What if I told you that there was a bread that never needed gluten? Never touched the stuff!
Now what if I told you that you were looking at it. Shut UP, right?*
*high fives all around*
Seriously, in the U.S., we’re wheat freaks. What’s with all the wheat? And don’t even get me started on the barley and the rye (no, seriously, don’t – ’cause I know next to nothing about those freaks). In Asia, it’s rice. In Latin America, it’s corn. And Shakira. Her hips don’t lie (I have such a girl crush on her, it’s almost wrong).
Nobody’s body (confusing) was made to digest wheat, right? I could swear that I read that somewhere. I think that we (species) evolved before wheat did.
Of course, I have no idea what I’m talking about. I have a Ph.D. in no idea.
Suffice to say, I’d punch wheat in the face if I could. With its gluten, always getting “overworked” (air quotes). Sometimes, our (GF) bread needs to rest, but not because it’s been overworked. What a freaking complainer that gluten guy is. Stop whining, gluten! Whatever you’re selling, we’re not buying it. Buzz off.
Is it awkward for you that I’m giggling over here, alone in my kitchen, like a mental patient?
We totally need a better mascot. Why are we giving wheat top billing? You know wheat is laughing all the way to the bank on that one. You know I’m right. Even though it’s so wrong.
I’m right and it’s wrong. Therefore, heretofore, res ipsa loquitor, as a representative (and founding member, I might add) of Team Gluten Free, I’m currently accepting suggestions for a new mascot. I don’t mean to be too directive, but I would consider it a personal favor if our new representative had Latin flair.
What do I plan to do with these suggestions? Take them under advisement, of course. That’s what.
My entry for mascot is (and if congratulate yourself if you saw this coming, ’cause I sure didn’t) Pan de Bono! If you’re paying close attention (and I know you are), Bono is not Bono. It’s not even remotely musical. It’s bono. It’s good stuff. It’s, like, the easiest bread you’ll ever make. It’s adapted from this! In its most elemental, traditional form, it has no gluten! None. It even confided in me that it hates gluten! It is a magic combination of crumbly cheese (like queso fresco and/or feta), masa harina, a super starchy flour (traditionally cassava or yuca, but like I can find those, so I used tapioca), and an egg. An egg! No milk. No water. No fuss. No muss. And … bread! Rolls! Crusty, crazy flavorful, totally satisfying rolls! It has layers of flavors — from the crusty outside, all the way to the salty sweetness of the cheesy inside. I’m gonna make this stuff into all sorts of shapes, too. If you peer just over the shoestring horizon, you can juuuuust make out breadsticks and pretzels (the dough is super duper easy to handle), and who knows what else!
Seriously, if you aren’t excited about this, I might have to check you for a pulse. Or give you a hug.
Do you need a hug? C’mere. Let’s hug.
If you’re not the hugging type, it’s cool. My son isn’t really cuddly, and I still love him. So, you know. You do the math. Your no hug policy won’t come between us.
Let’s bridge the divide. With some Pan de bono. Es muy bueno.
|Pan de bono: It’s good (bread)!|
- 8 ounces queso fresco (Mexican), quesito (Colombian), or feta cheese (Greek)
- 1/3 cup masa harina
- 2/3 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and set it aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, place the cheese and pulse until all the large pieces are crumbled into a uniform bunch of pebble-sized pieces. Add the masa, tapioca starch, and salt, and pulse until well-combined.
- With the food processor on, add the egg and blend until a very smooth, integrated ball forms (about 2 minutes). You might have to stop the food processor halfway through to scrape down the sides of the bowl. I always have to. Nothing bad happens to me.
- Remove the dough from the food processor. If it is sticky to the touch, place it in a medium sized bowl, cover the bowl, and chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm (about 15 minutes).
- Roll the dough into 8 or 10 pieces (larger pieces and fewer of them, if you prefer), and place about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the center of the preheated oven, and bake until lightly brown on top, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending upon the size of the rolls. Rotate once during baking, and pierce a hole in the top of each roll to allow steam to escape and the rolls to keep their shape.
- Remove the rolls from the oven, brush generously with melted butter, and allow to cool before serving.
- Crank up the Shakira, and enjoy those rolls.
If you can find it, try using cassava starch or yuca flour in place of the tapioca starch.
Do not try using an all-purpose gluten-free flour for this endeavor. You need a starch and only a starch.
Make sure your masa harina is certified gluten-free.
Recipe adapted from this awesome site: http://www.mycolombianrecipes.com/pandebono-colombian-cheese-bread