Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao De Queijo)

I first experienced these cheesy rolls at a place Mr. Incredible lovingly refers to as "Man Heaven", a restaurant called Chama Gaucha a Brazilian Steakhouse. Unlike a regular steakhouse, various cuts of meat are served in succession to each guest, individually, right at the table. The waiters walk around with their sword-like skewers and knives, and cut the meats off the skewers onto the guests' plates. It's the perfect place to OD on beef. All the meats were succulent and delicious, but it was these crispy, chewy, cheese rolls that stayed on my mind long after dinner was done.

What makes this bread unique is that it uses tapioca flour which is a grain free flour derived from the cassava root. It's what gives it that chewy satisfying texture. Tapioca flour, or manioc starch, can be found at most Asian markets. (If you're in the San Antonio area, you can find it at the Tabares Philippine Market. Hi Mom and Dad!). The type of cheese used in the traditional recipe is a mild farmer's cheese, but you can use a combination of cheeses. A mozzarella, feta and Parmesan cheese blend is delicious in this recipe.

Pao De Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread) adapted from this recipe.

2 cups tapioca flour or manioc starch
1 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 ts. salt
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour and salt in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan heat milk and oil until boiling. Add hot liquid to the tapioca flour and mix on medium speed. Add cheeses and the eggs. Mix until thoroughly combined. Dough should be sticky. 

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake until golden brown. Best when eaten hot.



    1. That last picture is taunting me.

    2. I bet these are absolutely delicious. Love brazilian steakhouses, too. We have a few near us and they're so much fun.

    3. I'm Brazilian and I LOVE LOVE LOVE pão de queijo!!! Now I MISS MISS MISS it cause I'm in Korea and I'm having a hard time finding tapioca flour. Your Pão de Queijo looks fabulous, delicious!!!

    4. Thanks everyone :)

      Renata, I was thinking of trying it with Mochiko rice flour. The pao has the chewiness of mochi. Rice flour is alot easier to find than tapioca starch.

    5. How cool that your parents own an Asian market. Being gone for almost a month, I've just finished my list so I can stock up on the essentials.

      I've obviously missed out big the few times I've visited an Argentinian steak house--I've never seen these cheese breads. They're like gougeres, aren't they? Love the mix of cheeses. I'd love to have some with my tea now!

    6. Had Churrasco the other night where they served these and been dying since to try make it!! thanks for the recipe! yours looks great!

    7. My recipe is slightly different. I have never made them when I didn't feel I had made a horrible mistake because they were grey and sticky (at some point in my recipe, you refrigerate for several hours). But when they are baked, they are amazing.

    8. I have used this recipe for a while now and it is absolutely AMAZING! I just now put some in the oven, I can already smell the gooey cheese. :) I have combined several different cheeses, I made some with cheddar and those were really good too! Luckily I have an Asian market nearby, only about 50 cents a little bag! (14 oz, when I make this I sometimes substitute with all-purpose flour for the 2 oz left out, works just fine ;)) So the flour was an easy find. Thanks Christa for this wonderful recipe!

      1. Cheddar would be so good in this! I'm going to try it the next time I make it :) I'm so glad these turned out well for you!

    9. Great recipe, thank you! Just something to note, did you know that the word brioche is feminine in French? So petit needs an e on the end - La petite brioche


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