Pao de Queijo

Why this? I like cheese. I like bread. It seemed like a good fit. This is just technically cheese bread, but you know, in Brazil (Spanish). It is pronounced as pao di queizo, pao as in bread. queijo as in cheese. In our local language, queso is cheese, with the same Spanish influence we have.

Baking in the oven
Baking in the oven

I have been reading about this dish for a while now and I was surprised to find only when I wanted to make it that the recipe called for tapioca starch! I didn’t know where to find it. And on further research, tapioca or sagu is also called cassava starch. It still has a lot more names such as yuca too. I wasn’t sure where to get it but was great surprised to discover that we have it in our nearest supermarket. Yay! So I had some of the main ingredient (I always have cheese at home) available easily.

I started on it after reading some recipes and found out that it was fairly like making cream puff. Which is my weakness. They never seem to rise and puff up properly that I have completely given up on making them! But I was in the mood to try this new bread so I just forged ahead. 🙂

A whole lot of em
A whole lot of em

First disaster was when my boiling milk and oil overflowed. I had to reestimate the volume of liquid I have. So I just simply added some hot water to fill in the 1.5 cups of liquid. I am sure some of the flavors were lost, and some of the oil too. But yeah.

I then added the flour which became one clump of a mess, which it was supposed to be. I cooled it off by beating it in the kitchen aid, letting it do all the hard work. I slowly added the eggs. There was one point that I was freaking out since it seemed to not be combining to a smooth dough!!! So I basically put my hand in (I turned off the mixer first) to mush up the whole chunky bits. After adding the second egg and letting it go longer, it finally looked pretty. But there was a heart wrenching moment I wasn’t sure what to do.

I added 1.5 cups of grated regular edam cheese. I scooped it up in an ice cream scoop and ended with 21 round things. They looked like lumps of thick cake batter. Into the hot oven, they rose a bit, browned a bit too. And on my first taste, it was beautiful! Hot crusty bread outside, soft and chewy consistency inside. It was nothing like I have ever tasted and I want to make more. All in all, this was a beautiful cheese bread. I want to recreate it. But what else do I do with my cassava starch?

Browned a bit, browner at the bottom
Browned a bit, browner at the bottom

I used this recipe which was very detailed (unlike the way I post recipes) 🙂


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