Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pao de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread

So yummy.  So easy.  

I recently found out that the cheese bread from Texas de Brazil (TdB) and Fogo de Chao etc. (Brazilian steak houses) is naturally gluten free!  It has been a few years since I last went to TdB but I remember the cheese bread fondly.  

It is made of tapioca flour - not wheat flour.  It is soft, chewy and really good. When I say chewy I mean chewy!  Sort of like fried cheese sticks - chewy in the middle, and crisp on the outside.  

Here is the recipe I used - I modified it from another recipe.  

Pao de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread

1/2 cup olive oil or butter 
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp salt
2 cups tapioca flour
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs - beaten


-Preheat oven to 375.
-Heat butter/oil, water, milk and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Immediately when it comes to a boil remove and stir in flour until smooth.  
-Stir in cheese and egg.  It may be lumpy.  Let rest for 15 minutes.  
-Drop rounded tablespoons sized balls onto ungreased baking sheet. 
-Baked until the tops are lightly browned - about 20-25 minutes.  

Things that worked for me:  I used a mix of butter and olive oil.  

I had a hard time mixing the batter by hand so I stuck it in my Kitchen Aid mixer w/the dough hook - worked like a charm.  

I used my Pampered Chef scoop sprayed with non stick spray to make the balls - it was a perfect tool and made for quick work - you could also use two spoons. 

The original recipe called for much bigger balls/rolls - since I had bite sized rolls at TdB I wanted to recreate that - you could try it bigger if you wanted to - just adjust the cooking time.  

These are great with dinner or would be a nice appetizer alone or w/with a dipping sauce (marinara?)   Also - a purist may disagree - but I would think garlic or herbs would go well with it for something new.

Years ago I tried the frozen ones in a bag but when I checked the package they were made in Brazil and they had Maltodextrin in them - not safe enough for me now. 



Gluten Free Steve said...

Looks easy and YUMMY! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Anonymous said...

This might be a crazy question.. but do you think I can leave out the cheese and substitute flax seed + water for the egg and use almond or rice milk for the milk to make it sorta like regular bread? Yes, I have a ton of food allergies and I have been craving bread but don't know how to make without gluten and all those ingredients. :(

Sandrabag said...

Thank you for your question!

Honestly I don't know. It is "cheese bread" and it is the cheese that makes it soft and chewy.

Would would be a good substitute for cheese? Soy cheese? I am not sure how that cooks. Tofu? Maybe.

This may be one of those "try it" type recipes - all you would be out is a little groceries and time.

Good luck and let us know if you try it - someone else may benefit.