Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) – Fast, Fun, and Inadvertently Gluten-Free

Brazilian cheese bread is very easy to make, and features a chewy, cheesy, bready center, encased in a beautiful, thin, pastry crust. It also happens to be gluten-free, thanks to it being root-rich. These are made using tapioca flour, which not only makes them grain-free, but is also responsible for their very unique texture.

Tapioca flour is pretty easy to find these days, and I get mine from a guy named Bob, who runs a mill, but if your local market doesn’t carry it, I recommend finding some online. There are lots of fun recipes you can make in addition to these, like homemade tapioca pearls for bubble tea, just to give one enticing example.

As I mentioned in the video, you can easily adjust the thickness of your dough by adding another splash of milk, or more tapioca flour depending on what you're into. Some folks swear by a thinner batter, which they bake in muffin tins, but to me those come out too much like popovers, and don’t have the same chewy, cheesy center.

Happily, Brazilian cheese bread ingredients are fairly inexpensive, which means you can play around with a few batches, and see for yourself. No matter what you end up with, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 24 Brazilian Cheese Breads:
(Please note, I only made half a batch)
 2 1/4 cups tapioca flour, plus more as needed to adjust texture
1/2 cup lightly flavored olive oil and/or vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces freshly grated mozzarella (about 1/2 cup)
2 ounces freshly and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano* (about a cup unpacked)
2 large beaten eggs
pinch of cayenne
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31 comments:

TheYellowRose said...

so where is our homemade tapioca pearl recipe? :)

Unknown said...

Will reheating them in a toaster or microwave work for retaining the texture? I want to try them but I don't think I can (or should) eat an entire batch.

Unknown said...

Can you use a lower carb flour like coconut or almond flour in place of tapioca flour

Charalampidou Elpida said...

Can I replace the tapioca flour,with all purpose flour??

Ted said...

I saw you use a small scoop to portion out the dough. How do you keep the soft dough from sticking to the scoop? Would a light spritz of no-stick mess with the finished product?

Victor said...

Do these freeze well?

Beverly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Wermers' Blog said...

Another amazing recipe! Mine baked up a bit flat (less ball, more lump). Anyone have suggestions?

Robert Bulterman said...

Mine came out pretty dry. Seems it was too much flour compared to milk and oil. Comments/?

Kurt Brecht said...

I'm gonna make these with normal flour. Horrible, I know, but I'm a menace, that's just the way it is. I won't even come back and let everyone know how it turned out; truly devilish.

Unknown said...

Chef, can you make the dough ahead of time and put in the fridge until you're ready to use (a few hours)?

Jomichele said...

Dear Chef John, your narration says to use one beaten egg, but the printed recipe says to use two eggs. Which is correct?

Marie Flanigan said...

Is it one large beaten egg like in the video or 2 like in the recipe?

Unknown said...

I just made this. They were good. I bit more dense than expected but good. I will use more milk next time. I will add some jalapeno too! Do you think it will work?

Paula said...

Chef John, based on this and your last recipe I take it you just came back from a trip to Brazil? :) As a Brazilian living in the US those last two video recipes were such a treat - I could never find a substitute for polvilho (never heard of tapioca flour until now) or queijo minas, so I'm excited to try this. (I'm perfecting my own American version of brigadeiro - our Brazilian chocolate truffles)
I've been trying to learn how to cook well for years now but it seems it was just after watching your videos that I was able to develop a good method for cooking; your recipes all turn out great - many, many thanks!

Mayn Man said...

Mine got a little thick. What do I do?

Mayn Man said...

Mine got a bit thick. How do I lighten it up?

Stephan said...

By tapioca flour, do you mean tapioca starch? I think Bob's is starch only.

Stephan said...

By Tapioca flour, do you mean Tapioca starch? I think Bob's is just starch.

Renato said...

Hi Chef John, Brazilian here. Excellent recipe! You really got the soul of our pão de queijo.
Here are some tips to improve your game:
1. Instead of mozzarella and parmigiano, we use a local cheese called Canastra (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canastra_cheese?wprov=sfla1). I like to mix Canastra and grated provolone that has been drying in the fridge. The pieces brown up in the oven and the flavor is fantastic.
2. If you can find, try to mix the two types of tapioca flour (sweet and sour). If you use only the sour type, the final bread will be hollow and lose texture. However, by using only sweet tapioca it will not be so fluffy.
Enjoy!

king4aday said...

Shouldn't the milk be the double amount in the blog? I feel like you used 2/3 cup in your video for a half portion

Student Chef said...

Thank you Chef John for this yummy recipe. However mine didn’t turn out as light and airy. Could it be that I didn’t mix it thoroughly with the fork? Should I use a whisk instead?

Joseph said...

Hey Chef John,

I'm so glad you posted this. I had these one time at a Brazilian festival in college but kind of forgot about them. Now I'm gonna go out and get the stuff to make them today.

One thing, in the recipe it says 2 large beaten eggs, but in your video you only say to add one. Did you think you needed more once you made it for the video and adjusted it or is that an accident on the ingredients list on the website?

Thanks!

Oznayim said...

Read elsewhere that you can freeze before baking

Joseph said...

I originally missed the only made half a batch note. This would explain the egg discrepancy.

Either way I'm looking forward to making this. Thanks for the recipe.

IQzminus said...

For everyone sublemanting the tapioca flour with AP flour, that is not a great idea. It will probably still turn into something nice, but quite far from a Pao de Queijo.
Potato or cornstarch is going to work better for that.
As they are also starches with no or very litlle gluten.
Though this recipe really does work best with tapioca flour.

Tapioca flour have a bit of a tangy flavor aswell, so I would add half a teaspon of apple, rice or white vinegar to the recipe if you use potato or cornstarch.

There is a reason why so many baking techniques is about controlling gluten amounts and how to develope that gluten, because gluten has a huge effect on the end product.
So using normal AP wheat flour is a no no.
Any other kind of flour then wheat flour is probably going to work better. I know it's common to use rice flour as a supplement to make Pao de Queijo in japan.

Suzy Wu said...

Mine went in the oven looking like yours but when it was done the surface didn’t smooth out like yours did. Any idea why?

Patricia Steward said...

Love your work Chef John (and your soothing voice...makes u feel we CAN do it all!!) Lots of questions up here, so I will just have to dig in and MAKE them...love everything I have tried of yours..will give feedback on these yummy-looking little puffs. I didnt know there were two kinds of tapioca flour as one of your commentators said and wonder how relevant that might be. THANKS!

John said...

It's funny that this video follows the Yuca fries video. Tapioca and Yuca are the same plant - tapioca flour is just the starch extracted from the cassava/yuca root! Learn something new every day.

Patricia Steward said...

OKAY! Mine are in the oven and even before I taste them (smell great!) I followed the full recipe exactly...my thick/sticky dough just had me scooping fork-fulls and rolling them in my palms, without too much mess! AND I used a mini muffin for a few... OK..they looked just like yours..my gougeres are usually lighter (to pick up/in weight) and my husband loved the cayenne. AND we love guava jam, so opened a few and indeed delish! I am in Central America and was lucky enough after much searching to FIND what the locals tell me IS tapioca flour (Maiz de yuca). These tasty little cheese bites will be made again when I am back in USA and get easier access to the two different types of tapioca flour...thanks again Chef John!

Unknown said...

This recipe is VERY tolerant to variations. Chef John mentions this in the video and other videos show the batter being more dry and even almost liquid! I think I overcooked mine (or my stupid oven was too hot), but they came out pretty good anyway. I plan on adding more liquid next time and including chopped olives and jalepenios.