Bolivian Cheese Breads Spiced with Fennel Pollen
In Bolivia these cheese rolls, called cunapes, are served hot out of the oven. They are enjoyed most often with coffee but may also be served alongside piping hot mugs of a purple corn drink called api. Cunapes are wonderful when baked in traditional fashion, without additional flavorings. You can also experiment by adding seasonings that compliment your menu. Celery seed would be good or even curry powder. In this recipe I serve them as a dinner roll spiced with Chef Bernard's fennel pollen!
Makes 8 rolls.

1 cup tapioca flour
2 1/2 cups (12 oz.) grated queso fresco
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 more egg, beaten
1 teaspoon fennel pollen
Preheat oven to 350

In large mixing bowl, sift tapioca flour and baking powder together. Add grated cheese. Rub mixture between your hands to break cheese up into pebble sized pieces.

Add one beaten egg and mix thoroughly. If necessary, add some or all of the milk, so that the dough is easily formed into balls that hold their shape. It usually takes about two tablespoons milk. Divide dough into eight portions and form each into a ball. Place balls three inches apart on buttered baking sheet and flatten each into a dinner roll shape. Brush the rolls lightly with the other beaten egg (you will only use a little bit) Sprinkle rolls liberally with fennel pollen. Bake 20 - 25 minutes until lightly browned on top.

*Tapioca flour - I use Bob’s Red Mill brand, available in most specialty markets like Henry’s, Whole Foods, etc. Tapioca flour is also found in Asian supermarkets sometimes labeled yuca or cassava flour.

*Queso fresco - A crumbly fresh cheese. It’s in most supermarkets nowadays and certainly in all Latin grocers. Cacique brand is good and sold in the 12 oz. size.
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