Thursday, April 21, 2011
Food - Yucca Buns recipe
makes about 18 pieces
I'm a huge fan of Colombian food, and I eat or cook it whenever I can, tapioca flour goes into one of my favorite items from this wonderful cuisine, easy to find online, see below for amazon link info ( same brand I use now)
I make Yucca Buns with a simple recipe that tastes better with this silky and organic flour ( link ) than with the other tapioca flours I have found so far. Not to mention it's organic, something very important as this crusty old planet ages under our rule. This recipe that I now love, annoyed me to extreme lengths because I didn't understand the way the dough must feel and change into until I made it the second time, adding too much liquid made it too sticky once the cheese melted into the flour so I had to add even more flour to balance it out... not pretty in baking haha. Tapioca starch can be used as a thickener or substitute for allergen causing flour, but I recommend checking the conversions for each online, also don't use it as a batter on a cutlet ( dip in flour then milk the bread crumbs then fry) it will come off in a gooey skin, even of a non stick pan. It's amazing for baking though and I love the boxes, I was quite surprised how tiny they looked, each box hold 2 cups of tapioca flour, and it takes me one box to make a double batch of Yucca Buns. I have adapted the below recipe from Ingrid Hoffman's Yucca Buns recipe from the FoodNetwork.com
2 cups tapioca flour
4 egg yolks ( or 3 for less cakey bread)
2 teaspoons baking powder .... ( make sure its fresh and not expired
¼ tsp salt .........( my favorite is freshly ground in a mortar and pestle grey sea salt) also salt depends on how salty the cheese it. Ingrid's recipe didn't have any, I find it much better tasting with salt as the cheese melts and mends with the dough, so add a little more each time you make this until it tastes right, but don't over do it because it can go from great to over bearing, a small amount is good starting point).
4 cups grated cheese.... ( Oaxaca is the original one from the main recipe, but also nice dry mozzarella works, use your favorite but it cant be the fresh one kept in water, has to be the hard kind you can all ready find shredded but I recommend getting your own and grating it, usually one large block of Sargento or Polly-O is more than 4 cups)
*Extra bit I add - little pieces of cheese from leftover shredding, I put a tiny piece into each bun and wrap the dough around it, great when it melts and cooks. *
To make, put the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl and mix, add the egg yolks, mix in as well, then add all the cheese. The dough will feel very dry and funny, keep squishing everything between your hands, it will take some hand muscle and a few minutes of kneading inside the bowl, once it starts coming together you can mix it on a large cutting board. I add a teaspoon or milk or cream if it's really dry, but wait till the last minute, this is a very dry dough to work with at first, once the cheese starts to melt it will come together quickly and be little sticky. Roll into oblong ellipses, line 8 per sheet ( non stick pan or a plain one rubbed w/ butter) and bake for 17-20 min under a preheated 350degree oven. Sometimes I sprinkle extra cheese on top and broil it at the end. When they are warm and ready to pull out they will be pale golden, there will not be a brown outside. And these are quite flat, they don't rise into a ball or anything but that's ok. As I mentioned before, sometimes when I roll the raw dough up I put a tiny bit of cheese I used fir shredding inside and seal it in, that creates this crusty lovely cavern as it makes a bubble on the inside, it's a crunchy cheesy salty bite at the end, yum!
These are best fresh but also good reheated later, or toasted and smeared with butter. This recipe takes some practice to make but it's so worth it! I cant believe that I just wrote this, but its one of my favorites and I'm happy to share it, this flour works so well in this that I will be reordering as I'm about to run out, highly recommended for delicious home baking. I even taught my boyfriends grandmother (the are both Colombian) how to make these and she loved them which shocked me, I was confident in my baking but still to get a compliment from her on something she eats all the time is great, so I gave her a box of this flour to take with her in the end, it was a good day!