Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (2024)

Jump to Recipe

Brazilian cheese bread, or pão de queijo as we call them in Portuguese, are a true gift to the universe! This typical Brazilian snack is lightly crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and has a cheese flavor that just hugs your mouth. This Brazilian cheese bread recipe is easy to make and yields about 30, so you can make a stash for now, and freeze the rest for later. Check out the easy step-by-step below!

Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (1)

Yuca Series Post 4 – Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe

Oi Gente!

Welcome back to another post on our yuca series. To catch you up, so far we’ve talked about how to work with whole yuca, and how to makecrispy yuca friesandcreamy mashed yuca. Then, we talked about the difference between yuca flour and yuca starch and I showed you how to makefarofa,one of the most important Brazilian side dishes.

This time, our main ingredient is the yuca starch, just what we need for for our pão de queijo Recipe.

Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (2)

Where did the Pão de Queijo recipe come from?

Ok, so, as most Brazilian things, the real origin of these yummy cheese bread is unknown. It’s believed that they became a thing around the 18th century in the state of Minas Gerais, which totally makes sense, since production of milk and cheese is higher in that state. Anyway, the other important thing to note is, at that time, Brazilians had long mastered processing yuca into different forms, including flour, while processing wheat flour in the other hand wasn’t a thing then.

Looks like wheat flour wasn’t really produced locally until the beginning of the 20th century. So, if wheat flour was even to be considered for making Brazilian cheese bread, people at the time would have had to rely on flour imported from Europe. And in 18th century Minas Gerais that would have been… complicated. Also, apparently, the quality of the wheat flour coming from Portugal wasn’t the best to begin with, so, that didn’t really play in favor of wheat as a first option anyway. Too hard to get, too low quality.

With that, Minas’ savvy locals, decided to do the logical thing and stick to the better, local ingredient *drum roll*, yuca starch. Yuca startch is what we call, polvilho, which you might know as, wait for it…. tapioca flour! And just like that, with a little bit of milk, a little old/hardened cheese, and some eggs the pão de queijo recipe was born.

Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (3)

Brazilian Kitchen Abroad is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

How to Make Brazilian Cheese Bread

Good News Alert!!! You can buy tapioca flour pretty much anywhere. I usually buy mine at Whole Foods, but I have seen it in other grocery stores here in Los Angeles as well. And remember, when in doubt, Amazon!

  • Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (4)
  • Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (5)

This recipe is super easy. We’ll start by whisking together the tapioca flour and the salt in a bowl, then, in another bowl, we’ll combine the cheeses and the eggs. All measurements and quantities are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Now on to some technical steps:

Step 1 – Simmer the milk and the oil, then pour it hot into the bowl with the tapioca flour.

Step 2 – using a wooden spoon, mix it to combine. You’ll notice that the mixture will not be hom*ogeneous, it’ll be gummy and clumpy, which is totally normal. At this point, we need to let that mixture cool off a bit, about 10-15 minutes. If you add the cheese and egg mixture to the hot tapioca, the cheese will melt, the eggs will cook and curdle, and we want none of that.

Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (6)

Step 3 – After the tapioca mixture cooled off, you can go ahead andmix it with the cheese and egg mixture.

Step 4 – Keep mixing and massaging it until you have a hom*ogeneous mixture that comes together as a ball. You’ll still see some white tapioca specks in the dough – don’t worry, that’s also totally normal!

Time to roll your Brazilian Cheese Bread!

Step 5 – Oil your hands!

Step 6 – Scoop about 2-Tbsp size portions into your hand. I use a 2.5 tbsp scoop to get the same size portion every time, which isn’t just for a perfect look. This helps them bake more evenly, too! I like to also give the dough a little squeeze, to make sure there aren’t any dry/unmixed spots inside. Those little unmixed pockets will break the balls as you try to roll them, and that’s a bit annoying.

Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (7)

Step 7 – roll, roll, roll!

Step 8 – Ta-da! A perfect little ball!!

Ok, now, this isn’t ideal, BUT, if you’re feeling a little too lazy to hand roll the little balls, there’s a way around it. You can just use an ice cream scoop and scoop the dough directly into the baking sheet.

However, you can see from the photo below they don’t come out smooth. This, plus the absence of the oil from your hands that would coat the outside of the breads if you were to hand roll them, causes them to bake a little more ‘rough.’ This also makes them get crispier outside, too. So yeah. Can you do it? Yes. Is it great? Not exactly.

  • Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (8)
  • Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (9)

Prepare your Brazilian Cheese Bread recipe to bake or Freeze

To freeze. Arrange the little pão de queijo balls in a baking sheet side by side. Then, pop the baking sheet in the freezer so the cheese breads can start to hold their shape. After about 10-15 minutes you can just place them into ziplock bags and freeze to bake later.

To bake. Just arrange your perfect little balls (or your lazy scoops) in a baking sheet approximately 2″ apart from one another to allow for air to circulate around them while they bake.Bake in a preheated oven until they’re lightly golden and enjoy!

Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (10)

These Brazilian Drinks pair great with this pão de queijo recipe!

Limonada – Brazilian Lemonade

Caipirinha

Batida de coco – Brazilian Coconut co*cktails

Other Brazilian Recipes You’ll Love:

Brazilian Black Beans

Grilled Picanha Recipe

Brazilian Rice

BE SURE TO FOLLOW ME ONFACEBOOK,PINTEREST, ANDINSTAGRAMFOR MORE BRAZILIAN FOOD INSPO!

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Brazilian cheese bread, or pão de queijo as we call them in Portuguese, are a true gift to the universe! This typical Brazilian snack is lightly crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and has a cheese flavor just hugs your mouth. This Brazilian cheese bread recipe is easy to make and yields about 30, so you can make a stash for now, and freeze the rest for later.

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes minutes

Servings: 30 Servings

Calories: 90kcal

Author: Aline Shaw

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 10oz round of Queso Fresco,crumbled *see below for option
  • 1 cup full fat milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus 1 Tbsp for oiling your hands
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb tapioca flour also known as tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

Prepare the Dough:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.

  • Add the tapioca flour and the salt to a large bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses and the eggs and set aside.

  • Add the milk and the oil to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer on stove top over medium heat.

  • When the liquid simmers, remove the pan from heat, and immediately pour the hot liquid into the tapioca mixture and using a wooden spoon, stir to combine – the mixture will not be hom*ogeneous, it'll be gummy and clumpy. See step by step images above for reference.

  • Wait 5-10 minutes until the tapioca mixture is cool to touch, and only then add the cheese and egg mixture to the tapioca mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon, or your hands to combine. Now you should have a hom*ogeneous mixture and it should come together as a ball. You'll still see some white tapioca specks in the dough – don't worry, that's totally normal!

Roll the Little Balls:

  • Oil your hands, then scoop a Tbsp to 2Tbsp size portions, roll them into balls, and arrange them in a baking sheet approximately 2" apart from one another. *For freezing instructions see section below!

  • Bake until golden brown, approximately 30-35 minutes.

Make-ahead Freezer Instructions:

  • To freeze your Brazilian cheese bread for later, follow all steps up until rolling the little balls and placing them the baking sheet. Then, just place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes for the balls to set (just enough for them to hold their shape).

  • When the balls are set, you can place them in a freezer safe ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3-4 months.

  • To bake them, no thawing needed! Just preheat the oven to 350F, then arrange the little frozen balls in a baking sheet about 2" apart from one another and bake until golden brown – approximately 40-45 minutes.

Bom Apetite!

    Did you make this recipe? Show me how it turned out! Snap a photo and share with me on Instagram tagging @aline_shaw!

    Video

    Notes

    *If you cannot find queso fresco, you can substitute by one heaping cup of Aged White Cheddar (freshly grated).

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 25mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 58IU | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

    Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe (2024)

    FAQs

    What is Brazilian cheese bread made of? ›

    Pão de queijo, or “cheese bread” in Portuguese, is a staple in Brazil and throughout South America. It's a delightful snack made with tapioca flour, which makes it naturally gluten-free. In Brazil, it is enjoyed all hours of the day, particularly during breakfast and family gatherings.

    How would you describe pao de queijo? ›

    Pão de queijo (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpɐ̃w dʒi ˈkejʒu], "cheese buns" in Portuguese) or Brazilian cheese buns is a small, baked cheese roll or cheese bun, a popular snack and breakfast food in Brazil. It is a traditional Brazilian recipe, originating in the state of Minas Gerais.

    Why is my pao de queijo gummy? ›

    The biggest difference is that pão de queijo are made with sour cassava flour or tapioca flour instead of all-purpose flour. Tapioca flour is decidedly strange stuff. When mixed with the hot milk in these pão, it turns gelatinous and sticky, closer to wallpaper paste than something you'd put in the oven.

    Is Brazilian cheese bread supposed to be gooey in the middle? ›

    Our Brazilian Cheese Bread is made with tapioca flour, which gives the dough a natural gooey quality even when cooked.

    What does pao de queijo smell like? ›

    A: It's made with cheese and bread so there is some cheese smell but not “really stinky”...

    Why is Brazilian cheese bread so good? ›

    Brazilian cheese bread is tasty as it gets, since they are so flavorful due to the cheese and the tapioca flour. However, feel free to serve them with butter or even some dulce de leche! Yum! Also, if you've seen other pão de queijo recipes out there, they were probably showcased next to a steamy cup of black coffee.

    What is a fun fact about pao de queijo? ›

    Another legend says, that the recipe was originated in times of slavery. Like many of the delicious dishes of the western hemisphere, Pão de Queijo has its roots in the culinary creations of African slaves. However, slaves were often deprived of the "edible" part of animals and vegetables.

    How do you eat pao de queijo? ›

    In Brazil, people traditionally eat pao de queijo for breakfast or as a snack – often with jam, honey or other sweet condiments for breakfast, or with savoury accompaniments and as a side to stew-like dishes.

    Why is pao de queijo important to Brazil? ›

    Also known as pão de queijo, Brazilian cheese bread can be traced back to southeast Brazil. When the state known as Minas Gerais was colonized, the people turned to native cassava to make bread because they found that the land wasn't suitable for growing grains such as wheat.

    What is the difference between pan de bono and pao de queijo? ›

    Pao de queijo is made with cassava starch, milk, cheese, eggs and butter or oil, and pandebono is made with corn flour, cassava starch, cheese, eggs, and a little sugar. We've found that pandebono also tastes a little sweeter than pao de queijo, thanks to the sugar.

    What is the difference between gougeres and pao de queijo? ›

    I think they would also make an excellent savory cocktail party snack. The difference between Brazilian cheese bread and French gougères is that the pão de queijo is made with tapioca starch/flour, making them crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside.

    Where is pao de queijo from? ›

    While it's served throughout Latin America from Argentina to Peru, pão de queijo (pronounced "pow-ge-kay-ju") is best known in its ancestral home of southeastern Brazil.

    Can you reheat Brazilian cheese bread? ›

    Serve warm. Although best when fresh, they can be reheated. Place them on a cookie sheet and reheat at 400ºF about 2 minutes. I can't wait to do more experimenting with these—the cheese and herb possibilities seem endless!

    How do you know when cheese bread is done? ›

    To see if your bread is done, insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the loaf. (If you go at an angle and through the side or bottom, you can minimize the visual evidence!) Most breads are finished baking at about 190°.

    Why is my pao de queijo runny? ›

    Troubleshooting Pao de Queijo:

    A couple of times out of dozens, I have had my pao de queijo dough turn out too runny to hold its shape when portioning out. I am not sure why this happens occasionally, but the best solution is to cover and refrigerate the dough for a couple of hours to firm up. Don't keep adding flour!

    What ingredient is in brazi bites? ›

    Water, potato starch, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, canola oil, whole milk, sugar, whey protein isolate, contains less than 2% of eggs, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodum bicarbonate, rice flour, and monocalcium phosphate), sunflower lecithin, salt, xanthan gum. Contains egg, milk.

    How do you eat Brazilian cheese bread? ›

    In Brazil, people traditionally eat pao de queijo for breakfast or as a snack – often with jam, honey or other sweet condiments for breakfast, or with savoury accompaniments and as a side to stew-like dishes.

    Where does Brazilian cheese bread come from? ›

    While it's served throughout Latin America from Argentina to Peru, pão de queijo (pronounced "pow-ge-kay-ju") is best known in its ancestral home of southeastern Brazil. Minas Gerais — an interior state bordering Rio de Janeiro with a robust dairy industry — is credited with refining the recipe.

    What cheese is in Brazi bites? ›

    A mouthwatering blend of mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and asiago cheese, with fresh tomatoes and spices. Everything you love about a cheese pizza wrapped up in a bite-size form – perfect for sharing, but so delicious, you may want to keep them all to yourself.

    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Tuan Roob DDS

    Last Updated:

    Views: 6368

    Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

    Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Tuan Roob DDS

    Birthday: 1999-11-20

    Address: Suite 592 642 Pfannerstill Island, South Keila, LA 74970-3076

    Phone: +9617721773649

    Job: Marketing Producer

    Hobby: Skydiving, Flag Football, Knitting, Running, Lego building, Hunting, Juggling

    Introduction: My name is Tuan Roob DDS, I am a friendly, good, energetic, faithful, fantastic, gentle, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.