Pandebono, if you ask me, is one of the best things to come out of Colombia. It is not uncommon to eat this at breakfast with a cup of coffee or cocoa, but is also eaten during the day as a snack.
My aunt appears to be at war with every other Colombian in the human race as to the proper way to make pandebono. From her perspective, none of the recipes out there use enough cheese. And, I must concede that the cheese is muy importante. You want to be able to taste the cheese in your bread, and you’ll want to use a good, salty white cheese. I compromised by using a quantity of cheese that is in the midpoint between what most recipes call for, and what my aunt uses. Colombian white cheese is preferred, but I have also had good luck with Mexican and El Salvadorian white cheeses.
Gluten intolerant ones can rejoice, as this is a gluten-free bread. I make this bread using a food processor, but you can also make it by hand by grating the cheese and mixing the ingredients in a large bowl. These are best eaten warm, and reheat well. Enjoy!
8oz yucca starch (the brand I use is Colombiana Yuca Harina)
2oz precooked white corn flour (you can use yellow corn flour, if you can’t find white)
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp baking powder
1 large egg
1/2-1 cup milk
In the bowl of your food processor, add your cheese and pulse until your cheese is in small grains. Add your dry ingredients and pulse until you can no longer see the chunks of cheese mixed in.
Add the egg. Pulse until well combined, then add the butter. Slowly drizzle in the milk until the mixture just comes together to form a dough. Allow the dough to sit for about 15-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Form your dough into mounds about 2-3 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick (think a bit smaller than a hockey puck). You can also form them into rings, if you like. If your dough is cracking, add a little bit more milk to moisten the dough until it no longer cracks. Place your pandebonos about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Thanks to my tempermental oven, my pandebonos are never quite picture perfect. But, they sure are tasty!