I am not a baker at heart so when I first came across these doughy, cheesy balls of goodness in Latin America and realised how easy they were to prepare, I could have jumped for joy (in fact I think I did). This naturally gluten free recipe calls for tapioca/cassava flour, which comes from a root widely used in Latin America in a multitude of dishes and its texture when baked together with the rest of these ingredients makes for the most moreish treat. Originally from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, this bread is eaten for any meal of the day, although it absolutely steals the show at breakfast time, accompanied by a coffee and some fresh fruit. It’s commonly served with a creamy cheese spread (known as requeijao), which I’ve adapted below for dipping. Enjoy this recipe – once you try it, I guarantee you’ll be making it on repeat!
Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
200g x Free Tapioca Flour
140ml x Almond or Gluten Free Oat Milk
50ml x Water
1 x Large Egg
3 x Tablespoons Good Quality Olive Oil
50g x Parmesan/Italian Hard Cheese (grated)
50g x Mature Cheddar Cheese (grated)
2 x Garlic Cloves (Minced)
1 x Teaspoon Sea Salt
Extra grated parmesan for the garnish
Whipped Cheese and Chive Dip
100g x Philadelphia Full-Fat Cream Cheese
1 x Teaspoon Good Quality Olive Oil
1 x Heaped Teaspoon Dried Chives
1/3 x Teaspoon Garlic Granules
1/3 x Teaspoon Sea Salt
2 x Teaspoons Fresh Chives (Finely Chopped)
Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread) – Method
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (fan) and line two baking trays with parchment/baking paper.
- Place the tapioca flour in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Heat the milk, water, oil and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, remove from heat and add to the bowl with the flour and mix until combined (either by hand, using a good wooden spoon or in a standing mixer).
- Now add the egg and mix well. The texture will seem very uncooperative at first and the mixture will appear to not be combining but do not give up! After enough mixing, the mixture will all come together to form a sticky dough.
- Please note that the dough should not have a liquid-like consistency as it needs to hold together in small ball-like form on the baking tray. Sometimes however, depending on the temperature of the room and if the mixture has been “too mixed”, the dough will not appear sturdy enough. If this is the case, feel free to add a dusting of additional tapioca flour and mix again, repeating this step until you are happy with the consistency.
- Now using two large spoons, place the dough onto the baking trays in small ball-like shapes. The perfect ball shape is very hard to achieve by hand, so do not fret if they look more like blobs!
- Bake immediately for 15 minutes until the breads are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and quickly sprinkle the extra grated Parmesan cheese on top of the breads and bake for another 5 or so minutes, until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and leave the bread to cool for 5 minutes before enjoying warm with a cheese and chive dip (please see recipe below).
Whipped Cheese and Chive Dip – Method
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. This can be done either by hand with a regular spoon or with a hand-whisk, if you’d like a fluffier texture.
- Serve immediately either as a spread or a dip for your Pão de Queijo and enjoy!