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?” I didn’t need to hear that too many times before I wanted 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. This means you can bake some fresh made with only a portion of the batter, and then do the same thing a day or two later.
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. I like to use sharp cheddar cheese.
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 muffin pan. I have both a 24-count mini muffin pan and a few of the 12-count mini muffin pans. 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 year-long blog post series on How To Use different gluten free flours. The second post in this series is How To Use Starch.
What variation of Brazilian cheese bread will you create? Whip up a batch and pay attention to what you do so they turn out every time. Then get creative…pizza variation anyone?
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|
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