

Enjoy the photos taken at a recent gathering I had. The recipe follows the photo.

Pan de Yuca bread on a platter with sliced pickles.

Recipe for Pan de Yuca

Ingredients

  • 1 C tapioca starch (yuca harina)
    2 C queso fresco (can use other cheeses: mozzarella, shredded Mexican 4 Cheese, Asiago–see note below)
    1 ½ tsp baking powder (some recipes use 1 ½ Tablespoon baking powder)
    ¼ tsp sugar
    ¼ C milk or heavy cream

Directions

1. Set the oven to 450°F to let it warm while you put the bread together.

2. Put all dry ingredients in a food processor. Process until mixed together very well.

3. Keep the processor running. Then add in the eggs slowly. I have made this recipe using a fork to mix everything instead of a food processor. However, the food processor creates a more even textured bread.

3. Remove dough from food processor. Separate into 12 equal size portions. Roll into balls.

4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place rolls onto sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are golden. Don’t let them get brown, they should be golden, not brown.

Best served warm.

A quick note about using different cheeses–

Before playing around with the other cheeses, make this using queso fresco until you get a good feel for the how the dough should be.

When using shredded cheese, reduce the amount of cheese to 1½  cups.  Pulse the shredded cheese in the food processor to get the pieces a little smaller. Sometimes I will do a mixture of cheeses like half queso fresco and half shredded.

Queso fresco is a wet cheese. Mozzarella, shredded Mexican 4 Cheese is dry. So, the dough may be too dry. If this happens, add milk or heavy cream 1 tsp at a time until the dough is tacky to the touch (very slightly sticky).

Trust me, when you family smells this bread baking, they will come running to the kitchen! Let me know if you make this.

Recipe source: Colombian Yuca Bread <– And check out the other wonderful recipes on the site!

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