Friday, March 11, 2011

Pao de Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread)

If you have eaten at Tucanos or any other Brazilian steakhouse, I'm sure you have enjoyed those little cheesy balls of goodness known as Pao de Queijo, literally bread of cheese. My husband, having served two years in Brazil for our church, speaks longingly of those little balls of dough and cheese. He claimed (notice the past tense) that there was no real way to make authentic pao de queijo in the States. Even the ones at Tucanos were not quite right. Well, my friends, all that has changed. Thanks to Sara over at (love them!) we have a new addiction in our house. I'm serious. I've made these 3 times in the last 2 weeks and every time the WHOLE batch is gone by the end of dinner. They are ridiculously easy, and were deemed "authentic" by my sweet husband. So, if you are a lover of Brazilian culture and cuisine, if you are a lover of quick breads, if you are a lover of cheese, if you have a gluten intolerance (yes they are gluten free!) or simply if you are a lover of food, you must try these. I'm serious, you must, you have no choice! You can thank me (and Sara) later.
P.S. These are Sara's words with my photos.
(Don't be deceived by the muffin tin, these are light, fluffy, airy, and cheesy!)

Pao De Queijo

Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup tapioca flour (sometimes labeled tapioca starch) no substitutions
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 C grated cheddar cheese* (preferably medium or sharp)
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
*you can play around with the cheese.  I’ve used Monterey Jack, low-moisture mozarella, swiss, and even gruyere in place of the cheddar.  All great!
Optional:  extra cheese to sprinkle on top and any herbs/flavorings you’d like to add.  Try rosemary and or garlic powder, my favorites!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place egg, milk, oil, tapioca flour, and salt in blender and blend until smooth.  Add cheeses and pulse 2 times.  Immediately pour batter into a mini muffin tin (if your muffin tin isn’t non-stick, spray lightly with non-stick spray first), filling each well about 3/4 full, or just slightly less.  If desired (and I recommend), sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on top and/or a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden.  Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before removing rolls from pan.  Serve warm. {Que Gostoso!}  These actually don’t re-heat well so I recommend making and eating fresh.
 The trickiest part about this is tracking down the flour. I found mine at Sprouts Market. I'm sure Sunflower Market, Whole Foods, or any other store with a good gluten-free section would carry it. But once you find the flour, you have it. Then you can make these over and over without any problems!
These are the little balls of goodness straight out of the oven!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Jared's brother Matt is in the MTC preparing to head to the Rio de Janeiro mission! Some friends had a going away dinner for him and tried to make Pao do Queijo and it was not good. I will definitely have to try this version, yummy!!!