Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pão de Queijo

Okay, okay. I made the cheese breads. As promised. Here is the link to the recipe I used, but I will, of course, repost it here, as per usual (with my changes in italics, also as per usual). These things are just awesome. They chewy and happy and nutty and cheesy and just.. well, they just make me smile. Once they're baked, that is. Not while I'm making the dough. It's actually kind of difficult to stir the dough together, and I think the first time I made them I nearly had a bubble-over in the saucepan.

Anyway, you need to make these. They don't require any particularly hard-to-find ingredients, and it's totally acceptable to use the cheap, green can cheese. I've done it with high quality cheese and with cheap and it doesn't make a bit of difference. Hope you enjoy!

"1 cup each: water, milk (I used almond milk this time)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (450 grams) tapioca starch (Goya makes this and it's sold in the ethnic aisles of most stores)
2-3 eggs
200 grams parmesan cheese

Bring the water, milk, salt and oil to a boil. Remove from heat (do this! don't forget!) and add tapioca. Stir with a wooden spoon until fully integrated and let cool. Put it in a bowl, and add the eggs then knead the eggs in. Knead in the cheese, kneading until it's completely smooth. Roll 1 tablespoon of mixture into small balls. Tip: Grease your hands with oil before making the balls (she means this part pretty seriously too). Wash your hands once in a while if necessary. Place the balls on a baking tray greased with oil or lined with baking paper (I prefer to grease a mini muffin pan and put one ball in each muffin cup). Bake the cheese rolls in hot oven (350 degrees) for about 20 minutes or until golden brown (sometimes these don't get quite crispy enough on the outside, so sometimes I do them at 375; the insides should be soft and the outsides crispy-ish). Put the cheese rolls in a basket and serve them warm.

Remarks:

* This recipe makes about 70 small cheese rolls.
* Tapioca starch can be found in Asian grocery stores. It comes in a clear plastic bag and the standard pack has 450 grams. (The Goya brand is usually 650 grams or something like that, so you'll either want to buy this at an Asian grocer or break out your scale; I break out my scale)
* Brazilians usually knead the dough by hand. It’s really hard work. I prefer to use a mixer to knead the dough. I do it by hand but I understand completely why she uses a machine. It really is quite a pain to do by hand, though it's great exercise if you're into that sort of thing (which I am not).
* “Pão de queijo” can be served as an appetizer or snack. Or a meal by itself.
* “Pão de queijo” can be frozen and baked directly from the freezer. Tip: Place the cheese rolls on a tray lined with baking paper. Put the tray in the freezer. When the cheese rolls are frozen, put them in a plastic bag and put them back in the freezer. I do it this way. I bake about a dozen at a time, since they're tastiest fresh and I keep all the rest in the freezer until I'm ready to bake them.
* You can find "pão de queijo" mix (Yoki) in Brazilian supermarkets. It's very practical and convenient for those people who don't have time or don't like cooking. I have this, but I don't speak Portuguese, so I can't read the instructions. I'm told the mix is great though, by those who've used it. If anyone can translate the package for me, please say so and I will happily type it out for you.
* "Pão de queijo" is gluten-free."

2 comments:

  1. I've used tapioca to make "fried eggs", based on a Brazilian pancake thing, but they're super sticky. Are these sticky inside, or are they fluffy and crunchy like they look? Actually, they look kinda like the rolls at red lobster (oh, so yummy and easily faked with bisquick...). If you mentioned that somewhere, sorry. Reading comp drops with allergy meds.

    Looks yummy, tho. Even with eggs.

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  2. They're soft on the inside, but not sticky. Only the outside half-to-whole millimeter is crunchy. It's a pretty nice combination, though.

    Don't feel bad - I can't even remember what I wrote. I have test head.

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