Prep. time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes, if using a food processor
Baking time: 20-30 minutes
Pão de queijo is literally "cheese bread," no bigger than one bite, and light as a cream puff. Very popular in Brazil, it originated in the valley region of Minas Gerais, where they produce more coffee and milk than any other Brazilian state. Traditionally served for breakfast, these little buns are made with local Mineiro cheese. So you may have to make a substitution, depending on availability - in that case, replace the mineiro with grated parmesan.
If you use a food processor to make the dough, it's best to let it rest a while in the refrigerator before forming the buns because it tends to get too soft.
Tapioca flour is available in organic and Asian groceries.
You can form the buns using a piping bag.
The buns can be frozen. There's no need to thaw befor baking. Simply extend the baking time by 10 minutes (30-40 minutes rather than 20-30 minutes).
Good to know
Tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same thing. You can substitute one for the other in your favorite recipes. Tapioca flour and starch are produced from cassava. They give lightness and elasticity to recipes without gluten and serve as thickeners for sauces.
- Preheat the oven to 180° C / 350° F.
- Place the flour and salt in a bowl.
- In a saucepan, heat the milk and oil.
- Once the milk and oil come to a boil, remove from the heat and the pour the liquid into the flour mixture and mix well.
- Gradually mix in the eggs and cheese, blending well.
- Once the dough is smooth, knead by hand for a few minutes.
- Butter your hands. Take a little of the dough to form a small (35-40 g) ball, about the size of a walnut.
- Place on a non-stick baking sheet or one lined with parchment.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 160° C / 325° F and bake 20-30 minutes.
Watch closely, as the buns should be only lightly colored. Serve hot or warm.
Photo: ID 30324339 / Iuliia Timofeeva / MSCOMM
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