Pan de yuca are delicious little cheesy, buttery bread rolls that are traditionally eaten in Ecuador with yogurt smoothies. I had the pleasure of enjoying the authentic bread when I visited Ecuador a few years ago. It’s really quite easy to make and bakes fairly quickly. The flour used to make the dough is yuca flour, also sold under the name of tapioca flour. If you are in the Portland Metro area, you can buy this by the pound at Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie. I’ve also seen it sold in some markets, like New Seasons. I’ve never made this bread with all-purpose flour, but I suggest making the special purchase of the yuca flour to make these yummy little treats.
2 1/2 cups yuca flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 stick room temperature butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons water
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, add the first three ingredients and mix well. Add the butter, eggs and cheese (if you are using a standing mixer, attach the paddle attachment. Otherwise you can use a hand mixer, or mix with a wooden spoon.) Mix well, until the dough is crumbly. Add a tablespoon of water to the dough at a time, until the dough become cohesive enough that it holds when shaped into little balls. Place the balls on the lined baking sheets. When done, place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, they will look pale on top, but will be slightly golden on the bottom. Allow them to cool slightly before eating, this part might be the most difficult!
If you want to do as the Ecuadorians, eat these with a fruit smoothie. Enjoy!