Easy Pao De Queijo (Brazilian cheese bread)

These little cheesy bread are the most unforgettable part of Brazilian Rodizio for me. Made from tapioca starch, it is accidentally gluten-free, with a unique, pleasantly chewy texture, that might lead your guest into thinking this is a lot more work than it is. In reality, these are bread you don't even need to kneed, that takes maybe 5 minutes to prepare and will be ready in half an hour.
Because they are best hot, I recommend making smaller portion that you can finish in a sitting. The recipe I give will fill 12 mini-muffin tins, good for 3~4 servings.

1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2~1 cup cheese (I use a mix of Parmigiano Reggiano & Cheddar Gruyere)

Heat milk, salt, and oil on stove until bubbling. Pour hot liquid into tapioca starch. Mix until a dough forms. Mix in a beaten egg. Fold in grated cheese. Fill the dough into a well greased mini muffin pan. Bake at 375F for ~25 minutes.

You can skip the egg & use plant-based milk/cheese for a vegan recipe. The bread will puff more with egg & texture will be a little lighter, but the eggless ones largely have the same cheesy gooey texture, especially when the puffs are slightly cooled.


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