If you happened to be reading this post and were wondering, “Where’s the bread? That does not look like bread”, then you are on the right post 😉
Pão de Queijo is cheese bread in Portuguese!
At first I thought pão is bun, as is used in Hokkien (pao = bun), however, ‘boa’ is bun in Portuguese.
When I first discovered that pão de queijo is cheese-flavoured bread, the word queijo kept replaying in my head like an old, broken gramophone.
Okey doke, the penny dropped! I realised where I have heard the word queijo from. It’s a word that I came across when I was in school in Malaysia. In the Malay language, ‘keju’ is cheese.
Oh by the way, the Malay language has many loanwords, one of which is Portuguese, and one of which is queijo = keju = cheese.
A Truly Brazilian July
Honestly speaking, July 2014 had been a very sportive month, with many back-to-back international competitions, such as the Le Tour de France, Gand Slam (tennis) in Wimbledon on grass, XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and last but not least – and probably – the most prominent of all Tournaments was the 20th FIFA World Cup hosted by Brazil.
Although the host country did not win the World Cup this year, Brazil has won the hearts of millions of people with her much acclaimed cheesy bread.
Pão de Queijo had been flying around the net like nobody’s business this summer.
Ooh! Wow! Yum!
Yup, I exclaimed those words in that sequence – really, and, not wanting to be left gawking at the photos for nothing, I joined in the crowd.
The following proverb tells a lot about me. “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Unknown
Yes, Addictively Cheesy!
Pop one in your mouth and you will be popping in chain reaction. Ha ha ha..
Pão de Queijo is crunchy dough snack with a mild cheese flavour. These little gems are eaten throughout Brazil, at breakfast or as a snack. I think the secret behind this addictive delicacy is the crispy outer layer while the inside is almost hollow and chewy and moist.
The essential ingredients used in making Pão de Queijo are very similar to making Popovers – eggs, milk, flour, oil or melted butter and salt. The only glaring differences are the use of cassava flour (or tapioca starch) and cheese(s), hence, living up to its name.
I noticed there are 2 ways of preparing these cheesy bread (1) the all-in –one method with the cold milk-oil-flour-salt-egg-cheese mixture pouring in the cavity of each muffin tin or pan or (2) the boiled milk-oil-salt mixture amalgamating in the flour followed by beaten eggs and cheese.
I have tried the first method first. Personally, I prefer the second method because it’s the authentic and traditional way of preparing Pão de Queijo.
Here’s one I made earlier using the first method, very similar to making popovers or Yorkshire puddings. Oops…not the best photography 😦
In this post, however, I have based my recipe on a cool looking Cookbook, in the Dutch version, “BRASIL! Het Kookboek” (BRAZIL! The Cookbook) by David Ponte, Lizzy Barber and Jamie Barber. Note I have made some variations with my comments in blue italic.
- 1.25 dl full cream milk
- 50 ml Sunflower oil (I used Corn oil)
- 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 250 gm cassava flour (or tapioca starch/ flour)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten (I used 2 small eggs)
- 200 gm Parmesan or cheddar, grated (I used 100g grated Parmigiano Reggiano plus 150g Mozarella)
- Pour 1.25 dl milk, Sunflower oil and salt in a large saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat once the mixture starts to rise and bubble. Add the flour and quickly stir the mixture vigorously until there is no trace of dry tapioca flour. Stir to form moist dough. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Let the dough cool slightly.
- Add the eggs to the cooled dough and mix them through at low speed. Increase the speed after 1-2 minutes and blend the mixture on high speed until all the egg is incorporated and the dough is smooth. Add the grated Parmesan (Parmigiano reggiano and Mozarella) and continue mixing until the cheese is incorporated in the dough mixture.
- Line a baking sheet or parchment paper. Moisten the palms of your hands with water or oil. Take a tablespoon of dough and roll into balls. Wash your hands in between before shaping the balls, because the dough is very sticky. (You can also use a small ice cream scoop. Dip the scoop into ice water and shake off excess water before shaping the balls). Place the balls 2.5 cm apart on the baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. They should be crispy on the outside and a little gooey inside. Serve immediately.
Depending on your oven and the size of the cheese balls, the result can go either way – too golden or too pale. Below the outcome of the baking times at 25 mins (top half) and 22 mins (below half).
I must admit that the ones baked for 25 minutes were crunchier with small pockets of air within the dough. They were less gooey than the ones baked for 22 minutes. The verdict? I loved both, because they’re Mine! Mine! Mine! Ha ha ha…
I am sharing this recipe to the following blog-hop events –