|Fresh from the oven and ready to eat! The bread smells so nice!
|They are sticky at first, but with oiled hands, they will shape fine!
There's this one bread from Brazil which I saw from Cooking with Dog on Youtube and other cooking websites such as www.thekitchn.com. Called Pão de Queijo, it got my attention because not only do I love cheese, but I also love baking! And when I saw it being split open and eaten, I realized that I have to make that! The gooey and cheesy texture they were describing felt so good to me. They described the bread as having a texture similar to mochi, and of course, I am very much addicted to mochi! The thing that got my attention was the type of flour they used. They used tapioca starch for this recipe, which is odd for me since I have never worked with it. It's a very powerful starch which helps the bread puff up and rise without the use of yeast in the mixture. It's also gluten-free so I think a lot of people would enjoy it!
|They're puffing up in the oven and almost done baking!
Finding that tapioca starch was a bit of a challenge. Very difficult to find the authentic sour tapioca starch the Brazilians use, so I had to search several stores before I found it at an Asian market (My Little Store) and at Healthy Options. The first times I made it, I used mochi flour and glutinous rice flour, assuming that since it's texture was sort of like mochi, I used that. It did not puff up, even after my second attempt! So one day, I saw the tapioca starch at an Asian market, and I decided to get it and make the bread because I was not content with what I had done. After my third attempt, it puffed up! When split it open, the feeling was just so wonderful. It was a bit crunchy on the outside, and nice and gooey on the inside. It just feels so right to me! Everyone I've baked this bread for likes it! It's definitely best fresh out of the oven, but it's so easy and inexpensive to make that anyone of us could do it!
|And it's done! Look how puffy these babies look! Gooey, cheesy, yummy!
People have several methods to make this bread such as gradually mixing the ingredients into a blender or doing it by hand. They all work, but I personally like heating up the liquid before mixing it into the starch and the putting it into a mixer. I just love how the heat immediately activates the gooey texture of the starch! And also, it's less messy since this dough is very sticky. This dough should not be overmixed or else the bread will not puff up as much. When handling the dough, make sure to oil your hands throughly to prevent dough from sticking when portioning and shaping. Or you can use an ice cream scoop dipped in water to properly scoop the bread dough. Both will produce equally good results. You can even portion it out in muffin pans if you want it to be more organized!
|Normally the recipe uses Parmesan cheese, but you can use any hard or firm cheese you want!
|This bread was piping hot, but I just had to split one open because it's so good fresh from the oven!
Pão De Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread) Courtesy of www.thekitchn.com
Makes approximately 2 dozen puffs, depending on the size
Preparation Time: 15 mins.
Baking Time: 20-30 mins
|Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour is a good example to use for this recipe!
- 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
- 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
- 2 cups (10 oz.) Tapioca Starch or sour cassava flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1-2 cups of Parmesan cheese, grated
|This dough is very sticky, but they turn out so beautiful once they finish baking in the oven!
- 2-quart saucepan
- Wooden spoon or Silicone spatula
- Standing mixer with paddle attachment (or you can do this by hand with your palms oiled)
|This dough took a while for me to make, but I'm happy that it finally puffed up!
To make the Brazilian cheese bread:
Preheat the oven up to 450°F or 220°C. Put parchement paper or Silpat mat on a baking pan and set it aside for later.
|This is what the dough should look like. Very sticky so grease your hands when handling this!
- Combine the milk, oil, and salt in the saucepan. Stir occassionally and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat as soon as you start to see bubbles from the milk.
- Put the tapioca starch in a bowl for the mixer. Pour carefully the boiling milk and oil mixture over the tapioca starch, and mix with the wooden spoon or Silicone spatula until you see no more dry tapioca starch. Texture should be gummy and grainy at the same time.
- Transfer the bowl to a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Put the mixer on medium speed and let it mix until the mixture has become smooth and the dough has cooled. This usually takes around 3-5 mins. You can also mix the mixture by hand, but be prepared to have sticky hands for this workout. This would take around 10 mins of mixing by hand. (The dough may release some oil, which is fine. Just scrap the sides after.)
- Crack the eggs in a bowl. When the dough is smooth enough, put the mixer into low speed. Pour each egg into the mixture, one by one until fully incorporated. Then put back on medium speed until it is mixed well. Scrape the sides as needed.
- With medium speed on the mixer, beat in the grated cheese and mix until incorporated. The dough should have a similar consistency to cake batter or cooked dough such as pâte à choux batter. Stop once everything is smooth and mixed well.
- With an ice cream scoop, oiled tablespoon, or oiled dinner spoon, scoop parts of the dough and shape into round balls using your oiled up hands. You can also weigh out the dough portion on a digital scale to be more accurate. I usually do mine from around 30-45g per dough for a good portion. Then put the dough onto the baking sheet or Silpat mat.
- Transfer the baking sheets with the cheese bread into the oven. Immediately turn down the temperature to 350°F or 180°C.
Sour cassava flour is often difficult to find, so plain tapioca starch is good enough for this recipe. I got several types of Tapioca Starch from Y-Mart Taiwan Specialty Products in Makati, Little Store on the Hill in San Juan, and in Rustan's and Healthy Options where I got the Bob's Red Mill brand. As for cheese used, normally any type of hard cheese aside from Parmesan can be used since fresh Parmesan cheese can be expensive here. Examples of cheeses used are Edam, Queso de bola, Ementhal or Pecorino. You can even use grated mozzarella if you prefer. Try to taste different types of cheese to see which type of cheese would taste good for you.
|This bread is extremely delicious, filling, and addicting! Good thing they are inexpensive to make!