I meant to post this recipe a little while ago, but I got distracted by all the fun Halloween recipes instead. Before I do the same with Thanksgiving, I wanted to post some of the amazing recipes that I have been trying for the past month or so.
If you’ve never had Brazilian cheese bread before, I highly recommend it. They’re fluffy and soft, and deliciously cheesy. Unfortunately, I’ve never actually been to Brazil, so I haven’t been able to try a *true* pão de queijo. But, thankfully, these have become more popular around the world, so they’re easier to find.
The combination of tapioca flour and cheese makes for a super chewy texture. It’s very similar to Japanese mochi cheese breads (except those use Mochiko flour instead), but it always reminds me of eating mochi cheese (literally just mochi with melted cheese on it) at one of my favorite restaurants growing up. The taste + texture might seem weird at first, but once you eat your second pão de queijo, you’ll be in love.
I’m going to be completely honest with you guys, this probably isn’t the most authentic Brazilian cheese bread recipe you’ll find. I like to think that it’s more of a cheese bread roll inspired by the popular Brazilian snack. I even struggled with what to call these, are they rolls? Cheese puffs? This might be blasphemous to say… but these turned out to be more like a fusion of a garlic knot and pão de queijo.
Even if that may sound weird, these are absolutely delicious and very addicting. The bread itself actually tastes very similar to other versions I’ve had, I just changed up the seasonings/toppings depending on what I had (and felt like adding). So, if you want a more authentic cheese bread, then just forego the toppings and just make the bread itself. It has the same chewiness and cheesiness that we all know and love.
The best part of these is that they’re incredibly easy to make. You might have more difficulty finding tapioca flour than actually making these at home. Just make sure that you’re mixing everything in well, and that all ingredients are combined before you move on to the next step. I like to add butter and more cheese on top. Like I said earlier, totally optional, but I promise you will not regret it.
These Pão de Queijo are best enjoyed warm. You can store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week or longer in the freezer. You can also freeze the dough if you want. Just shape them, place on a baking sheet, and freeze (transfer to a ziplock bag once solid) up to 3 months. Enjoy!
Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
- 4 cups tapioca flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/4 cups Mozzarella cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) (optional)
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
- Place your tapioca flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment or dough hook.
- In a small-medium saucepan, combine the milk, water, oil, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- As soon as your milk mixture boils, pour it into your stand mixer with the tapioca flour. Mix at medium-low speed until everything is well combined. It should be very sticky.
- While the mixer is still on, add eggs one at a time, making sure it is fully combined before you add the next one. Then, gradually add 1 3/4 cups of parmesan and your mozzarella. If your dough is too wet, add a little more tapioca flour.
- Shape your cheese rolls. Wet your hands with some water and carefully (it'll be sticky) form them into small (about a golf-ball size) rolls.
- Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little of the remaining parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and puffed up.
- Melt the butter. Brush on the tops of your cheese breads, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and top with the rest of your parmesan cheese. Enjoy warm!