Monday, May 18, 2009

Pão de Queijo

I first had these at a Brazilian BBQ place called Picanha. Along with the gluttonous portions of meat, meat, meat ... these were served. They have a glorious texture and a saltiness from the parmesan cheese. I have worked to get them right. No small feat. At first, the starch overpowered the cheese. I think I finally have something worth serving to others.

Like many Brazilian foods, Pão de Queijo from scratch is tricky to prepare. It is difficult to make the balls rise as much as the prepared mix. Also, the rolls can harden very easily if left overnight.

The secret is to use mashed potatoes in the dough.


2 lb of manioc starch (polvilho). You can use either sweet or sour manioc starch. Some people complain that sour manioc starch causes heartburn, however sour manioc starch makes the rolls rise more. It is your choice.

1lb of mashed potatoes (just cooked potatoes, mashed with no salt or oil).

2 tablespoon margarine

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 oz grated parmesan cheese

2 cups (500ml) milk


Preheat oven to 350° F

The mashed potato should be cool before using.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the milk. Then add the milk slowly while you mix until you get a soft dough.

Place 1 inch balls spaced in a unbuttered cookie sheet and bake at moderate oven (350 F) for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 50 rolls.

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