Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pao de Queijo or Brazilian Cheese Bread

Anyone ever eaten at Rodizio's or Braza Grill? Or any authentic Brazilian joint for that matter? Reason I ask is because those nommy grilled meat places introduced me to another wonderful and might I add...NATURALLY gluten free item. Pao de queijo. They are the most tasty and nibble worthy little bites. The texture is slightly crunchy on the outside, then warm, chewy, and nummy on the inside. Another thing...they are really easy to make. You don't have to worry about flour blending either. Just use some good ol' tapioca flour. 

Another great thing is you can freeze your little dough balls and bake up however many you want. I'm tellin ya, your going to love these. Your pocket book will also love the fact that they are SO much cheaper than popping the $$ for gluten free rolls or bread. 

Are you ready to try them out? 

Well, here is how to create these munchworthy little bites.

Start out by getting yourself some granulated cojitas cheese. I found this nice big bag at Winco, but you can get them at any south American market or most large grocery stores.  Now...you CAN use Kraft Parmesan cheese. It will work just as good as the Cojita cheese (just lacks the authentic flavor)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease two baking sheets. Then in a saucepan bring the following ingredients to a boil on medium heat stirring once in a while:

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 heaping teaspoon salt (you want just a bit more than 1/4 teaspoon)
1/4 cup canola oil

Once the liquid ingredients are brought to a boil, move pan off heat and measure out 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cups tapioca flour. You are going to eyeball the consistency and add enough flour until the dough becomes pliable and can be kneaded with your fingers. Now be patient...at first your dough will be a bit sticky. The more you stir it, the more it will thicken up. It will then begin to become a nice ball of dough.

Now, whisk up 1 1/2 eggs. I know...1 1/2...but really, that's all you need. Then, stir the eggs into your dough mixture.Now stir in 4 ounces of the Cojita cheese and set aside. 

Now add about 1-2 ounces additional cheese in a bowl and place by your greased baking sheets. Take a bit of dough and roll it into a 1" ball then dip it into the cheese. Place it on your baking sheet and repeat. This recipe will fill up both baking sheets. 

How awesome are these little babies?

Now you don't HAVE to top them with the cojita cheese, BUT it adds the toasted spots that make them look even more scrumptious. 

Pao de Queijo

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
2 1/2-3/4 cups tapioca flour
1 1/2 large eggs beaten
4 ounces granulated Cojita cheese plus additional to top dough balls (or granulated Parmesan cheese)
1-2 ounces extra Cojita cheese to dip dough balls in

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 baking sheets. In a saucepan bring the milk, water, oil, and salt to a boil. Remove pan from heat and set aside. Add the flour in increments stirring constantly until the dough becomes pliable and can be kneaded with hands. Be patient, the more you stir the more solid the dough will become. Only add enough flour needed until dough reaches desired consistency. Stir in the beaten eggs then the 4 ounces of Cojita cheese. Stir until dough becomes thick and can be molded. Add additional tapioca flour if needed. Roll dough into 1" balls and dip the tops into the extra cheese. Place on the greased baking sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese becomes golden brown. 

Can be served warm or cool. Dough balls can also be frozen and baked at a later time. 


This recipe is featured on the Gluten Free Homeaker's Gluten Free Wednesdays


  1. as usual.. another tasty looking treat to add to my 'jilly book' :D

  2. Oh my, thanks so much! I went to one of these steakhouses for the 2nd time, and though I was highly disappointed in the quality of meats these biscuits were awesome. My son having been just diagnosed with Celiacs loves bread and I can't wait to make these babies for him.