I had heard about Brazilian “cheese bread,” or pão de queijo, but had never tried it until my friend Rick found frozen ones at the grocery store a few months ago. Last week he talked the Brazilian couple who cleans his house into giving us a lesson on how to make the gougère-like rolls. They are surprisingly easy to make and will give you lead-belly in no time flat.
- 1 500 g bag of cassava (yucca) flour
- salt to taste
- 1/2 C oil
- 1/2 C milk
- 1 egg
- 200 g cheese (shredded mozzarella, parmesan or whatever you want)
- 1 1/2 C hot water (but not too hot)
Heat the milk and oil in a saucepan on high until foamy. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the hot oil and milk mixture to the dry ingredients and knead. Add the egg and knead. The dough will be dry and crumbly like streusel. Gradually add the water 1/2 cup at a time, kneading between each 1/2 cup.* You may need more or less water and can always add a bit more flour if the mixture is too sticky. Add the cheese and knead. Roll the dough into 1″ balls and bake at 400°F for around 20 minutes until puffed up, crisp and golden. Serve warm.
*So, I have since made these all by myself and I ended up using only about 1 cup of the water.