I have not been able to visit South America yet but I’m planning to one day. Meanwhile there are lots of students here from Colombia and Brazil and other areas. I like to ask them about what they think of Brisbane. One of these encounters ended up with a new recipe being given to me for Pan de Queso. It is a cheese bread from Columbia that you would eat with your meal or as a snack. I thought I would give the recipe a whirl and it worked out well.
They end up being hard on the outside and airy on the inside. Because I could not find the correct cheese, I replaced it with a light crumbly Persian type feta.
(About 12 pan de quesos)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup warm milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup of Persian feta (this is meant to be the queso fresco)
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt to your taste
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
2. Dissolve the baking powder in 1/2 cup of the warm milk, add 1 tablespoon flour and the sugar. Stir until well combined. Set aside for 5 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, add the rest of the milk and butter and stir well. Add the egg, flour, salt, cheeses and using your hands mix well. Cover with plastic and let it sit at room temperature for about 40 to 50 minutes.
3. Divide the mixture into 12 equal size portions, shaping them into balls or doughnut shape. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
4. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden on top.
Sometimes this bread is made with yuca flour or tapioca flour in which case it would be gluten free. It can be eaten for breakfast time too. If left to go cold after baking they will go hard but can be reheated in the microwave. I can’t wait to go to South America one day and try the real thing.
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