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Pão de Queijo

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Pão de Queijo

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Let’s face it.  It’s hard to go wrong with any bread that incorporates more than a smidgen of cheese or, in some cases, cheeses.  Think Parmigiano Reggiano and sharp cheddar in a warm, slightly chewy, gluten-free bread that’s designed to be eaten as is, or dipped in a favorite salsa or maybe even a marinara.  Yum!!!    Here are two versions of the same Brazilian bread – Pão de Queijo – one prepared in the traditional way (the first one, below), and another updated to take advantage of a blender or food processor.  As always, try it out, then let your imagination take you where it will.

INGREDIENTS

100g of Parmesan, grated
100g of mature cheddar, grated
240ml of milk
120ml of vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
300g of tapioca flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs

DIRECTIONS

Combine the milk, oil and salt in a saucepan and bring to a slow boil, whisking occasionally. Once boiling, remove from the heat.
Using a whisk, blend the baking powder into the tapioca flour.  Then put the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer; paddle blade.
With the mixer on low, add the warm milk and oil to the mixture and stir in thoroughly until a dough forms, increasing the speed to medium high to aerate and cool the dough.  Beat for 2-3 minutes.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl, then gradually and fully incorporate the eggs into the mix, adding the cheese once the eggs are fully incorporated. Mix to combine.
Cover the dough and put it into the fridge to chill – 30 minutes to an hour.
While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 400 °.
Divide the dough into 24 pieces and gently roll into balls – rubbing some flour on your hands will help to stop the dough from sticking. Place the balls onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and puffed up, then allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. (see NOTE)

And here’s the easier blender/processor version.

INGREDIENTS

1 egg
1/3 cup cooking oil
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450°F and grease a mini-muffin tin. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth (your batter will be liquid).
Pour batter into greased mini muffin tin about 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the breads puff up and are a light brown color.
Serve the breads after they have finished cooling.(see NOTE)

NOTE: in both instances, the breads don’t store well (they harden and lose their chewy texture) so try to eat within 24-48 hours. Any uneaten breads should be stored in an airtight container.

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