Pao de Queijo

 I continue on my quest to find the perfect Pao de Queijo recipe.  They are the little Brazilian cheese puffs I showed recently.  The little demon cheese balls that no one can stop eating.  I am so happy yet horrified that these have become a new obsession.  Fortunately, they are so addictive that I have no trouble getting rid of my surplus.  They also freeze extremely well.

I have been using one basic recipe and playing around with different cheese combinations.

 By perusing the photos, you can see the variations in appearance and imagine the difference in taste.

 The most common recipe is this one:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups grated cheese of choice.  I used a mix of mozzarella and parmesan.
Heat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, oil, and salt over medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat when large bubbles start to form.
Add the tapioca flour and stir to incorporate completely. The dough with be grainy and gelatinous.
Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment and beat for several minutes to cool down the dough. It should be cool to the touch.
Beat in the egg until fully incorporated, scraping the bowl if needed. Beat in the cheese. The dough will be sticky, soft, stretchy, and not completely smooth.
Use a cookie scoop, dipped in water, to portion out the buns onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Place in the oven and lower the heat to 350°F. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating halfway through. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until puffed and dry to the touch, with the bottoms just starting to turn golden brown. Let cool slightly and eat warm.
Most people like to eat these warm, so if you have extra, you can re-crisp them in a warm oven.  I find that the cheese flavor is stronger when they are eaten at room temperature. 

Some of mine came out rather disk-like instead of round.

After more experimenting, I realized my eggs were too big.

I have experimented with cheddar (very good but not traditional), Gouda and parmesan (also very good), imported parmesan and Stelvio.  Stelvio is a new cheese to me and is fantastic all by itself.  Needless to say, all of the pao de queijo have been very good.  When I obsess on something,  I sometimes lose sight of what the traditional recipe is. Yesterday, I was walking through the grocery store when I had an epiphany.  It dawned on me that people in Brazil are probably using what we recognize as un-refrigerated, grated parmesan cheese in a container.  So, though horrified, I bought some of it for the first time ever.  Yep, in my search to make authentic Pao de Queijo, I threw my food snobbery  right out the window.  I'm kinda guessing this is the secret to the recipe!  It will be a while before I know though because with a heat index of 105 degrees the next 4 days, I'm not turning my oven on.  Sunday was to be my big Brazilian dinner and it has now been switched to cold salads.  Though we won't be eating Brazilian food, we will feel like we are visiting there with this heat.


Oh my, your epiphany, hahahahahaha! I was also going to suggest asiago might be nice.
looks delicious.
Christer. said…
They do look delicious, even the flat ones. I must admit that the un-refrigerated, grated parmesan cheese does taste a lot and a bit special. That was what we could buy back inthe days when I grew up so I know it well :-) :-)

Have a great day!

Susan said…
I, too, love pao de queijo. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Do you think they'd hold up in the post? :)
Rain said…
Oh your epiphany made me laugh...sometimes giving up the food snobbery is the best thing! I did the same when I made my "American Cheese"...I had my nose in the sky thinking I wasn't about to make a velveeta!!! But oooh lala it is good stuff! :)
Leanna said…
You have given birth to a kitchen monster treat. I call anything that I make better a kitchen monster because then I have to make it often until David begins to get tired of it. Usually, it takes about two weeks. They do look yummy and I would like to try them but I'm afraid the KM would come alive again.
Marsha said…
I was inspired by your other posts on this subject, but I dithered because I don't have a mixer with a paddle, and I wasn't willing to try kneading by hand. I did buy the tapioca flour, though, and there was a simple recipe on the back that I followed - you put all the ingredients into a blender, blend well, pour into muffin tins, and bake. We (the two of us) ate six each, and could probably have polished off several more.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
hi marsha! some people do make the blender version. i made them that way the first time and they are very good too. there isn't any kneading for my recipe. you can easily make them using a bowl and a wooden spoon. they are horribly addictive!
Eileen in Fla. said…
Great - Another addiction. I'm just now having withdrawal from your Amish Sweet Bread. You are too good a cook. All baking, however, is suspended until cooler weather here.
Guillaume said…
My son loved these.