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Brazilian cheese bread or pão de queijo as they are known in Portuguese are a delightful little ball of chewy cheese bread heaven! If you’ve ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse, like Fogo de chao or Tucanos, you may be familiar with these little babies. If you have no idea what these are, let me introduce to Brazilian cheese bread.
What is Brazilian cheese bread?
Pão de queijo sometimes also called Brazilian Cheese Puffs, pan de quiejo, or simply Brazilian cheese bread, are a small baked cheese roll, usually eaten for a snack or sometimes breakfast (uh, yes please!). The origins of these little roll came from the African slaves in Brazil, who use the cassava root to make bread from. Eventually cheese and milk was added into the recipe leaving us with the tasty little cheese roll we know today!
These little cheese puff rolls have become more mainstream the last few years, especially now that Costco carries Brazi Bites Brazilian Cheese bread in their freezer section. But these are so simple to make, why buy them?! I’ve been making these for years thanks to my husband’s obsession with them. He served a mission for our church in southern Brazil and swears these are just as he remembers them.
Are these gluten-free? What gives these that chewy texture?
Brazilian cheese bread is naturally gluten-free! I’m don’t have gluten restrictions on my diet, but I have several friends that are, and I know they’re always thrilled to have another gluten free bread or gluten free roll in their arsenal! The recipe calls for tapioca flour, sometimes called cassava flour or tapioca starch, which is naturally gluten-free and is also what is responsible for giving the cheese bread its unique and signature chewy texture!
If you’re having a hard time finding tapioca flour, check the gluten free section or natural foods sections of the grocery store. I regularly see tapioca flour (sometimes called tapioca starch) at Asian markets too.
What kind of cheese should I use?
Pretty much any type of shredded cheese that melts well will work for this recipe, think—cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Colby jack, pepperjack. Just know the type of cheese you use will effect the flavor of the cheese, you’ll want to use a cheese that has a strong enough flavor to give these cheese breads a nice cheesy flavor. For that reason, my personal preference is to use cheddar or a combination of cheddar and mozzarella.
How to make the Brazilian cheese bread (pão de queijo)
This cheese bread is SO EASY to make. Just throw all the ingredients in a blender or even a food processor and blend until you have a smooth batter. Pour into a mini muffin tin and bake!
How to reheat this cheese bread
This Brazilian cheese bread is best when it is fresh out of the oven and warm! They don’t reheat well in the microwave, but the good news is they are super easy to reheat in the oven.
All you have to do is heat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and pop them in for 5 minutes!
I promise you’ll be making these regularly after this!
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- 1 ½ cups tapioca flour (or tapioca starch)
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ cup shredded cheese, see notes
- 1 ¼ salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high. Scrape down sides of blender and blend again until the batter is completely smooth.
- Pour batter into a mini muffin tin almost to the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Serve warm.
You can use all sorts of cheese—Colby jack, mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss, etc. My favorites are mozzarella and cheddar; sometimes I’ll do half cheddar and half mozzarella.
If you need to reheat the cheese bread bake for 5 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 52mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
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Looking for Other ways to use your Tapioca Flour? Check out these other gluten-free recipes:
Originally published January 22, 2019