Have you heard of Brazilian Cheese Bread? If you know anything about a gluten free diet you pay attention when you hear things. Things like “have you heard of that Brazilian cheese bread?” After I heard that a few times I had to check it out.
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In Brazil this cheese bread is a popular snack and breakfast food. It consists of tapioca starch, milk, eggs, olive oil, and cheese. Yes, these are made with tapioca starch and no other flours or binders. If that isn’t enough reason to try this cheese bread it is also simple to make. The bread is best served warm but the batter can be kept in the fridge for a few days so you can bake only as many as you want.
The Portuguese name for this cheese bread is Pão de Queijo but it is also called Brazilian cheese puffs, cheese buns or cheese rolls. Like many recipes there are local and regional variations. In Brazil they use Minas cheese, a soft white cheese from the state of the same name, Minas Gerais. In North America most recipes include Parmesan cheese and either mozzarella or cheddar.
So experiment and see what cheese combination you like. Whip up a batch and learn the finer points of baking this Brazilian cheese bread so it turns out every time. Then get creative. Pizza variation anyone?
As with most recipes the method and technique varies. I prefer the blender technique with a batter that can be poured or scooped. I use one of my favourite kitchen tools, a mini scoop (1½ tablespoon size) to portion the batter quickly and evenly into a mini muffin tin (24 count). If you prefer to bake smaller amounts you probably want the 12 count mini muffin pans. I like to bake so I have both. The cheese bread also works well cooked in a regular size muffin tin.
A basic gluten free pantry includes tapioca starch. It is readily available, inexpensive and a staple in kitchens where gluten free cooking happens. To learn more about how to use gluten free flours check out my blog post series on How To Use different flours for gluten free baking, #2 is specifically How To Use Starch.
What variation of Brazilian cheese bread will you create?
Shirley, over at Gluten Free Easily inspired me to make these when I saw her variation for pizza bombs. Let me know in the comments below if you like this bread and what variation you made. If you like Shirley’s pizza bombs be sure to tell her.
|2 cups tapioca starch|
|4 oz sharp cheddar cheese or mozzarella, shredded or crumbled|
|2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)|
|⅔ cup whole milk|
|⅓ cup olive oil|
|1 tsp salt|