Brazilian Cheese Bread, or Pão de Queijo, is an authentic Brazilian food originating in the state of Minas Gerais. It’s a different take on the dinner roll, cheesy and soft on the inside and crusty on the outside, and has become crazy popular worldwide. These are naturally gluten free, and can be customized with any cheese you have a craving for. I adore these!
Upon reading the words “Brazilian Cheese Bread“, I automatically thought of a generous slab of French bread covered in gooey, hot, melted, stringy cheese that takes two hands to wrangle up to take a bite.
I, however, was wrong.
What is Brazilian Cheese Bread?
Brazilian Cheese Bread is actually little rolls made of tapioca flour and cheese (traditionally Parmesan), and baked until perfectly crispy on the outside.
The inside is different from most every bread or roll you’ve probably ever had – it’s stretchy (from the tapioca) and soft. You could almost say it’s like a cross between a pate á choux or choux pastry and a dinner roll, but not exactly.
I ran across these while grocery shopping in the freezer section and was very curious. I fell in love with them and thought I must have stumbled upon something not so well known.
When I started looking for recipes, I found that these things are all over the place. They are quite popular.
The recipe is easy, straightforward, and actually pretty versatile. I’ve made these with feta cheese, blue cheese, sharp cheddar, swiss, multiple cheeses, and I typically like to throw chopped parsley in if I have it on hand.
More good add-ins I’ve tried are onions, chives, bacon, sausage, diced ham, corn, and hot sauce.
Pão de Queijo, by the way, means “bread of cheese”. This recipe originated in Minas Gerais, Brazil, a state that borders Rio de Janeiro. Minas Gerais has a robust dairy industry that contributed to the development of the popular bread.
Apparently in Brazil, they’re more of a breakfast staple as opposed to enjoying a basketful with dinner.
There’s another type of cheese bread that originates from South America called Pandebono, but it’s from Columbia. I believe the only difference is the addition of precooked corn flour, which gives it more of a bread like consistency.
I haven’t made that yet, but it’s on the list.
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