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El algo is a light meal consumed in the middle of the afternoon. It can be as simple as buñuelos, pan de yuca, garullas, pandebono, almojábana or pan mojicón, split in the middle and filled with butter or jam, often accompanied with hot chocolate or coffee. For Colombians, el algo is as important as the other three meals of the day. A las cuatro, or four in the afternoon, while growing up in Colombian meant only one thing, it was time for el algo!
Garulla is a type of bread made with cuajada a special type of Colombian cheese, butter, sugar, eggs, flour and cornmeal. Since cuajada is only found in Colombia, I am substituting it with fresh farmer cheese or queso fresco.
Garullas are popular in Soacha, a town located on the southern edge of Bogotá, the country’s capital, where it is sold in most panaderías (bakeries). They are best eaten the day they are baked. Extras can be warmed up the next morning for breakfast or brunch.
- 1/2 pound of butter, soft
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of precooked cornmeal (masarepa)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour, divided
- 1 pound of fresh farmer cheese or queso fresco
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- In a large bowl mix the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and stir until well mixed.
- Add the cornmeal, 1/4 cup of all purpose flour and stir just until the dough comes together. Knead the dough a few times in the bowl.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. In a small bowl mix the rest of the flour with the cheese.
- Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces and make small bowls.
- Working with one piece at a time, gently spread the dough,leaving at least 1/2 inch of uncovered area around the edges.Take about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture and place on top.
- Fold the edges up over the filling, overlapping them in soft folds (leave part of the center of the cheese filling uncovered).Place on the baking sheet and continue with the remaining dough.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.