Pão de queijo (Brazilian "cheese bread").


People, this post is practically a confession.
Yes, because even being Brazilian (proudly and lovingly) I have used a recipe for pão de queijo found at Joe Pastry - who, as you might guess, is American.
I know it is weird, but after all I didn't have a pão de queijo recipe to call my own, and I was reading his site a few days ago when I stumbled upon this picture.
I thought to myself: the recipe makes sense and could as well have come originally from Minas, the pães de queijo look great, & in this cold weather is seems like a good idea to turn on the oven.
Prepare the batter is the quickest thing in the world. The problem is to have patience and wait for them to bake...
3/4 cup water (Joe says 1/2 cup in his recipe, but while preparing the batter I thought it was too stiff to stirr)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I once used olive, and once used corn. Both worked fine, and olive add a nice subtle taste)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups tapioca starch
2 eggs
100g grated cheese (traditional pão de queijo is made with minas meia cura, but I have once used what we call queijo colonial, and once used mozzarella. Joe suggests parmesan or a Mexican cheese named Cojita)
Anyways. For you who didn't weight the cheese at the store and/or doesn't own a scale:
I thought that 100g is roughly equal to one cup of cheese (measure after grating).

I took the water, milk, salt and oil into a pan and set over medium heat until the mixture boiled.
I measured the tapioca starch into a medium bowl and poured the hot milk mixture over it, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon.
Is turns kind of gelatinous and looks odd, that's exactly what should happen.
In a small bowl aside I stirred together the eggs and grated cheese.
When the starch mixture had cooled down a bit, I poured in the cheese and eggs and stirred well until it turned smooth, still using the wooden spoon. Keep in mind that the batter is heavy, but you need to make it smooth.
After that, just scoop the batter to ungreased cookie sheets, leaving about 4cm between a pão and the next.

I like my pães de queijo kind of small - let's say, portions of level tablespoons -, because that way I get a larger area of crunchyness (does that make sense?).
My boyfriend (who was baking the pães de queijo with me) prefers larger pães de queijo, which turn out fluffier - so he uses about 2 tablespoons batter for each little pão.
This depends on what the baker prefers.
The important thing is to remember to make each batch with pães de queijo that are reasonably equal in size, so that all of them will take the same time to bake.
I baked them in preheated oven at 180oC for 30 or 40 minutes. If you like, leave them for 5 more minutes in high heat at the end, to make them brown up a little on the outsides.

Yields about 30 pães de queijo.

PS: I forgot to say: you can freeze the unbaked batter scoops and save them to bake later.
(Once they're firm, you can transfer all of them to a ziplock).
I'm not sure for how long they keep nicely, but one month is a very safe time span.

4 comentários:

thecookssister said...

These cheese breads look delicious!

Flora. said...

Hey cook sister, many thanks! :)
I'll stop by to take a look at your blog in a minute.

Claudine from CondensedLoveHome said...

Hi, there! Found your blog because one person pinned my condensed milk sweets to a board that had your pao de queijo on it! It looks great! I am Brazilian also, and I am always looking for the perfect pao de queijo recipe!
I am now following you! cheers,

Flora. said...

Hey Claudine!
How nice to be on a board with you :)
How do you get to know if/ where your pictures have been pinned?

Let me know if you approve of this recipe, and if you'd rather, you can read me in portuguese: ehoquetemprahoje.blogspot.com

I'll come to take a look at your blog too.

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