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Pao De Queijo, translated as “Bread of Cheese”, is a popular food in Brazil made from cassava root (also known as tapioca) and cheese.
These cheese buns are soft and chewy on the inside with a crisp exterior and completely addictive.
Traditional Brazilian ingredients for these call for sour and sweet manioc starch (povilho azedo and povilho doce) and minas cheese. Tapioca flour/starch and Parmesan are the closest American counterparts.
They are gaining some popularity in the US as well. I’ve seen them available in the frozen section of various supermarkets but are just as easy to make at home.
Pao De Queijo – Brazilian Cheese Bread (Gluten-free)
Best eaten right out of the oven or store in a closed container and reheat before eating. Makes about 20 buns depending how big you make each roll.
1/2 cup butter or oil
1 cup water, milk or 1/2 of each
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups tapioca flour
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a muffin or mini-muffin pan.
- Heat the butter or oil with the water and/or milk in a small pot and bring to a boil.
- Place the tapioca flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the hot liquid mixture to the bowl and mix on low speed until a smooth dough is formed.
- Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing until ingredients are fully incorporated making sure the dough is not too hot when adding the eggs.
- Add the cheese and mix until well blended.
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon sized amount of dough into the mini-muffin pan (about 2 tablespoons if using a large muffin pan). Alternatively, scoop them onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper – if the dough won’t hold it’s shape, add more tapioca until you can form individual balls.
- Bake the cheese bread for about 20 minutes until lightly golden..
- Best served warm out of the oven.
Another easier method I found in the cookbook The South American Table by Maria Baez Kijac is to mix all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and then pour the mixture into muffin tins.
I’m hoping to do a side by side comparison soon to see if the extra step of mixing the tapioca with the hot liquids makes a difference or not.