Pan de Queso

Now who can resist cheesy bread? And when it introduces itself as the romantic sounding ‘Pan de Queso’, rather than Cheesy Rings, it’s hard to refuse.This recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, Warm Bread and Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra; she, of those wonderful Chocolate Hazelnut Rolls. Everything I have baked out of this book has been, firstly, delicious, and secondly, educational. I think perhaps I identify with her scattered roots. And she has certainly put her vast culinary experiences to good use in this detailed, well- written book.

Pan de Queso calls for no deft handedness , but it will demand your patience. I think the author deliberately keeps the amount of yeast down, and particularly in this case, since you don’t want a strong yeast flavour battering the cheese one. Which means a longer rise time. I tend to heat the oven at the lowest setting it starts up at, and put the bowl in there, where it can sit in peace and quiet until it puffs up. Certainly works for me. This dough took around two and a half hours to come to a point that I was happy with.  After that, incorporate the parmesan, roll and shape and bake.

The result is a slightly crisp skinned bread ring, with a fluffy, light texture inside and real good cheese flavour coming through. Here, I used parmesan but any strong hard cheese, like Grano Padano would be good. If you make them smaller, they will be the perfect carb component in a lunch box, for the young and old alike. The kids certainly went at them with gusto and that should be considered recommendation enough!

Pan de Queso

From Warm Bread and Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra

250g /9oz/1cup all purpose, plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp easy blend (active dry) yeast
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg beaten (reserve a tablespoon)
25g/1 oz/ 1/4 stick butter, melted
100ml/ 3 1/2 floz, 1/2 cup milk, warmed slightly
75 g/ 2 3/4 oz mature dry cheese like Parmesan, Edam or Grana Padano, very finely grated

In the bowl of a food mixer, mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the beaten egg, milk and melted butter, mix with a spatula to moisten ingredients and knead with a dough hook until smooth and supple. Bring into a ball and put it into a bowl and cover the bowl with clingfilm or a tea towel. Leave it to rise in a warm, draught -free place until doubled in size. Mine took round 2.5 hours after placing it in a very low oven to rise (the minimum the oven will start warming at).

Knock back the dough and gently knead in the cheese. You might think it’s too much, but just keep going until its all incorporated. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls, and leave under a tea towel.

One by one, roll them into a rope of about 25-30cm (10-11 inches). Make a ring out of it with an overlap of 3cm. Put your hand through the ring and roll the extra bit under the rope to seal neatly.

Put them, spaced well apart, on greased baking sheets. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rest in a warm place again for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 deg C/400deg F. Brush lightly with the reserved egg and bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown and cool on a wire rack.

These are best eaten the day they are baked. Take care not to overbake as the cheese will take on an unappetising bitter note.


30 thoughts on “Pan de Queso

  1. jobakes

    Oh yum! What a perfect wee roll to dip in soup (homemade bread depends something to dip it in or mop up with!). Love the montage photos too Carrie love 🙂

    1. thePatternedPlate

      They are pretty yummy and packed with cheesy flavour….there’s nothing restrained about these! Would be great dunked into soup, me thinks. At least, the kids thought so 🙂

  2. Natalie

    Yes this is def something I would eat esp with a soup, like Jo says. I so love your photography Carrie, even the salt with it’s “swirl” effect is artistic. Clever girl! 🙂

  3. eat, little bird

    I love the sound of these rolls! I grew up eating cheese and bacon rolls which these sort of remind me of. I like your method of leaving the dough to rise in a really low oven – I might try that next time as the heating has been turned off here and it’s hard to find a warm place sometimes. Loving your forays into this book!

    1. thePatternedPlate

      Am enjoying getting stuck into as well! It’s a great base recipe, and you could make them into rolls, rather than rings. I’m all in for bacon, ham, thyme, tomato puree, whatever! Shall be experimenting ;-))

  4. bettybobkin

    Spanish titles for recipes always attract me too, as I love the cuisine of that country. These sound delicious… so many things to try “sometime”…

  5. Rushi!

    Drooool….Oh Carrie I could actually taste the yummy cheesy rings reading your post. I’m wishing with all my might that I could be your next door neighbour 🙂 he he

  6. Hannah de Bevy de La Faverge

    These look fabulous Carrie! Absolutely love love love the photos too, especially the ones with the kiddiwinks!

  7. Charming Trinity

    This must be what they eat in heaven! I will have to try making it this weekend. I just discovered your blog and I already know I will have to increase my visits to the gym in the near future.

    1. The Patterned Plate

      Ha! I really should put a disclaimer somewhere! See, this is why I make sure that there are people round me that I can give this away to, or it fast becomes a dangerous situation!

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  9. Pingback: A Letter of Love for Warm Bread and Honey Cake « The Patterned Plate

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