Almojábanas (Colombian Cheese Bread)

Cuisine: Colombian
Servings: 10-12 almojábanas
This cheesy bread has a wonderful, spongy texture, and are a lot easier to make than you might think.

Almojábanas are a type of cheese bread that is very popular in Colombia, especially in the region of Cundinamarca and Boyacá. They're very similar to pandebonos and pandequesos. I previously shared the recipe to make pandebonos, which are made with tapioca starch and costeño cheese. Almojábanas have a very similar texture but are made with cuajada (another type of white cheese) and cornmeal (to make arepas). Every now and then I seen a recipe where they also make them with tapioca starch, cornstarch and costeño cheese, but if you really think about it, with those ingredients you're practically making pandebonos and not exactly almojábanas... just sayin'.

Of course, making these almojábanas here in the U.S. is a lot easier for me if I use queso fresco, a white Mexican cheese that I pretty much use on a daily basis. If you have the luxury of being able to find cuajada where you live, or the time to make it, all you have to do is let it dry so that it's easier to grate. But, in all honesty, they come out just as delicious with the queso fresco.

Many, many people wrote me requesting this recipe ever since I started my blog, and I'm finally able to share it with you. You'll see that they are much easier to make than you thought, and that there is no secret for them to come out with that gorgeous golden brown color and that beautiful spongy texture.

¡Buen Provecho!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup precooked cornmeal (to make arepas)
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste, depending on how salty is your cheese
  • 4 cups queso fresco grated (use cuajada or Colombian white cheese if you can find it)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature and beaten
  • 5-6 tablespoons milk or as needed

Directions

  1. Preheat oven at 450º F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add the grated cheese and mix well. Now add the beaten egg and start kneading with your hands. Finally, add a tbsp of milk at a time until you get a smooth dough.
  4. Divide dough into 10-12 equal portions, shape the almojábanas into small discs and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes and serve warm.
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