Brazilian Pao de Queijo....or Cheese Bread Rolls( Gluten-free). I've been meaning to make the Brazilian Pao de Queijo for SUCH a long time...probably a couple of years now. Recently though(well, not so recent, as this post is long overdue), I bought the tapioca starch and meant to make them...had a few projects I needed to do and somehow didn't get the chance to even think about them. The tapioca starch was sitting in my fridge... for a few weeks...and then I saw Susy, from Cooking In The Desert, post the exact recipe I had meant to make. After seeing her beautiful photos, I just knew I couldn't wait any longer... made the rolls the following day.
The inside of the cheese rolls remind me of the Japanese mochi... with that chewy, spongy texture. If you've had mochi ice cream, you'll know what I mean...or maybe even those fried spongy sesame balls found at Chinese restaurants. In any case, they aren't exactly a typical bread roll. While the outside may be misleading, the inside is far from having a bread-like texture...expect a moist and chewy texture when making these rolls... with a cheesy flavor. The flavor sort of reminds me of a soft cheese cracker...or a cheese quiche. That's the best I could do in describing them. But we really, really liked them... actually, we found ourselves eating more than our share:). It's probably best to make these when you have a large group of people to share them with...
But, regardless, I am thinking of making these again... for a New Year's appetizer. Thought it best to post this recipe now, in case some of you are entertaining... and would like to try it. Hope you enjoy...
~~~~~~Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!~~~~~~
Note: The rolls deflate a bit after they cool down...
Tip: You can refrigerate some of the dough and make a new fresh batch a day or two later... if making for guests, bake them the first day for best results and serve them straightaway.
I've even frozen the dough(though the texture suffers a bit...still good, but not great).
Though probably not traditional, you can opt to add some herbs of choice.
You will need: adapted from Cooking In The Desert and makes a pretty large batch...maybe 40-50 rolls?
500 grams tapioca starch
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1-2 tsps salt, or to taste( I used a few pinches)
350 grams mozzarella cheese*
*or other cheese, such as Parmesan, queso fresco, or a mixture...I used 300 grams mozzarella and 50 grams of Mexican blend grated cheese, because I ran out of mozzarella. Traditionally the matured Minas cheese is used...
Preheat Oven to 350 deg F:
1. Place the tapioca starch in a large bowl...or a mixer bowl.
2. To a saucepan, add milk, water and oil. Bring to a boil.
3. Pour hot milk liquid over the tapioca starch. Mix with a spoon until well incorporated....you could use a dough hook, as well. The mixture is quite thick and sticky.
4. Allow dough to cool..and then add the cheese. Knead until the cheese is incorporated....I ended up kneading the cheese by hand...it takes a bit for the dough to fully incorporate the cheese....
5. Add salt and mix to combine. If using a salty cheese, you may want to cut down on amount of salt... taste and adjust.
6. Add the eggs, one by one, until well incorporated...sort of like when making choux pastry. You can knead the dough using your hands...or using the dough hook from the mixer. I used my mixer to do this part of the kneading.
7. Form balls measuring around 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. I oiled my hands a bit when forming the balls as the mixture can be quite sticky.
8. Bake in pre-heated oven until puffy and lightly brown...18 or so minutes. Do keep an eye on them...as you want them to just get a tinge of color...but not too brown. The rolls deflate a bit after they have cooled....and have a mochi-like interior texture... moist and chewy.