Colombian Corn Bread with Cheese Filling (arepa boyacense)

Colombian corn bread arepa boyacense

I had the opportunity to travel to the home country of my husband: Colombia and I feel in love with arepa boyacense. Let me tell you, this country has so much more to offer than only jungle. The mountain range the Andes come to mind, but it also has savannahs, a dessert, the Caribbean and the famous coffee region. The diversity of species is something to admire. Colombia has more than 100 (!) humming birds only. Even in the capital Bogotá with more than 10 million inhabitants you will encounter humming birds amazing you with their acrobatic movements. The variety of fruits is also astonishing. I ate fruits I had never seen or even heard of. For a penny you will get the juiciest and and sweetest fruits. The pictures I took barely capture the beauty of this country.

Colombia is a very colorful country. Maybe the huge variety of species and a general carefree attitude towards life are reasons why food is extremely important. One of the first questions I was asked during our holiday was how I liked the food. Yes, we had to explain what our travel plans were, but soon after that the conversation turned to food, inevitably. I usually replied with arepa! Arepas are as important to Colombians as bread is to Germans. Arepas are a simple corn bread and usually either fried, grilled or baked in the oven. They are served for breakfast, but you will also encounter them for lunch and dinner. Arepas come in all sizes, they are gluten free as they are made of corn flour and each region has its own variety.

Colombian corn bread arepa boyacense

A basic arepa doesn’t contain any filling. Usually served right out of the frying/grilling pan, it is served with a bit of butter and salt and washed down with a hot chocolate. You will find thin and thick ones, smaller and bigger. Obviously there are a lot of different fillings, another one I like is filled with eggs. However, my favorite arepa is arepa boyacense. The name Boyacá is of a Colombian state. So obviosuly in Boyacá you will see these sold everywhere. Luckily enough arepa boyacense is so famous that it is also served in other regions. They are extremely delicious.

Colombian corn bread arepa boyacenseCompared to the basic recipe, an arepa boyacense is slightly sweeter and on the thicker side. In my opinion the cheese filling is the best. Traditionally arepas boyacense are filled with cream cheese, however, I prefer them with mozzarella. My husband approved and he is Colombian.

I adapted the recipe in a way that you can find all ingredients in Germany (and also the U.S., I am sure). Corn flour is easy to find in supermarkets. The dough also comes together rather quickly and is then pressed down to flatbread. Below you will find a step-by-step guide. Once you figured out how one is prepared, these come together very quickly.

And then you can enjoy this deliciousness, I assure you, right of the frying pan they are the best!

See below the step-by-step guide:

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Credit: Adapted from Antojando Ando (in Spanisch)

Colombian Corn Bread, arepa boyacense

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 arepas Cooking Time: Preparation 10min + 15min resting + 20min prep and baking

Ingredients

  • 245 grams of warm milk
  • 60 grams of dark brown sugar (if you happen to have panela, grind four tablespoons)
  • 40 grams of melted butter
  • 270 grams of yellow corn flour
  • 50 grams of all-purpose flour (to make glutenfree, replace with corn flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100 + 75 grams of grated mozzarella or 100 grams of cream cheese

Instructions

1

Warm the milk and pour in the sugar, stir until dissolved.

2

Melt the butter.

3

Toss the flours, salt and 50 grams of mozzarella in a large bowl. If you fill with cream cheese, omit mozzarella in this step.

4

Add milk and butter and mix with your hands. The dough should feel a bit wet and form easily into a ball. Add a little bit of flour or milk if necessary. Let stand for 15min.

5

Then form into 16 balls the size of a golf ball and press down between parchment paper. See pictures for guidance.

6

Place cream cheese or mozzarella between two pressed down balls, seal the edges and form into small flatbread. You should get 8 arepas.

7

Butter a frying pan with butter lightly and brown arepas for five minutes on each side. Do not brown at high temperature, medium to low is fine. Arepas should be golden.

8

Enjoy fresh.

Notes

As with anything with cheese, arepas are served best hot. However, you can prepare the dough the night before if covered in plastic wrap in the fridge.

Colombian corn bread arepa boyacenseIf you don’t know what to do with left over corn flour, try this pizza:

Chicago style pizzaDeep Dish Pizza from Chicago

Merken

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