I thought it only right to start my breakfast post with Pão de Queijo, which literally translated means cheese bread, it’s the ubiquitous cheesy savoury treat, generally eaten in Brazil for breakfast and snack times. It’s very easy and quick to make and has a lovely, airy, chewy texture, with a light crisp on the outside.
Eating them is a bit like that eating a pack of Pringles.
You know what I mean. …
The giant sized pack to share that you open while watching TV and start nibbling absentmindedly, only to look down, what seems like moments later and discover the whole thing is gone. You turn your head accusingly from side to side, looking for the culprit when slowly your eyes stop to rest on your inflated belly and your hand rammed full of the last batch of crisps in the pack and then it hits you. You and you alone have successfully eating the whole pack without even stopping for breath! I of course speak from bitter experience. While I was in Brazil, I must have eaten literally hundreds of them, partly because it was something I knew was gluten free and wouldn’t make me sick and partly, ok mainly because once these little balls of cheesy goodness come straight out of the oven, they’re pretty hard to resist.
The chewiness comes from the flour used to bake them, now I’m sure if this were written in portuguese, it could start a long, detailed, never-ending debate about the right type of flour to use for pão de queijo, well after making this literally a thousand times with all different types of combinations, I can quite safely skip to the end of the debate and tell you it doesn’t matter! Polvilho azedo is the sour manioc starch, which is completely gluten free and can be found quite easily in brazilian shops in the U.K. and on amazon for U.S readers. Polvilho doce is the sweeter flour and looks like this. I brought this flour from Brazil and used it for this recipe and tapioca flour is widely available and is a very good substitute for either of the two. However because of the type of flour used, if left to cool the bread can become quite stiff and doesn’t taste as good as reheating doesn’t work well either, so make em quick and eat em hot! What are you waiting for? Get to it!
Pão de Queijo
Queijo Minas is a special type of brazilian white cheese from the region of Minas in Brazil and is used for this recipe. I bought mine in a brazilian butcher’s in East London, it looks like this. If you can’t find this type of cheese you can substitute it for a similar white cheese like Mexican farmer’s cheese/queso fresco.
- 1/2 cup/100 ml soybean oil
- 1 cup/240 ml whole milk
- 300g queijo minas
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 500g polvilho doce/azedo or tapioca flour
- 1tsp to 1 tbsp salt, depending on your preference (brazilians like their cheesebread fairly salty so would use 1 tbsp, I found 1 1/2 tsp to be just right)
Put the flour in a bowl. Put the oil, milk and salt in a saucepan and heat until it just starts to boil. Once it has boiled, remove from the heat and scald the flour. Stir well with a wooden spoon then add the eggs one at a time till the dough is soft. Work the cheese in with your hands, not the spoon and knead the dough, squeezing all the mixture will it’s well combined. The dough should be loose and easy to mould. Lightly flour a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silpat mat, then take a tablespoon of the mixture and shape into small balls. Make sure you space them out a little because the balls can expand in the oven. Bake at 180ºC/350ºF for 15 minutes. They should be lightly browned. These are best eaten when slightly cooled. They don’t taste as nice when they’re completely cooled or reheated.
Pão de Queijo (pain au fromage brésilien)
Le Fromage de Minas, Queijo Minas utilisé pour cette recette est un fromage typique du Brésil à la forme ronde. Il est nommé, après l’état de Minas Gerais au Bresil si vous en trouvez pas, vous pouvez le remplacer par n’importe quel fromage blanc ou le comté ou le gruyère.
- 100 ml d’huile de soja
- 240ml de lait
- 250g queijo minas
- 3 oeufs (à température ambiante)
- 500g polvilho doce/azedo ou farine de tapioca
- 1 c à c ou 1 c à s de sel selon votre préférence
Versez la farine dans un saladier. Mettez à bouillir le lait, l’huile et le sel. Versez le contenu encore chaud sur la farine et mélangez bien à l’aide d’une cuillère en bois. Incorporez les oeufs un par un et mélangez à nouveau. Incorporez le fromage avec les mains jusqu’à l’obtention d’une pâte souple. Prenez un peu de pâte et formez des petites boules à l’aide une cuillère à soupe at arrangez sur une plaque à four, recouverte du papier sulfurisé. Enfournez 15 minutes à 180ºC/350ºF. Il faut qu’ils soient à peine dorés. Servez chaud ou tiède.