In Colombia, like in Greece, it’s common to find a bakery in nearly every neighborhood. Nothing beats having a freshly baked bread brought to your home, except if you can bake them directly from your own oven.
As promised from my last article in the previous issue of North Shore News, I will be sharing with you this awesome and very popular Colombian recipe.
I came across this deliciousness, when I was discussing with the mother of my student, Alexandra, what we would be baking during our isolation. We would sometimes close the online voice lesson with a rapport of our baking experiments. Claudia Pérez, is not only a dedicated mother of a talented young girl, but she is a civil engineer and manages her own company (CPG Consultants). She specializes in the design of decentralized systems for the treatment of domestic wastewater.
She graduated from a Colombian school of Engineering which is an engineering-based university. She found out that she can probably manage her own restaurant too one day! “I am constantly cooking as if I had to serve for 60 people!” Just like her, I felt like a hamster in a wheel, always on the move, making sure food was in abundance during this pandemic!
So, Claudia shared with me this awesome recipe. Naturally I got excited, a new recipe and I can use more of my 10lbs of flour, donated by my mother!
It’s called mojicon. Pronounce it as you would do with (one of my favorite cocktails) mojito!
Mojicones [plural] (naturally, who wants to bake one mojicon?) are sweet rolls sprinkled with powdered or granulated sugar. Here is the recipe:
• 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast or 7grams or 1 packet
• 1 cup of warm water
• 4 cups of all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1/2 cup of sugar
• 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
• 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, or powdered
• 2 large eggs at room temperature
• 1 beaten egg for the glaze
• 2 tablespoons of melted butter for the glaze
- Add 1/2 of the sugar and yeast, to the water. stir to dissolve.
- Allow the yeast to grow, the water will rise, so make sure you have a large enough cup
- In a large mixing bowl add the flour and salt, create a well, then add the yeast mixture along with the melted butter, vanilla and eggs.
- Use your hands to incorporate the flour and wet ingredients or a rubber spatula. Mix well. You will achieve a consistency of a dough.
- If your bowl is big enough (I like to use the same bowl, don’t want to make too much of a mess!) you can knead the dough directly in the bowl. Or If you prefer, you can knead on a clean surface. Sprinkle your work surface with a handful of flour, put your dough on top, and start kneading. I always have flour on the side, just in case it gets too sticky, (sticky is ok, it’s better if you can handle it because your mojicones will come out softer and spongier!)
- After several minutes of kneading, (your hands will get tired! Haha a little humor!) it will be quite elastic. Avoid adding too much extra flour, it should stretch easily without tearing.
- Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, or if you working still in the bowl, just add oil to the inside and coat the dough ball as well. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Remove plastic wrap and knead for 30 seconds. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide into 9 or 12 equal size pieces. If you poke the dough, it should bounce back!
- Shape each piece into a ball and place into a greased square 8 x 8 or 9- or 10-inch round or square baking dish. I used a Pyrex. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Depending on your oven, you may need to lower the temperature. Brush the tops of the rolls with the beaten egg and melted butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar on top and let them cool slightly before removing from the dish. Enjoy with the Fasolakia (Greek green bean) recipe from the previous issue, or simply alone!