Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pão de Queijo aka Cheese Bread

Today I present to you a recipe for a treat I absolutely adore. Being born in Brazil (not Brazil, IN but THE Brasil!) I grew up with these little jewels. If you ask any Brazilian, they will know what pao de queijo is! If this is your first time hearing about pao de queijo, it is roughly translated to "cheese bread", although it is not your typical baguette cut in half and smothered with butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese (although that is yummy too!). Instead, they are little bite-sized (or at least I make them bite-sized, you could make them any size you want!) balls of cheese and starch heaven! 
But through my 28 years of life, I had NEVER attempted to make these breads from scratch! I have always bought a pre-mixed box that you just add the wet ingredients, not knowing exactly how to go about the dry ingredients. One day, one of my mom's friends who also happens to be Brazilian, came for lunch and brought these for everyone. Oh man did these disappear fast! My non-Brazilian hubby (he is an all-American boy!) absolutely loves this bread too and prodded me to ask for the recipe. When she told me the recipe, I could not believe how simple these are to make! The secret is the "polvilho", which is tapioca flour (aka mandioca). There are two types of tapioca flour available at international food stores (look in the Brazilian section, or even other Latin-American country sections): sweet (doce) or sour (azedo). I used sweet since that is what I had available, but if I find the sour I want to use it and compare the two.
So what are you waiting for? Go try this recipe NOW!!! And then let me know how it turned out ;) 

Added note 4/11/2013: This is Gluten-free!!! :D I know, I should have realized it in the beginning, but it didn't dawn on me until recently... double bonus!

Pão de Queijo (Cheese Bread)
Makes ~30-40 mini breads

2 cups polvilho (sweet or sour, I used sweet)
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola (or vegetable) oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a blender, add the egg and milk along with one cup of polvilho. Blend for 2-3 pulses. Add the canola oil, salt and the other cup of polvilho, and blend for 5 pulses. Add the grated cheese and blend for 10 seconds.
Grease 2 mini-muffin pans (24 count each) with non-stick spray and fill each 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, watching for doneness. It is done when the bread holds its shape and the sides are just golden-brown. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of friend Ana.


  1. How sweet of Ana to share this delicious recipe! I would love to try these. Thanks for sharing with me tonight. Visiting your blog brings a smile to my face, week after week. I hope you have a fabulous Wednesday!

  2. Your lovely husband let me know about this recipe! I'll definitely try this out! What international store do you shop at? I've never been to one in Indy! I live near Broad Ripple but could go anywhere between downtown and 96th to the north. My email:

    1. Hi! He told me yesterday that you were familiar with Brazilian food, so I told him to tell you about this recipe!
      There is the Sahara market around 38th St on the West side, but you can also use tapioca flour (a common brand is Bob's Red Mill), which is basically the same thing :) I usually use the Brazilian polvilho flour because my family brings it to me, so that's what I have on hand.
      When you try to make it, let me know how it goes!