Pan de Bono

The Editors at Food Fanatic | Food Fanatic

Often eaten as an afternoon snack with a coffee, pan de bono is Colombian cheese bread with a deliciously rich flavor. Here's how to make your own.

Once you've discovered how to make pan de bono - also known as pandebono - we guarantee it is one of those recipes you will keep coming back to because it is SO delicious and absolutely more-ish!

It is a Colombian cheese bread - although the origins of its name are not exactly clear. Its name translates to 'bonus bread', but some say it was named after an Italian baker's cries of "pane del buono" whenever he went out to sell it.

Pan de Bono Photo

Another source suggests that it was named after the voucher - or bono - that sugar cane workers in the region would exchange for bread. Meanwhile a third theory says it was named after the area it was first made - Hacienda El Bono.

Traditionally enjoyed with a cup of coffee in the afternoon - or with hot chocolate as a tasty breakfast - it is usually eaten fresh from the oven while it is still warm, as the texture is at its very best. 

It can be made into round or ring shapes and - in Colombia - is prepared with Colombian quesito. That may not be so easy for you to get hold of, which is why this recipe suggests a few good alternatives. 

A gluten free treat

The wonderful thing about making pan de bono is that this recipe is naturally gluten free! So instead of having to make adjustments to suit a gluten free lifestyle, you can enjoy this recipe made the traditional way, with absolutely no tweaks at all!

Pan de Bono Image

Adding guava paste

This recipe is wonderful just as it is and needs no enhancement -  but many people like to add guava paste. That sweet/salty combination is irresistible and certainly addds another dimension to the dish. 

If you want to try it, just push a small piece of guava paste into the middle of each ball after you've rolled it, but before you bake it. 

Pan de Bono

      12 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Yellow Cornmeal, cooked
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Granulated Sugar
  • 2 cups Grated Cheese, either farmer's cheese, Monterey jack or mozzarella
  • 2 large Eggs
  • pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 3 teaspoons Milk, or buttermilk (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Combine the cooked cornmeal, tapioca flour, and sugar in a bowl, then stir in the grated cheese and the eggs. 
  3. Using a wooden spoon, mix well and taste to see if any salt is required. Add as necessary.
  4. Knead the dough until smooth, adding the milk or buttermilk if it seems a bit dry. You need the dough to be soft and pliable.
  5. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Roll pieces of the dough into golf-ball size balls, or shape into rings.
  7. Place the rolls on to the greased cookie sheet and bake for around 20 minutes, until puffed up and golden in color.
  8. Serve warm from the oven.