Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Daring Bakers! Pão de Queijo

I am a college graduate now. I can no longer call this a blog about messing around in a dorm kitchen, because in a few days I'll be moving into an apartment with my own kitchen. College was wonderful, and helped me to discover what kind of person I am, and who I want to be. That process doesn't ever stop, but these four years have been some of the most formative of my life. 

That would be me.
I don't really do goodbyes, and I'm trying not to be sad. The people that matter most in my life will stay in my life. Yes, I'll miss not being able to walk next door or down the street just to stop by and say hello to my friends. That will be hard. And no matter how many times I return to campus, nothing will ever be the same as when I was a student. But that can't be a cause for sorrow. It's time to keep moving forward. And I'll be able to have experiences I never did in school. Dinner parties and movie nights in my apartment, concerts and farmer's markets...

I promise I will keep you updated on my life. The blog is not going to stop. Now on to business...Pão de Queijo. I love saying this. It basically means cheese bread in Portuguese, and is enjoyed in Brazil. I've actually had something like it before, from a mix my sister bought. These are gluten free, crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The secret is tapioca flour, which is actually pretty cheap. Check out the Asian food aisles of your grocery store for a bag that looks like this. Try them out if you please.

This month's Daring Bakers' Challenge took us on a trip to beautiful Brazil! Renata of "Testado, Provado & Aprovado!" taught us how to make Pao De Queijo, tasty cheese buns that make the perfect snack or treat, and that will make your taste buds samba!

Pão de Queijo

250 gm (2 cups) tapioca starch (If you have access to sour tapioca, you can use 250gm (2 cups) of each)
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole milk
1.5 tablespoons (20 gm) butter
1/2 teaspoon  salt (or to taste depending on how salty your cheese is)
1 1/2 cups (125gm) Monterey Jack Cheese (I used a mix of mozzarella and parmesan), coarsely grated
2 large eggs

Heat milk, butter, and salt in a small sauce pan until it comes to a boil. Watch closely as it may boil over. Remove from heat and set aside.
Sift tapioca starch into a large bowl.
Pour the boiled (hot) mixture over the tapioca and start stirring with a fork. The milk mixture will not be enough to form a dough yet. You will have a lumpy mixture, that's what it is supposed to be.
Keep stirring with the fork, breaking down the lumps as much as you can, until the mixture cools down to warm.
At this point, preheat your oven to moderately hot 400° F/200° C/gs mark 6
Add the grated cheese to the tapioca mixture and mix well, now using your hands.
Add one egg at a time, mix with your hands until dough comes together. I suggest you lightly beat the egg with a fork and add little bits until the dough comes together into a soft but pliable dough. You only have to knead it a bit, not as much as you knead a yeasted bread. It's OK if it is slightly sticky.
Form balls with the dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon mat or lightly greased with vegetable oil. If necessary, you can oil your hands to make shaping easier. The size of the balls may vary from small bite-sized balls to the size of ping pong balls. They will puff up quite a bit after baking.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until they just start to brown on the bottom. You may have golden spots of cheese on the crust. Don't over-bake as they will get hard and bitter.
 Serve hot or warm. If you don't want to eat them all immediately, form the rest of the dough into balls and freeze it. 


  1. Your Pão de Queijo look fabulous and I can understand why you went from the mix to scratch. YUM!

    Congrats on your graduation and best of luck!!!

  2. Congratulations! College was probably one of the best times of my life, and I miss it. But you're right, the people that really matter will still be a part of your life, just in a different way. Great job on the bread! I really enjoyed snacking on these.


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