Pan de Bono

Time Estimate: 10 minutes active time, 20 minutes inactive time

Makes 8 to 10 rolls
Can be halved easily, but not doubled unless you have a 14-cup food processor

This is similar to Brazilian cheese bread, which is much chewier and made without benefit of the lovely and talented masa harina, a precooked cornmeal. Pan de bono is a naturally gluten-free Colombian bread that’s as versatile as it is flavorful. The dough is easy to handle when prepared precisely according to the instructions. If you are having any trouble, refrigerate the dough for a bit and try again. The dough itself also freezes surprisingly well. Just thaw in the refrigerator and proceed with the rest of the recipe.

8 ounces queso fresco (Mexican), quesito (Colombian), or feta cheese (Greek)
⅓ cup (39 g) gluten-free masa harina
⅔ cup (80 g) gluten-free tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature, beaten
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

Place the cheese in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until all the large pieces are crumbled into uniformly pebble-size pieces. Add the masa harina, tapioca starch, and salt, and pulse until well mixed.

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.

Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap on the counter, press into a disk, and wrap tightly. Place the dough in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until firm.

Once the dough has chilled, divide it into eight or ten pieces (larger pieces and fewer of them, if you prefer), roll them into balls, and place about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Place in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top, rotating once during baking. Right before you remove the rolls from the oven, pierce a hole in the top of each to allow steam to escape and the rolls to keep their shape.

Remove the rolls from the oven, brush generously with the melted butter, and allow to cool before serving.


From Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy
by Nicole Hunn
published by Da Capo Lifelong