Pan de Yuca, is a puffy, airy, cheesy and somewhat chewy bread, made with tapioca flour and cheese from Southern Colombia or Ecuador.Similar in texture to a popover or Yorkshire Pudding, Colombian Pan de Yuca is made with Oaxaca cheese, which is a melting cheese similar to Mozzarella.
There is a terrific Colombian grocery with a hot counter and bakery counter called Bodegon in Lake Worth, Florida. Bodegon made wonderful food, bread and pastries and we frequently had lunch or dinner at the dining area inside the store.
One of the bakery items, I would bring home (or eat in the store) was the Pan de Yuca. The billowy, puffy, cheesy, chewy bread was so delicious. Juan, one of the owners, was kind enough to share the recipe with me.
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Ingredients for Colombian Pan de Yuca
- Tapioca Flour
- Oaxaca or Mozzarella or Queso Fresco Cheese (I like to use a little Swiss too)
- Heavy Cream
What is Colombian Pan de Yuca?
- It is a bread, mostly enjoyed with coffee and for breakfast.
- Pan de Yuca is airy and chewy. The texture that of a Popover or Yorkshire Pudding, but the taste is very cheesy.
- The bread puffs up and is firm on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.
Tapioca Flour is made from the Yuca Root and is also known as Cassava or Tapioca Starch.
The are slight variations of the Pan de Yuca in many Latin countries. In Brazil, they are known as Pao de Queijo and made with Parmesan Cheese. Since the Brazilian version, Pao de Queijo uses Parmesan Cheese, which is dry, milk and butter are usually added. My preference is the Colombian Pad de Yuca.
What is Tapioca Flour?
- Tapioca Flour comes from the Cassava Root. It is native to the Northeast Region of Brazil.
- Tapioca Flour is also referred to as Tapioca Starch. I get mine from Amazon, as I make these puffy treasures, all the time. You’re going to want to buy a lot, once you taste these yummy, chewy, cheesy, puffs.
Plus, it is gluten free and can be substituted for flour and used as a thickening agent. I use it in my Pressure Cooker Almond Fudge Cheesecake recipe.
How much does a cup of flour weigh?
- Flour varies in weight by type, so it is important to weigh each type of flour.
- There are many types of Whole Wheat Flour, all with different weights.
- A cup of Tapioca Flour weighs 113 grams.
- A cup of All Purpose Flour weighs 125 grams.
So, you can see the discrepancy in just those two types of flour. This is one of the reasons I suggest buying a good Baker’s Math Scale. If not using a scale, please check my article on How to Properly Measure Flour.
Food Processor v. Electric Hand Mixer
- Yes, you sure can use a Food Processor. It is the recommended and easiest way to make Pan de Yuca!
- You can even put chunks of the Oaxaca with the eggs right into the Food Processor and let it rip, until the cheese and eggs have completely combined.
- Then toss in the Tapioca Flour and Baking Soda and Cream and process until combined.
Electric Hand Mixer
- Yes, but if you use an Electric Hand Mixer, there is more work, as you first have to grate up the cheese..
- Beat the Eggs first and then add the rest of the ingredients.
The Oaxaca Cheese in the Colombian Pan de Yuca, gives the dough it moistness.
Pro Tip: Try changing up the flavor by subbing in some Swiss cheese for some of the Oaxaca. It gives it a sharper taste.
Lightly sprinkle your Bread and Pastry Board with a little Tapioca Flour. Turn out the dough to the Bread and Pastry Board and knead the Dough until soft and pliable.
If the Dough is too wet, add in a little Tapioca Flour. If the Dough is crumbly and dry, add in a little more Heavy Whipping Cream.
Heavy Cream is the same thing. The only difference is the fat content.
What is the texture of Pan de Yuca?
- Similar to Yorkshire pudding or a popover, Pan de Yuca is light and airy in the middle.
- Like, Pao de Queijo, the texture is chewy, cheesy and oh so delicious.
The Oaxaca (you can use Queso Fresco too) is a melting cheese, much like Mozarella. Tapioca Flour, also called tapioca starch, is very light weight.
The moisture from the cheese and the whipping of the eggs, allows the Pan de Yuca to puff up quickly in a hot oven or Air Fryer.
A good Bench Knife makes it easy to quickly divide up the Dough.
Because I am a perfectionist, I weigh the Dough and divide it by eight.
Then I weigh each piece. I really do. 🙁
I wasn’t kidding. They all weigh exactly the same. After rolling into balls, I like to roll them into a cylinder. That is how Bodegon does it, so that is how I do it.
If you are near Lake Worth, stop in and tell Juan that Jill sent you. The butcher used to cut up chicken for us to make raw cat food. My cats eat raw food and I was able to arrange to have the butcher skin and cut chickens for me, to grind for my cats.
You can make more Colombian Pan de Yuca, if you leave the Dough in ball form.
Alternatively, you can use as Stackable Pan Insert Set and either use parchment or grease the pan. That’s my “Pot in Pot” Rice pan that you will see throughout my recipes.
How to Eat Colombian Pan de Yuca
- With a hot Cuban Cortadito! Yum.
- Break apart the Bread and dip it right into the Cuban Coffee!
- Hot Chocolate is another popular morning drink.
While shopping at Bodegon, we loved to take a break and sit down in their dining area. It is right between the Bakery and the Hot Food Counter.
I sure miss that place and other places like that, which are found all over South Florida. Would you believe that there is a gas station on the corner of 441 and Southern, that is a very popular place to sit down with a cup of coffee and Cuban Bread or Pastries? There is a fresh Coffee Counter and Pastry display and tables and chairs. Yep. Enjoy!
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Ultrean 8.5 Quart Air Fryer or Mealthy Crisplid
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Simply Gourmet (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Ekovana Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker Stackable Pans Set
- Lock N Lock Small Container
- Cuisinart Large Food Processor
- Bread and Pastry Board
- 1/2 Cookie Sheet
- Tapioca Flour
- Bench Knife
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Here is your handy printable recipe:
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and process until a ball forms.
- Sprinkle a little tapioca flour onto a bread board and turn out the dough.
- Lightly knead the dough until smooth and no longer sticky.
- Divide the dough into 8 even pieces and shape into Half Moons. Alternatively, you can roll into 10-12 balls.
- Line Cookie Sheet / Baking Pan with Parchment Paper. Place on cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 10-13 minutes, or until puffed.
- The Pan de Yuca should be a pale golden color. Do not let them brown.
- Remove from oven and cool on a Bakers Rack for 5 minutes.
Air Fryer & CrispLid
- Line basket with parchment paper.
- Place each piece of dough onto parchment paper.
- Cook at 390 degrees for 7-10 minutes (depending on size of each piece of dough. Turn the Pan de Yuca over after 4 minutes.
- The Pan de Yuca should be a pale gold color and not hard. Do not let them brown.
- Remove from air fryer and cool on a bakers rack for 5 minutes.
If you own a baking scale, please weigh in grams:
- 113 grams Tapioca Flour
- 1.5 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 282 grams Oaxaca cheese
- 2 large Eggs
- 21 grams Heavy Cream
To add sharpness to the Pan de Yuca, change recipe as follows:
- Add 1-2 ounces of Swiss cheese and then use 1-2 ounces less of the Oaxaca or Mozzarella.
How to Eat Pan de Yuca
- Pan de Yuca is especially delicious dunked into your morning espresso or Cuban coffee.
- Super delicious dunked into hot cocoa!