Cheesy PAO DE QUEIJO is a gluten-free snack you have to try at least once in your life. These affordable bites are so easy to make that you might make it your daily staple. Serve a bunch of these baked goodies to your friends and enjoy the rich flavors this bread has to offer.
It’s not a surprise that I love trying out new food so when I heard about this Brazilian cheese bread, I told myself that I had to try one. My first glorious bite of this little bun oozed with a rich flavorful filling. This is literally what a pleasant surprise should be. My palette loved it so much that I decided to give this one a try. I can almost hear angels singing about how super yummy these snacks are. Try making one from scratch with this Pao de Queijo recipe below and give it your own little twist.
What is Pao de Queijo?
Pao de Queijo is a popular food in Brazil and is often served for breakfast or as a snack. Its rise to popularity is mainly because of its affordable ingredients and its delicious taste. It’s so popular nowadays that you can find frozen bags of these in some grocery stores. Its flavor is as rich as its history. Tapioca flour replaced other baking flour because supply was scarce at that time. Harvests such as wheat-flour were exclusive to noblemen and were exported to Europe. Afro-Brazilians had to be resourceful. They used this resource along with other available ingredients such as milk and cheese to make Brazilian cheese bread. I would highly recommend trying this snack if you love all things cheesy as the name does translate to “Cheese Bread”.
Tapioca Flour vs All-Purpose Flour
You can only make authentic Brazilian cheese bread with Tapioca flour. This is because of the effect of each type when kneaded or baked also differs. All-purpose flour is a baking ingredient usually made from grains. This flour makes gluten when worked or kneaded. When this protein forms in our dough, it makes it more stretchy and elastic, and when overworked, tight. This type of flour doesn’t really have much flavor. The good news here is that you can eat Pao de Queijo even if you’re in a gluten-free diet because it uses tapioca flour! It has a natural lightly sweet flavor although it crumbles easier. Try biting into it and you’ll notice that it’s very chewy.
Exportation paved the way for different kinds of Pao de Queijo. I personally prefer the original cheese filling but I’ve also tried other versions of this pastry that I liked. Here are some variants that I’m sure you’ll like.
- You can’t eat cheese if you’re lactose intolerant so why not try a coconut filled Pao. You’ll still be able to enjoy a creamy sensation with the yummy taste of coconut.
- To make it even more surprising, place small chocolate ganache balls in leftover Paos. It will ooze out with chocolatey goodness when reheated.
- Add sausage bits inside the Pao de Queijo if you like it a little savory. The cheese flavor of the bread itself will blend well with the saltiness of the meat.
- Dip the top part of the pastry in caramel to form a brittle sweet coating. The cheese and caramel are sweet and savory on their own but become majestic when combined.
Storing and Making Ahead Instructions
Of course, you’re gonna want to make your dough ahead of time if you plan to serve it for an early breakfast. You can do this by making the dough the night before and refrigerating it covered in a bowl. Another option is also freezing blobs of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet until
What to Serve with Pao de Queijo?
Brazilian cheese bread looks a lot like cream puffs or small muffins. A lot of Brazilians know that Pao de Queijo can be served with other different dishes and paired with drinks. A common practice is to eat these Brazilian cheese bread during breakfast with ripe papaya. Fruity add-ons and sweet tropical juices also pair well with Pao de Queijo. Brazilian Cheese bread is also paired along with strong black coffee with a side of fruity jam. The flavors balance out which makes it a perfect meal to start your day with. This snack isn’t just for breakfast; you can serve this at an evening party and pair it with Merlot, a kind of wine popular in the country. Nothing pairs better than cheese and wine in an evening party, right?
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How To Make Pao de Quiejo
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray the inside of a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside. Then add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, melted butter, salt, and cheese into a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and thick. Using a spatula scrape sides of the blender. Pulse for a few seconds. The dough is supposed to be soft and slightly runny. Remove and pour into prepared muffin tin pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven – as you do the puffs would deflate – don’t be alarmed. Let the bread cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan. Serve warm.
Pao de Queijo
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (240ml) whole milk
- ¼ cup (62.5ml) vegetable oil
- ¼ cup (56.75g) unsalted butter
- 2 cups (250g) tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon (5g) salt , plus more for topping, if desired
- ¾ cups (75g) freshly grated parmesan cheese , plus more for topping, if desired.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spray the inside of a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Then add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, melted butter, salt, flour and cheese into a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth and thick.
- Using a spatula scrape sides of the blender. Pulse for a few seconds. The dough is supposed to be soft and slightly runny.
- Remove and pour into prepared muffin tin pan.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven - as you do the puffs would deflate - don’t be alarmed.
- Let the bread cool for a few minutes before removing from muffin pan. Serve warm.
Tips & Notes:
- You can buy tapioca flour at Whole Foods, Kroger, or at any big grocery store. Bob's Red Mill carries one.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.