Pao de Queijo is a small, baked cheese bread that is popular in Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador, often eaten for breakfast or for a snack. These buns are made with tapioca flour and the inside is very chewy and moist because there is no leavening and air pockets expand inside of the dough when cooking. The Japanese have a similar bun called Dekasegis made with rice flour instead of tapioca starch. If you have trouble finding tapioca flour (try Whole Foods) and have rice flour instead, try making the Japanese version as it’s an even exchange in the recipe!
1 Cup Milk (Whole or 2%)
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 Cups Tapioca Flour
1.5 Cups Shredded Asiago, Parmesan, and Romano Cheese Blend, though really you can use any cheese you want
1 Teaspoon Salt
1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
2. Combine milk, oil and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk and bring to gentle boil. Remove from heat when it starts bubbling.
3. Add the tapioca flour and mix until incorporated and smooth.
4. Mix the eggs into the mixture.
5. Add the cheese into the mixture and mix until well incorporated. The dough should be sticky, stretchy and soft.
6. Using a small tablespoon measure, scoop mounds of dough and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. I like to use my hands to round the balls.
7. Place the balls into the oven and turn down the heat to 350. Bake for 25 minutes, until the balls have puffed and the outside is dry with a bit of color.
8. Cool for 5 min and eat.
You can eat them plain, with ketchup, or with other condiments that go well with cheese and bread. Salsa is a good choice. If you’re a Cheddar Biscuit Fan, throw in 1 tablespoon (or more) of Old Bay Seasoning and you will have a delicious replica. Leftovers can be stored for a week but don’t forget to heat them up eat time you serve them so they have the moist insides!