Pão de Queijo

Greetings from Brasil! I arrived in February and will be spending the next year in Lavras, Minas Gerais teaching English at Universidade Federal de Lavras, and doing research on food security!

Importantly, I’m researching food! And guess what, we’ve got some tasty treats from this wonderfully warm country. This pão de queijo is a naturally gluten-free cheese bread. It’s super soft, chewy and delicious. Everyone loves it, and for Brazilians its that wonderful thing that reminds them all of home, and its a native dish for the state I’m in, Minas Gerais. Lucky me, I ended up in the state known for its delicious food.

I made this tasty treat with the supervision of a native Brazilians who also translated the recipe below (thanks Samuel!) and used the kitchen of a friendly pal, Eduardo (thanks Eduardo!) and got to bake with my fellow Americans, Nakeisha and Molly (pictured here with me!).

So, although this cheese bread is anything but healthy, its incredibly easy compared to other breads, and its SUPER tasty. Hope you try this and enjoy!

You’ll Need:

  • 1 kg of Tapioca flour
  • 2 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of salt


  1. Put the tapioca flour in a large bowl and add the salt. Mix well.
  2. In a pot on the stove, set to boil the oil, milk, and water. Once it begins to boil, slowly pour the mixture into the bowl of tapioca flour and salt. Mix well, until all the powder is wet. (If there is not enough liquid to wet everything, you can add a small amount of lukewarm water, but no more than a ¼ cup.)
    Add it all in
    Heat it up
    Make sure it doesn’t overflow!

    Eeeeeeeeeee! Burning hot milk-oil-water!
  3. Cover the mixture with a dish towel and leave it out on the counter until it has chilled enough for you to mix/mold it with your hands.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. When the tapioca flour has cooled, add the eggs to the mixture one by one, stirring well between each egg.
  6. Add the cheese and mix well.
  7. Finally, roll the mixture in your hands to create balls about 2 in. wide. To prevent the mass from sticking to you, it is necessary to wet your hands with olive oil before picking up the mixture. You will probably need to put more oil on your hands as you go along, since it will wear off during the rolling process.
  8. Place the balls on an ungreased cooking sheet, about 1 in. apart.
  9. Bake rolls for 30-40 minutes, or until the outsides of the rolls begin to become light brown.
  10. Extra credit! Make yourself some coffee and enjoy your pão de quejo with friends! Or just enjoy it by itself!
  11. Extra extra credit! Have your new Brazilian friends make you caipirinha!
    Thanks friends!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jane Gale says:

    Happy to read your SAUCY news and view the interesting photos. Love, G’ma

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