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brazilian cheese bread ‘puffs’ (pão de queijo)


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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total: 40 minutes

Servings: 12

Cost: $1.54 /serving


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Step 1

Add the milk and vegetable oil (or butter) to a small pan and heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.

Step 2

Meanwhile, as it heats up, add the starch and salt to a large bowl (or blender).

Step 3

Add the warmed milk mixture to the bowl with the tapioca starch and mix it well into a sticky dough- almost like a fondant texture.If the mixture is very hot, it can be a good idea to cool it for several minutes. Otherwise, you run the risk of your egg starting to cook and the cheese melting - whoops!

Step 4

Then add the egg and incorporate it well before adding the cheese and folding it into the batter.

Step 5

Traditionally the mixture is added to a blender to properly incorporate the oil (or butter) into the batter. Still, I've found that it works fine blending it by hand using my method.

Step 6

To use a blender/stand mixer: For a blender, you just add the starch and milk mixture, blend, add in the egg and cheese, and blend into a batter. For a stand mixer, slowly pour in the milk mixture while mixing it on a low, then mix in the egg and cheese and increase the mixer speed to medium speed to form the batter.The batter texture can vary. Some Instagram followers let me know mine was a little wet, yet others said it was thicker than theirs – my main problem was whether it works when baked, and it does wonderfully! If it's scoopable like a batter, then it should be fine. If it's too liquidy, chill it in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to thicken up (Read FAQs for more advice).

Step 7

Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC.

Step 8

If the batter is hand moldable, then you can hand mold each ball. Otherwise, use a 1tbsp measuring spoon/scoop per pão de queijo. Spoon the mixture into a well-oiled (or use cooking spray) mini muffin pan or onto a parchment-lined baking tray (1-inch apart). I prefer using the muffin tin as it works well with a slightly looser batter too!Optionally, you can sprinkle a little extra cheese over them – but it's not necessary.

Step 9

Bake for between 15-20 minutes (the time will vary based on your oven and if you're using a muffin tin vs. oven tray). Once ready, the Brazilian cheese bread should be lightly brown and puffed up. Mine are slightly browner than usual this time because I got distracted (whoops!).

Step 10

If you bake them until very lightly golden, then they will be chewier and more elastic. If you bake them until a darker brown, like mine, then they'll be crisper on the outside.

Step 11

Once baked, they are ready to enjoy immediately or be allowed to cool for later.

Step 12

Room Temp: You can store the thoroughly cooled pão de queijo at room temperature for 2-3 days. Enjoy as-is or reheat (instructions below).Fridge: The Brazilian cheese bread rolls can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.Freezer: I usually freeze the unbaked versions rather than the baked ones (the frozen Brazilian cheese bread can be baked from frozen), so I don't know how the texture may be impacted by freezing the baked cheese bread.Reheat: To reheat the Brazilian cheese bread, just place them back in the oven until warmed through.

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