In response to popular demand, today I will be sharing with you my favorite recipe of all time: Homemade Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo).
Pão de queijo is a hallmark of Brazilian cuisine. In Brazil, people will eat them for breakfast, at birthdays parties, as a mid-afternoon snack (dinner is not usually served until 8), family get togethers… In fact, any respectable neighborhood “padaria” (bakery) will have them ready for you anytime you walk in. In the US you can usually find them as appetizers at most Brazilian restaurants and stake houses. Sometimes you can even buy them frozen at Brazilian stores.
Having moved to the US with my family as a young teen , I can honestly say that few things made me feel more Brazilian then learning how to make pão de queijo. I owe this feat to two amazing ladies I had the privilege to befriend while we lived in Michigan. I will be forever grateful to Carina and Grazi for sharing this recipe with me and I am sure you will be too!
What I like most about this particular recipe for Brazilian cheese bread is that it is easy to make, doesn’t require a lot of oil or eggs (I have seen some crazy ones out there), and it is absolutely delicious.
WARNING: These little puffs of goodness can be highly addictive so, If you are trying to give yourself a break from all cheese, you can find the vegan alternative to this recipe by clicking here.
“Pão de Queijo” (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
Ingredients (≈45 medium rolls / 1 hr)
- 3 cups of tapioca starch (about 400g) [I usually find mine at the Asian section in the supermarket]
- 1 1/4 cup of milk (any kind of milk really…I used cashew milk in the video but I have also used soy, and almond milk)
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/3 cup of oil
- 2 cups of Italian Cheese Blend
- 1 egg
- In a small sauce pan, bring the milk, oil, and salt to a quick boil.
- Add the tapioca starch to a mixing bowl.
- Add boiling mixture to the starch and mix evenly. The starch will become gooey and sticky at this point.
- Add the cheese and mix evenly.
- knead the dough until smooth.
- Add egg and knead evenly into the dough. Dough should be a little sticky by the end of this step
- Spread a little bit of olive oil on your hands and start pulling small (tablespoon sized) portions from the dough and rolling them into medium sized balls.
- Place the balls on a baking sheet
- Bake for 25-30 minutes (until slightly golden) at 350 F
Note: If you find that the “pão de queijo” is too hard after they come out of the oven you can troubleshoot the next time by adding a little bit more milk or oil to the recipe. It is always better for the dough to be sticky before you roll than completely pulling away from your hands.
The best way to eat Brazilian cheese bread is right out of the oven. However, If you decide you would like to save yours for later, you can freeze them instead of baking. All you have to do is place the baking pan in the freezer instead of the oven. When the balls are frozen, you can remove them from the pan, place them in Ziploc bags, and store them in the freezer. Whenever you are ready to eat, just pull them out of the bag and place them back on the baking pan and in the oven for about 30-45 min (until golden) at 350 F.
I usually bake half the recipe and freeze the other half. On the days when I am feeling truly ambitious, I will make two recipes and keep them in the freezer for special occasions or when we have unexpected guests. It is always a hit =D
Do you like this recipe? Would you like to see more like it? Let me know in the comments below.