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pao de queijo brazilian cheese bread
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Step 1

Preheat the oven to 230 ºC (or 450 ºF).

Step 2

Combine the milk, oil, and salt in the saucepan, and bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remember to whisk occasionally. Remove from heat as soon as it starts forming big bubbles.

Step 3

Add all of the flour to the mixture and stir until you see no more dry flour. The dough will be grainy and gelatinous at this point.

Step 4

Transfer the dough to a bowl. You can do the next steps by hand or using a mixer. Beat the dough for a few minutes until it smooths out. It has to cool down enough so that you are able to hold your finger against it for several seconds.

Step 5

Whisk the eggs together and add the eggs into the dough in two additions. Wait until the first addition has been fully incorporated into the dough before adding the second.

Step 6

Beat in the cheese into the dough. The result will be very sticky, stretchy, and soft dough with a consistency between cake batter and cookie dough.

Step 7

You can just use your hands and roll the dough in balls as big as you want. Alternatively, you can use an ice cream scoop, a tablespoon measure, or a dinner spoon, and scoop rounded portions of the dough into mounds on the baking tray. Leave some space between them because they puff a little. Dip your hand/scoop in water to prevent sticking.

Step 8

At this point, you can just stick your baking tray into the freezer and let the balls freeze for a while. When frozen, they can be put in a sealable bag and taken out straight to the oven.

Step 9

Transfer the tray with the puffs to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 180 ºC (350 °F). Bake for 25-30 minutes, until they have grown slightly, the outsides are dry and just starting to colour (or you are like me and adds a lot of cheese, cheese-golden).

Step 10

Pão de queijo is delicious on its own, but you can cut them open and add a little bit of savoury stuff like butter/cream cheese, or sweet things like dulce de leche, lots of options! It is possible to shape them bigger and use as sandwich bread. Leftover puffs can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week and re-crisped in a warm oven or toaster oven.

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