How was your Memorial Day weekend, as national weather center predicted it was a total wash out? It was raining throughout the day until today afternoon. Still it is cloudy, and there will be more rain tonight. It was scary Monday evening as there was warning for a possible tornado touch down near our area, luckily there was no tornado. We even got an experience to sheltering inside the closet of our home. I know about hurricane with Hurricane Ike, which never wants to remember it was really scary one. After that warning was lifted at 6.45 PM, I made some pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) for our evening tea.
For this month, the Daring Baker’s challenge hosted by Renata of Testado provado & aprovado was to make Pao de queijo ( Brazilian cheese bread). I was planning to make that for long time, even bought cheese and other ingredients, but never got around to making it. Finally I donned my apron and made it. It is delicious chewy, cheesy delight which I like as bite sizes. Usually it is served along with good Brazilian coffee. Marriage between the cheese and coffee creates wonders. In my house evening always starts with tea so I served with tea. These are one of the gems of Brazilian cuisine which everybody enjoys whether it is from a street vendor, or made from supermarket frozen dough or made from scratch.
Usually Pao de queijo is made with sour tapioca starch. I tried to search them in my grocery store Fiesta, where I couldn’t find them, so tried with tapioca starch (Yuca harina). The authentic recipe calls for “Queijo Minas Curado” which is typical from Minas Gerais. I couldn’t find that here, so used Asiago cheese and parmesan cheese to make this cheese buns. I followed the recipe that Renata given, only change I made is that I used only half the recipe. You can use your favorite cheese to make this delicious treat, but make sure to use a firm cheese.
These pao de queijo is delicious when they come out the oven, you can even freeze them, but make sure to reheat before serving.
Here comes the recipe.
- 250 gm (2 cups) tapioca starch (If you have access to sour tapioca, you can use 250gm (2 cups) of each)
- ½ cup (125ml) whole milk
- 1½ tablespoons (20 gm) butter
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 gm) salt (or to taste depending on how salty your cheese is)
- 1 ¼ cup Asiago cheese coarsely grated
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs
- Heat milk, butter, and salt in a small sauce pan until it comes to a boil. Watch closely as it may boil over. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Sift tapioca starch into a large bowl.
- Pour the boiled (hot) mixture over the tapioca and start stirring with a fork.
- The milk mixture will not be enough to form dough yet. You will have a lumpy mixture, that's what it is supposed to be.Keep stirring with the fork, breaking down the lumps as much as you can, until the mixture cools down to warm.
- At this point, preheat your oven to moderately hot 400° F/200° C/gs mark 6
- Add the grated cheese to the tapioca mixture and mix well, now using your hands.
- Add one egg at a time; mix with your hands until dough comes together. lightly beat the egg with a fork and add little bits until the dough comes together into soft but pliable dough.
- You only have to knead it a bit, not as much as you knead yeasted bread. It's OK if it is slightly sticky.
- Form balls with the dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon mat or lightly greased with vegetable oil. If necessary, you can oil your hands to make shaping easier.
- The size of the balls may vary from small bite-sized balls to the size of ping pong balls. They will puff up quite a bit after baking. I personally prefer the smaller ones.
- Bake it for about 25 minutes or until they just start to brown on the bottom. You may have golden spots of cheese on the crust. Don't over-bake as they will get hard and bitter.
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