Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pao de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread

Pão de queijo roughly translates as Cheese Bread, Cheese Rolls, or Cheese Puffs. But in reality they are unlike any other type of bread I have ever tasted. They have a very thin crust and are chewy and moist inside – if made correctly they are not doughy. It is made of sour starch and fresh cheese and don’t use any type of baking soda or yeast.
I have yet to meet somebody who tasted them and didn’t fall for these unique cheese balls. Making pao de queijo is a snap, and you can freeze them and bake later.

The original recipe uses Queijo de Minas - a white, fresh Brazilian cheese. Since this cheese is not largely available I replaced it with a Mexican Cheese called Queso Fresco that’s easily found at Hispanic Food Stores. You can also use a hard cheese such as Parmesan instead of fresh cheese.

Pão de queijo

1/2 cup water
2 cups sour manioc starch (available at Asian food stores)
2 cups Queso Fresco, crumbled (or a grated hard cheese such as Parmesan)
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt - use less if the cheese used is very salty

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Mix all the ingredients well except the water. Add water slowly, until you reach a soft dough consistency. It should not stick to your hands. Make 1 inch balls. They should hold its shape - if it's too soft add some more sour starch, if it's too hard add some more water. Place the balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes or until light brown. Serve hot or room temperature.


At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This formula is close to actual Pao De queijo, but they seem to have a harder crust and are flatter. I might be doing something wrong.

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not find any sour Manioc Starch in Asian Food store, just brought the regular Manioc starch. I used the 6 Italian white white cheeses. The baked product is like a ball but it just does not taste like those that I had in Brazil. The texture is not the same

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before I add the eggs, the batter was just moist and soft. But after I add one egg, it became too much liquid. I just mix & mix and finally have to add much more flour to the dough. It does not taste like the one in Brazil if I don't use the same flour and same cheese.

At 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could I add the mesh Yuca root and add some manioc starch to the dough to make it closer to the orginal flour? Anyone know how to cook the Yuca Root? It looks waxy and hard. Thanks

At 6:24 PM, Blogger jFive said...

Manioc=Tapioca Starch.

Ditch the water for 1/4 cup whole milk and use only two egg YOLKS. You'll need to protein to produce gluten so the flour will rise a bit. Don't forget to chill the dough before placing in the over.

And make your life easier by cooking on a half sheet pan with parchment paper (not the same as wax paper). Parchment is coated with silicon and won't leave that nasty wax taste on the food. Also immediately move to a cooling rack.

Good luck!

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At 6:45 AM, Blogger Rose said...

This is not the traditional recipe for Brazilian cheese rolls. If you want the true taste, here is the recipe:

500g manioc starch (mix sour starch with sweet starch found in Portuguese or Brazilian shops)
1 cup of water
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of oil
3 eggs
150g of grated cheese (I use cheddar as I cannot find the original Brazilian cheese here in England)
1 tsp of salt (approximately)

Mix the water, milk, oil and salt and bring to boil in a pan. After boiled, pour it onto the starch and let it cool down. Add the eggs and the grated cheese and knead the dough well. Grease your hands in oil and roll the dough into small balls. Put them in a baking tray (no need to grease the tray). Bake them in a pre-heated oven until they are slightly golden brown (app. 30 minutes or less depending on your oven. If you freeze them, bake straight from frozen.



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