These Brazilian cheese bread are crispy on the outside, cheesy and gooey on the inside, almost elastic, such texture reminds me a little of Mochi (a type of Japanese rice cake which is made with glutinous rice flour), one of my childhood favourites. Technically, they are not really ‘bread’ as it requires neither yeast, nor proofing which normally a must for bread making. The recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients and it takes about half an hour to three quarters of an hour to make. These little fluff balls are light as feather, freckled with golden brown spots from the cheese, are best served warm straight from the oven. Slather a couple of them generously with velvety butter and a pinch of flaky sea salt, that’s exactly the way I like to eat them! Alongside with a cup of warm matcha latte and a good book (or a Netflix series!) would be a real treat for me. I imagine it will be absolutely delicious if served with a hearty soup or stew where you can use the bread to soak up all the lovely flavours. Whichever way you choose to serve, these little gems will definitely be something you will enjoy. And, did I tell you it is naturally gluten free?
This recipe is based on the recipe from KingArthur Flour website which was recommended by one of my fellow Instagramers, I made it a couple of times already in the past and it worked really well. For this recipe, I made a few adjustments: I choose to use a mixture of mozzarella cheese and parmesan as I quite like the squeaky nature of baked mozzarella, it gives a little more interesting texture. I also replace garlic from the original recipe with smoked garlic powder, it blends very well with the tapioca starch which allows the garlic flavour to immerse into the dough evenly. Finally I use less butter in the dough than it calls for so I can serve it with more butter and salt generously when it is warm and crunchy! The left over bread can be kept in a air tight box for a day, reheat it on the toaster or in the oven shortly.
Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pão de Queijo
recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes about 18 small or 9 large
- 60ml milk
- 60ml water
- 100g butter
- a generous pinch of salt
- 230g tapioca starch
- 1 scant tsp. garlic powder
- 70g mozzarella cheese, grated
- 40g parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 190 degree Celsius. Line a large baking tray with parchment.
Combine tapioca starch and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
Combine milk, water, butter and salt in a small sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil. Carefully pour the boiling butter milk mixture into the tapioca starch and using a handheld mixer with the dough hook (or stand mixer, even better), beat the flour and liquid until combine. Add the cheese in the mixture and beat continuously with the mixer until well combined (at this stage, the mixture will still be coarse and lumpy, but once the egg is in, it will come together nicely).
Stream in the beaten egg while the mixer is still running. The mixture should now come together in one glossy and sticky dough (it feels still quite wet, but that’s ok), beat for another 30 seconds.
Divide the dough with a spoon and drop the ‘batter’ onto the parchment, about one tablespoon each for small ones, a heaped tablespoon each for large ones. Make sure there is enough space in between each dough. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (small ones) to 30 minutes (large ones).
Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.