Gluten-free baking is thought to be complicated, and there are times when I wholeheartedly agree. Mixing anywhere from three to five flours and shopping for special ingredients like xanthan gum, all for not even knowing if the recipe is going turn out is tough.
But there are cultures that have been making simple, naturally gluten-free recipes for ages. Asian cuisine has perfected the use of rice flour for noodles and delicate treats; tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch, cassava flour, or yucca starch) is common in South American baking.
These yuca breads (or Pan de Yuca) are so simple to prepare and result in a rich, cheesy, biscuit-type bread.
Gluten-Free Yuca Bread
Makes 14 to 16 breads
1½ cups tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch), plus more for kneading
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
2 large eggs
2 ½ cups mozzarella cheese (low moisture part-skim seems to work best), grated
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup milk
Marmalade, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or a piece of parchment paper that is sprayed with gluten-free nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk the tapioca flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, cheeses, and milk. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until it starts to form a dough.
Dust a work surface with more tapioca flour, dump the mixture out onto the work surface, and knead until the dough is not sticky, you may need to add a little more tapioca. Roll the dough into golf-ball-size balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the breads are golden brown and feel firm to the touch. Slather with your favorite fruit marmalade; mango or apricot are both delicious.
After 15 years of eating and cooking gluten free, Carol Kicinski founded Simply...Gluten Free to educate and inspire those with celiac disease or intolerances to gluten, dairy, peanuts, grain, and beyond, and to create a community of gluten-free bloggers around the globe. Her cookbook, Simply...Gluten Free Desserts, contains 150 recipes for gluten-free cupcakes, cookies, pies, sweet breads, puddings, cakes, and ice creams.