‘Pão de Queijo’ (Cheese Bread in Portuguese) is a small cheese roll, a popular food in Brazil. The reason why I started baking ‘Pão de queijo’ is because I simply fell in love with this bread roll when I first tasted it in Japan.
More then 10 years ago, my family lived in a city in Japan for a short period of time. Many Brazilian ‘Dekasegi’ people were living in the city and I surprisingly came across many Brazilian food there. ‘Pão de Queijo’ bread mix was available from most supermarket stores.
Here in Melbourne where I live now, ‘Pão de Queijo’ is an unknown food. I have to make it from scratch. Fortunately it is quite easy as the main ingredient Tapioca Flour is commonly available from any stores.
Tapioca Starch Flour 2 cups
Milk 2/3 cup
Water 1/3 cup
Canola Oil OR Vegetable Oil 3 tablespoons
Salt 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon *depending on the saltiness of the cheese
Egg 1 *lightly whisked
Grated Parmesan Cheese 100g
Heat the oven to 180C and arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Place Tapioca Starch Flour in a large bowl.
Heat Milk, Water, Oil and Salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Then add to the Tapioca Flour, quickly stir and mix until you see no more dry Tapioca Flour. You might need a great deal of muscle to mix until smooth.
Beat in the Egg gradually and mix well until smooth.
Add the grated Cheese and keep mixing until completely smooth. Whew, the hard work is now over! The dough is very sticky, stretchy and soft.
Wet a spoon and your hands, make about 2cm to 3cm balls and place them on the prepared baking trays. I usually place 12 balls per tray.
Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the baking trays between racks to bake evenly. Bake 10 more minutes or until the Bread Rolls have puffed and slightly coloured. Cool for a few minutes and serve warm.