These cheese bread balls, called Pão de Queijo in Brazil, are made with tapioca flour which gives them a chewy texture.
A few weeks ago I made some Brazilian cheese puffs, also known as Pão de Queijo. I commented that while they tasted great, they didn’t seem to follow the recipes of the ones I’ve eaten because the recipe I used was a liquid batter that required the balls to be made in mini muffin cups, whereas the ones I’ve seen are usually round balls.
I got quite a few responses, suggestions and recipes for the type of bread balls I was looking for. Horray for the internet.
Armed with more knowledge, I wanted to try these again. I found two great recipes. I decided to first use the recipe provided by Ellen, who left the recipe as a comment on my original post.
I got several comments that I should use gruyere cheese or Parmesan cheese. Since I love both, I thought this would be a great idea. They really tasted better with these cheeses, but they also didn’t photograph as nice because the cheeses are yellow making these balls quite pale when I tried to photograph them.
So I made them again, and did a blend with some sharp cheddar for a better color. These balls are quite chewy when hot. They are more dense than the puffs I previously made. The puffs I made were almost hollow inside and only the crust was chewy. These balls have a chewy interior, almost like eating mochi, except that it’s the tapioca starch giving it the chewy texture. I’m not sure which taste is the more authentic one because my experience with the Pao De Qeuijo is quite limited.
I’ve heard that these breads can come in many different flavors. I’m definitely going to have to explore more recipes and flavor combinations.
Brazilian Cheese Bread Balls (Pão de Queijo)
- 1 cup of nonfat milk
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of oil
- 3 cups of tapioca flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese (see note)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, and oil together and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the tapioca flour, salt, egg and grated cheese.
- Transfer the milk mixture from the saucepan to the bowl with the flour mixture and stir until the batter is smooth. Using your hands, form balls from the dough about 1" big. If needed, add additional flour, a small amount at a time, if the dough is too sticky.
- Place the dough balls on the baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes or until they turn golden. Serve warm.
- I like to use a sharp cheddar cheese blend, which gives the bread balls a nice color, but you can also switch out the cheddar for parmesan or gruyere.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.