Chipa Argolla is a traditional Paraguayan anise and cheese bread made from a combination of cornmeal and cassava flour. Other dough ingredients include milk, eggs, butter, cheese and anise. The dough is rolled out into small logs then the ends are pressed together creating its signature circular appearance. It is the baked until it is golden brown.
Traditionally the cheese used to make chipa argolla is queso Paraguay (or Paraguayan cheese). It’s a soft bland tasting cheese. When unavailable, mozzarella, cheddar or a combination of both is a good substitute.
The spice anise used to make chipa argolla is anise seed not star anise. Anise seed is small, grainy and green while star anise is about an inch large and star shaped. It’s possible to substitute one for the other because they have a similar flavor profile. However it would not be practical for this recipe without adjusting the amount of spice needed since star anise is potent, and processing the star anise into a finer texture since it is large and quite firm.
Typically, chipa argolla are eaten for breakfast or as a snack. There are many different recipes and not all contain corn meal or corn flour. In general they are gluten free because alternative flours are used, not wheat.
Origin & Cultural Significance
In the Paragyuan Guarani language, chipa means bread or cake. The Spanish to English translation of argolla is bread, so this bread is quite literally named bread ring.
Chipa argolla is a special bread, it’s given away as gifts. Though available year-round where it can be found sold by vendors inexpensively, it is baked and eaten most around easter when grandmothers and children have fun making the dough into shapes.
Paragyuan Chipa Argolla Recipe
- Cassava flour – 2/3 lb
- Corn flour or fine corn meal – 1/4 lb
- Butter – ½ cup
- Eggs , beaten - 3
- Paraguayan cheese , grated (or a mix of mozzarella and parmesan) – ½ lb
- Anise seeds – 1 tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Milk – ½ cup
- Preheat oven to 420 F
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and the eggs. Mix for a couple minutes then incorporate the grated cheese and anise seeds.
- Dissolve the salt in the milk. Add to the mixture.
- Add the cassava flour and corn flour and continue mixing until well combined.
- Divide the dough into quarters, then divide each quarter into 4 equal sized balls. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Roll each ball into a rope of about 6 inches long and ½ inch thick.
- Bring ends together to form a circle and press to seal.
- Place 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake chipas for 20 to 25 minutes until slightly golden.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 467mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 12g