You’re probably familiar with those puffy French things known as gougères, but have you heard of pão de queijo? The cheesy Brazilian cousin to the gougère uses tapioca flour, making it completely gluten free. The puffs get a golden cheesy crust filled with a chewy web of soft tapioca in their centers. They’re perfect to whip up for watching the Rio Olympics—or for any get-together for that matter.
The dough is sticky and more gelatinous than a pâte à choux. It’s too thick to pipe, so we recommend using wet hands to shape the dough into balls. This will make it fast and easy to divide up the dough before covering it in cheese and baking.
To learn more, read “Where to Eat in Rio.”
Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 20 puffs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups tapioca flour
2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1. Preheat the oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, salt and butter, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the tapioca flour until incorporated.
2. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the motor running on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, followed by 1½ cups of the grated Parmesan.
3. Scoop 2-tablespoon-size balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the balls of dough.
4. Bake until golden brown and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a platter. Serve warm.