It’s the end of the month. Which in my house means bills, bills, tuition, rent and….Daring Bakers’ time! (Pretty clever of them to decide that bleeding money time called for unique baked goods). I get excited when the challenge is a recipe from another culture. There is so much good food out there that I still haven’t tasted, or even heard of. That’s the case with with these little cheese balls from Brazil called Pão de Queijo, which literally translates to “cheese bread”. Since bread and cheese are two of my favorite things, I was immediately on board with this challenge. They are similar to French gougeres, which are cheesy cream puffs. But these little Brazilian balls are made with tapioca starch instead of flour. Not the easiest ingredient to find, but if you live by a Latin supermarket, you should be able to find it there. Muchas Gracias to Renata from Testado, Provado e Aprovado for sharing the recipe with us!
- 4 c. (500g) tapioca starch
- 1 c. whole milk
- 3 tbl. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 c. Monterey Jack/Colby blend cheese (or other cheese), coarsly grated
- 3 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.Whisk milk, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Sift tapioca into a large bowl. Slowly pour hot milk mixture over tapioca starch. Use a fork to mix together, breaking up any large clumps that may form.
Add grated cheese to mixture and mix well.
Break eggs into a separate bowl and mix together with a fork. Slowly add egg to mixture, a little at a time, mixing together with your hands until your dough is soft and pliable.
Form dough into small balls (I made mine the size of a small cotton ball) and place on baking sheet, leaving a little room between them to spread.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the bottoms of the balls start to turn brown. If you make your balls bigger, they will need more time in the oven. Serve warm, preferably with a strong, hot cup of coffee.