pão de queijo
Hot damn I love pão de queijo! As one of those pesky gluten free people, I really miss bread sometimes. Okay...mostly all of the time. Thank goodness for pão de queijo, the delicious and amazing little Brazilian cheese breads that make my gluten free bread dreams a reality. Literally translated to “bread of cheese”, it’s hard not to fall in love with the taste, texture and flavor.
Like many other Brazilian foods, pão de queijo originated from African slaves. They would soak and peel cassava root and then make bread rolls from it. When cassava is dried to a powdery extract, it is called tapioca! Tapioca is not just those disgusting (or amazing...depending on your taste) pearls in your pudding from when we were kids. Cassava root can be mashed, cooked into soups, or fried, as well as being used to make tapioca flour/starch. And yes, this flour is inherently gluten free! Tapioca flour is often used as a thickening agent for pies or soups, but in this recipe, it lends itself to the moist and chewy texture of these heavenly rolls.
It is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium as well as being a good source of dietary fiber, “good” cholesterol, and protein. Some of the health benefits of tapioca include ability to help in healthy weight gain, increase circulation and red blood cell count, protect bone mineral density, protect against birth defects, improve digestion, lower cholesterol, prevent diabetes, and more. All that said, it’s still a carb! So be mindful.
These rolls are perfect as is but they also get very friendly when dipped in soups, pesto, or marinara sauce.
You can make these by dropping ball sizes onto parchment paper but I like to make it easy as can be and just pour some batter into a muffin tin.
Ingredients: 1 ½ c tapioca flour (Bob’s Red Mill makes a great one!) ⅔ c milk ⅓ c vegetable oil ½ c packed parmesan cheese 1 egg, room temp pinch of salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a mini-muffin (or regular muffin tin-they will just be a little more flat but just as yum). Put all ingredients, except the cheese, in a blender. Blend until smooth then stir in the cheese. Transfer into muffin tins evenly and bake about 18-20 minutes until puffy and just slightly browned. Allow them to cool a few minutes but enjoy them warm!