Pão de queijo is very traditional in Brazil, where I come from.
It’s a gluten free cheese bread. Pão means bread and queijo means cheese.
We eat it for breakfast, as a snack during the day or with our afternoon coffee. It’s everywhere. At every bakery, supermarket, coffee shop, at the table at your grandma’s house. There’s even a fast-food chain dedicated to it.
Hot and freshly baked is how you want to enjoy these babies. They can be eaten a few hours after baking as well, but they start to lose quality as they sit. If you’re eating a day old pão-de-queijo you should probably toast it first but honestly, you will hardly ever have that problem as your leftovers will probably be nonexistent.
I’ve been living in America for over 5 years and pão-de-queijo is still one of the things I miss the most about Brazil, right after my family.
3) my friends (sorry, guys!).
I can still have pão-de-queijo here in the US, I make it all the time, since I can’t just walk into any establishment and buy it. I make a big batch and freeze them so anytime I want some, or have company coming over, I throw some in the oven for a quick and delicious snack.
It’s gluten free because it’s made with manioc flour- sour or sweet, though I prefer the sour. Sometimes I buy the manioc flour on amazon, we call it polvilho azedo and amazon sells a Brazilian brand. But in all reality, tapioca flour does the trick just fine and it’s easier to find at the grocery store. When I had two different batches in my freezer at one point, one from manioc flour and one from tapioca flour, I baked them both and couldn’t tell the difference between the two of them. Once you make this, you will want to go back to it over and over again.
As the good Brazilian that I am, I like to eat pão-de-queijo while sipping hot coffee. It’s just perfect on an afternoon off, I’m in my pjs at home. The smell of the baked cheesy bread and brewed coffee are enough to make my heart skip a beat. If you make this, they will win your heart as well. I’m sure of it.
Pao de queijo (Brazilian gluten free cheese bread)
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup oil
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 cups tapioca flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ cups parmesan grated
- 1 ½ cup mozzarella shredded
- Bring water, oil, milk and salt to a boil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. As soon as it boils, remove from heat and add all the tapioca flour at once. Mix vigorously with a wooden spoon to incorporate. The mixture will be white and sticky, even lumpy. Don’t worry about it’s weird consistency and looks, it’s going to be okay. Make sure all flour is incorporated and transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle, beat on medium for a few minutes until the mixture has cooled down to the touch. With the mixer on, add the eggs one at a time. Make sure the first egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one. The mixture should look smoother by now. Add cheeses and mix until they’re incorporated. To shape the balls I like to use a cookie scoop #50, the same as one tablespoon. I scoop a heaping one of those and roll it into a perfect ball. If the dough is too sticky, you can dip your hands in cold water to help you handle it. Place them a couple of inches apart from each other, since they puff as they bake,
- Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF and bake for 15-25 minutes until golden brown and puffed. I like to bake a few at a time, since they are best eaten fresh. So I scoop them and stick the baking sheets in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once the rolls are frozen, I put them in a Ziploc bag and leave in my freezer to be used at my convenience. And trust me, oh how convenient it is to have something delicious like that in your freezer, ready to be baked and enjoyed!
Notes to bake frozen pão-de-queijo
- ão-de-queijo: Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF. Arrange rolls in a baking tray 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for 25-30 min until golden brown and puffed!