Sunday, August 18, 2013

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

Brazilian Cheese Bread
My sweet husband took me to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steak house in Atlanta, for our anniversary dinner lastlast year. The server greeted us with a warm basket of rolls, which I have since learned is a Brazilian custom.
Hey, wait a minute! We can't do this, my husband must have a completely gluten free meal. The waiter and the chef assured us the rolls were gluten free cheese bread, completely safe for Rick to eat. And, they were alsolutely divine. 
To be specific, those rolls were so good, I decided to put on my detective cap and check into South American cuisine. I really wanted a recipe for that gluten free cheese bread that I make a pig out of myself over. With just the tiniest bit of looking on the World Wide Web, I had four or five recipes to choose among in no time. I will get back to that later, but in the process of finding a recipe for Brazilian Cheese Bread (recipe follows) I realized that a lot of the food prepared in that part of the world is naturally gluten free.
As I understand, this delicious cheese bread, called Pao de Queijo, is served everywhere in Brazil and is naturally gluten free, literally melting in your mouth. That’s right, naturally gluten free because it is made with tapioca instead of wheat flour, meaning I did not have to do anything to convert this recipe to be gluten free. 
The recipe I am sharing with you is the result of combining two of the recipes I found, and based on the comments of reviewers’ who had lived in Brazil, I used the type of cheese they recommended and tweaked the proportions of liquid to dry ingredients just a tad. 
The result was fabulous! I have probably downed upwards of 3000 calories in the name of perfecting this recipe just for you. These warm morsels are the type that you cannot stop with eating just one. More precisely, you cannot stop until the basket is completely empty; I promise!

Now, here is what you have all been waiting for after oogling that big ole' basket of rolls at the top--the recipe!

Epilogue: I have tweaked this recipe during this past year. The ingredients are the same, but the instructions are somewhat different, yielding a more consistent product.ENJOY!
Here is my recipe: 
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt  to taste
1  cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free tapioca flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup queso (Mexican crumbling) cheese, grated

Here is how I made this delicious bread:
1. Allow all ingredients to come to room temperature BEFORE beginning.

2. Place milk, butter, canola oil and salt  in medium size sauce pan over medium heat. Stir to mix; then allow mixture to come to a full boil. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat.

3. Stir tapioca flour into the milk mixture; allow mixture to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. While mixture is resting, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure rack is in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

5. Add egg and cheese; mix thoroughly. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to completely  absorb moisture from the egg.

6. Using an oiled 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop to shape dough into small balls, place dough balls on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

7. Place baking sheet in preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until they are puffy and light golden in color. Serve immediately.

Author's Notes: 
1. This type of bread rises slowly, mostly during the last 10 minutes of baking time.

2. If mixture is not thick enough to scoop, put  mixture back into sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until mixture forms dough. Proceed with steps 6 & 7.

Servings: 8   Yield: 16

Oven Temperature: 350°F

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Nutrition (per serving): 105 calories, 88 calories from fat, 9.9 g total fat, 41.1 mg cholesterol, 254.5 mg sodium, 36.8 mg potassium, 1.2 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 1.2 g sugar, 3.1 g protein.

Author: Dr. Jacquelyn P. Horne
Copyright: 2013

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jacquelyn, my name is Vander I'm from Brazil, precisely from the state where the "Pão de queijo" was created,the Minas Gerais. Let me try to make a short version of a long story to you. Just like the "Feijoada", Pão de queijo was created by the slaves . They would take the peel of the cheese after the slave owners finish their cheese snack or meal. They would take the peel and would try to create different recipes one of them, the now world famous "Pao de Queijo". There are roomers within one side of my family that it happened within the family, so if it indeed is true, I'm part of the inventors of the thing in discussion here.
    Before I forget, the pics of your "Pão de queijo" look phenomenal.


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