Pão de Queijo/Brazilian Cheese Bread Balls
‘Pão de Queijo’ is a Minas Gerais region speciality. You will need some Minas cheese, or a good cream cheese as a substitute.
Makes 15 breads
4 ½ cups of tapioca flour
8 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of Minas cheese, or any firm cow’s milk cheese, grated
½ cup of cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon of salt
First of all, preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan/350F/ Gas mark 4). In a medium pan melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the milk and vegetable oil and bring to a boil. Season to taste. Allow to boil then remove from heat. You need to add the tapioca flour immediately to the mixture when it has just boiled and quickly stir, otherwise you risk the mixture turning into a soup like consistency which must be avoided. Leave the mixture to cool down for 10 minutes. Chef’s note: “If you don’t allow the mixture to cool down before adding the eggs, the eggs will just turn to scramble eggs.” Stir in the eggs and the cheese, and mix well. Put to one side and allow the mixture to cool for about 30 minutes.
Flour your hands with the tapioca flour and take about a golf sized piece of dough and mold into a ball. Place on a baking tray – preferably with baking sheet or rub butter in the tray so that the dough doesn’t stick and burn when baking. Bake the rolls until they are puffed up and a nice golden brown.