Cheese rolls, cheese bread,...well, it makes no difference really.
‘Pão de queijo’ as it is widely known all over Brasil is one of the most typical Brasilian snacks. I say it because it has crossed all our state borders. You might be north, south, southeast.. and all Brasilians will claim it as the nations favourite.
By origin it is from the state of Minas Gerais. We still talk about ‘the real cheese bread rolls’ and by that you mean the one made out of a ‘Minas recipe’. We still hold a strong belief that no matter who you are, what cooking skills you have or lack, if you were born in that state you ought to have ‘the’ recipe.
I once registered with an online food community called ‘Man, I am just mad about cheese bread rolls’’. Currently it has 207151 members. People who might or might not visit it regularly but who once joined in the hope/belief that they might find a recipe which would just be it. I confess that I for one joined the site as I wanted to find a recipe that would be the winner of the Michelin for ‘Pão de Queijo’. I wanted to amaze my friends from different corners of the world with this wonderful recipe.
My fellow Brasilians do miss ‘pão de queijo’ so much when they move abroad they are known to learn to make it so that they can keep their addiction alive.
The ingredients are: tapioca flour, eggs, milk, vegetable oil, a pinch of salt and cheese. I use Parmesan cheese as I live in
and I cannot find ‘cura’ cheese, a variety widely used in Brazil.
The preparation varies. There are traditional recipes where you boil the milk with the oil and pour it over the tapioca flour and then mix it all with your hands after adding the eggs to it.
I would love you to give it a go. The recipe below is the one I use all the time. It is just simpler than the traditional ones as I just could not be bothered with the whole palaver involved. The author is a chap called Luis Luiz. You can freeze the cheese rolls once rolled as you will end up with as many as 65. I believe that as much as you might fall in love with it 65 might be wee too much to have at once.
Pão de Queijo do Luis Luiz
500g tapioca flour
200g grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil (I recommend corn or even peanut oil)
1 dessert spoon of salt
Put the tapioca flour and salt in a non-metallic bowl, mix and set aside. Put the oil, milk and eggs in a blender and give it a whizz for one minute in medium speed. Add the grated cheese and blend it very quickly, just long enough to mix all the ingredients. Gradually add the mixture to the flour and mix it all with a wooden spoon. It might be a bit hard at first but I promise that it gets better and the mixture becomes smooth. Make little cheese balls with your hands and bake them for 20/25 minutes – oven temperature 200◦C or slightly higher. It will be slightly golden on the outside. Remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack.
The cheese balls can be rolled and frozen on a tray and only once frozen should they be put in bags and stored in the freezer. When baking the frozen rolls they should be initially placed at the bottom shelf of the oven and only moved to the middle shelf half way through their baking time.
I love having them with coffee but I used to like having them with pineapple juice. Some Brasilians have them with milk shake even – odd if you ask me. Whatever takes your fancy really.