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It's a well researched fact that we, as humans, make judgement on a first impression within the first 15 seconds of our experience with another person, with a place, or in a situation. Restaurants that know that fact entice you with delicious appetizers, tasty drinks, and if they are smart, bread. But not just any bread. We want bread that steams a bit when you open it. That tastes like someone was slaving away in the kitchen, kneading and kneading. We want bread that makes our mouths water, so crusty and warm, and so soft in the center that doesn't need butter (though a little swipe never hurt anyone). So, despite Pandebono being a traditional Colombian BREAKFAST bread, if a restaurant were to serve it as it should be, fresh out of the oven, piping hot and delicious, they could serve rocks on plates and still have repeat customers.
However, when we make this delicously warm masterpiece, we don't want to flour the entire kitchen and work up a sweat while we're punching it this way and that, measuring yeast and water and a million other ingredients. Five ingredients and 30 minutes seems reasonable. Especially because Pandebono is unlike any bread you've ever had. It's stretchy and delicious. A little salty, but mild. Calling it full of flavor feels like an understatement...and I only used the food processor to make it.
Not only is pandebono delicious, but it incorporates hearty ingredients that are gluten free, a nice little plus to an already amazing food. If you can carve out an extra 1/2 hour today, make them. You will NOT be sorry.
Yields 10-12 units
2/3 cup yuca flour or tapioca starch*
1 cup Queso Fresco
1 6 oz container feta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and spread a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the first four ingredients in a food processor and process until well mixed, about 1 minute.
3. Slowly add the egg, while the processor is running. Quickly, a ball will form. Let it mix for a moment.
4. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and shape lightly into a ball. Divide the ball in 10-12 units and roll each into a ball, a little larger than a golf ball. Place on cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
*Tapioca starch and yuca flour (cassava/manioc starch) were not available near me, so I used Minute Brand Tapioca, found near the pudding section. The large granules, similar in appearance to kosher salt, seemed too large, so I placed the 2/3 cup separately in the food processor, prior to adding the masarepa and cheeses. I pulsed the tapioca for a few seconds to reduce the size of the granules.
Adapted from mycolombianrecipes.com
Other recipes by Carolyn:
Camarones a la Criolla (Shrimp Creole Style)
Pollo en Fricasé
Bistec Encebollado (Steak and Onions)
Coctel de Camarones (Shrimp Cocktail)
Tacos de Carnitas
Sopa de Lentejas (Lentil Soup)
Huachinango a la Veracruzana (Snapper Veracruz)
Mil Colones Stew
Mofongo Relleno de Camarones
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