Friday, December 30, 2011

Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Pao de Queijo with asiago cheese and rosemary
Pao de Queijo, Brazilian Cheese Bread are more like  popovers - little puffs of delicious chewiness (from the tapioca flour/starch).  Best enjoyed warm, these little guys make great appetizers complimentary  to both white and red wines.  This blender version of the pao is easy and fast and the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week; re-blend well before using.

Tapioca flour/starch is commonly found in Asian food stores, hanging out in the water chestnut and sweet rice flours section. Alternatively, larger grocery stores carry tapioca flour/starch in the natural food section under the Bob’s Red Mill label.




Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

½ to ¾ cup grated cheese (use more assertive cheeses such as asiago or pecorino for richer flavor)
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ cups tapioca flour/starch
1 egg, large
Fresh rosemary, snipped (optional)

Oil two 12-cup mini-muffin tins (no need.  Evenly distribute the grated cheese and rosemary (if using) into the muffin tin cups. Preheat oven to 400º F.

In a liquid measure, measure the milk and then measure the oil on top.  Pour half of the liquid into a blender, then the tapioca flour, salt, egg, and finish with the remaining fluid.  Blend well using several pulses; scrape down sides with a rubber spatula.  Fill the cups about 7/8 full with the thin batter. 

Bake at 400 º F for 15-20 minutes or until tops are light brown.  Best enjoyed out of the oven or warm.  Cold pao can be reheated in oven.

Pao de Queijo with mozzarella

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