Monday, May 2, 2016

Pao De Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

A rare savory bake and a very addictive one.
(Warning: do not make these at night!)

Seriously, if you love cheese and you never had a pao de queijo a.k.a. Brazilian cheese bread, where have you been?! You are missing out. I urge you to go shop for your ingredients asap. The only special ingredient here is really just the tapioca starch. The starch gives these bread/puffs their distinctive chewy mochi like texture which I am in love with.

Pao De Queijo
recipe adapted from The Kitchn
makes about 24 balls
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (10 ounces) tapioca starch
2 eggs
1 - 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
Step 2: Combine milk, oil, and salt in saucepan and heat.
Step 3: Once liquid comes to a boil, add tapioca starch and stir.
Step 4: Transfer to mixer fitted with paddle and beat until smooth and cooled.
Step 5&6: Beat in eggs and cheese.
Step 7: Scoop out tablespoon rounds.
After - bake till lightly golden brown.
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line baking pan with parchment and set aside.
2. In saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, oil, and salt, whisking occasionally, and bring it to a gentle boil. Remove from heat as soon as big bubbles are coming through.
3. Add tapioca flour to the saucepan and stir until there's no more dry tapioca flour. The dough will be grainy and gelatinous at this point.
4. Transfer dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it smooths out and has cooled to touch.
5. Whisk eggs together in a small bowl. With mixer on medium, beat the eggs into the dough in two additions. Wait until the first addition has been fully incorporated into the dough before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. With mixer on medium, beat in cheese until fully incorporated. The resulting dough will be very sticky, stretchy, and soft.
7. Scoop tablespoon portions of the dough into mounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Space the mounds an inch or two apart. Dip scoop in water to prevent sticking.
8. Transfer the sheet with the puffs to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 350°F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the puffs have puffed, the outsides are dry, and they are just starting to color.
9. Cool briefly and eat. 
This batch yielded 26 puffs.

Lovely bottoms.
Fresh out the oven - soft, moist and chewy!
*Leftover puffs can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week and re-crisped in a warm oven or toaster oven.

Taste: 4.5 stars out of 5
Some spices (garlic powder, paprika, etc) would be a yummy addition.
Texture: 4 stars out of 5
Mine didn't exactly hollowed and puffed up like the original recipe, but they were still very enjoyable. Twenty second in the microwave will return them to their soft chewy texture!

Next time, I shall half the recipe for portion control and follow the steps closely to get a hollow puff!


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