Pao de Queijo (pronounced Pow-Dee-Kay-jo) are so freaking delicious. I first had them at a Brazilian steakhouse in town, and they blew me away. They’re small, cheesy, and light, but they have a lot of flavor. My wife found this recipe, and it was just like we had remembered. The only strange ingredient here is tapioca flour. You cannot, I repeat, cannot use any other kind of flour here, or else this won’t turn out. We found it in our local supermarket in the baking aisle, near the other types of specialty flour. You can also get it on Amazon. It’s about $4 for a bag, which makes 4 batches of these…a steal, in my opinion. As an added bonus, tapioca flour is also gluten free, if you’re into that sort of thing. Just throw flour, milk, an egg, oil and a touch of salt in a blender, add the cheese, and bake for a few minutes. That’s it. Give it a shot and let me know how you like it!
Brazilian cheese bread, or pao de queijo, are light, fluffy, cheesy bites that go well with almost any meal, but particularly steak and chicken. These taste just like the rolls served at fancy Brazilian steakhouses.
1 Large egg
1/2 cup milk (half and half works too, if you have that)
1/4 cup oil (canola or olive will work, try others at your own risk)
1 cup tapioca flour (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (garlic salt is an excellent substitution)
1/2 cup grated cheese (cheddar, Mexican-blend, Monterey Jack...use what you'd like)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add egg, milk, flour, oil and salt to blender and blend until mixed thoroughly.
Add cheese and pulse twice to mix cheese, but not pulverize it.
Pour into mini-muffin tins, until about 3/4 full. (If your pan is not non-stick, spray with cooking spray first)
If you'd like, top them with a tiny bit more cheese, an herb like rosemary or thyme, or even small bits of bacon.
Bake for 14-16 minutes. The tops will have risen and will be golden brown. It is very easy to overcook these, so watch them carefully beginning at 13 minutes.
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