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May 21, 2007 11:32 PM

Pao de Queijo recipe

A thread on the San Francisco board reminded me that I have had some great success making pao de quiejo at home. Here's a recipe that worked out pretty well for me...found it on recipezaar originally, but I changed it a bit - mainly by using butter and adding more cheese .

2 cups manioc flour (can be found at any asian or brazilian's super inexpensive, I buy a Vietnamese brand)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated parmesan cheese or other hard cheese....stronger cheese is really nice. Adding more cheese doesn't hurt either...the cheesier the better.
2 eggs

Mix milk, salt and butter in a pot, and bring to a boil. Remove from eat, then add the manioc flour. Then add the cheese and eggs, kneed with your hands until it's smooth, then form balls (depending on how big you want the small breads to be). Cook on greased baking sheet until they are lightly brown. Serve right away. They are delicious.

I personally love the texture of bread made with manioc flour, and ate lots of pan de yuca in Ecuador when I was there last year (same idea, but without the cheese). I'd love to hear if other people have better recipes or techniques for making these, since I'm planning to make them for a dinner party on Thursday.

Dave MP

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  1. I love these, too! I cannot eat wheat, so these are an awesome treat to have with dinner. My husband will ask excitedly, "are we having Balls tonight?"!

    I usually use the Chebe brand mix (which is essentially manioc flour/starch). I do not use butter, just milk and egg. We like the them with and without cheese (usually use parm). I have seen a recipe that uses mashed potato in the recipe, but have not tried that yet.


    1. I wouldn't use butter. The traditional way we do uses oil. Butter would make a bit too rich for my taste. Parmesan is a really good substitute for the Minas cheese (the cheese we use for pao de queijo in Brazil).

      3 Replies
      1. re: Toot

        Thanks for the recommendation, I might try some with oil and some w/ butter to see how they compare. Do you just use regular vegetable oil?

        Dave MP

        1. re: Dave MP

          Yes, I use canola oil.

          Here is the recipe I use, but it does take some practice to get them right. My sister-in-law, who makes pao de queijo often, is much better than I am :) ...

          500 grams of polvilho doce (you can find it in any Brazilian store)
          4 eggs
          1 cup of oil
          1 1/2 cup of milk
          100 grams of cheese (in here I use parmesan, you can't find the Minas cheese we use in Brazil in the US)
          1 leveled tablespoon of salt
          Put the polvilho flour in a bowl. Boil the milk with with the oil and fold into the flour. Mix until all the dough gets moist.
          Wait until it cools. Add the eggs and the cheese. Mix the dough with your hands. Make little balls with the help of a spoon.
          Put the little rolls on a greased baking sheet in pre-heated oven (400). Bake for 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.

          1. re: Toot

            Don't give up on finding the Minas cheese. I found it in a little Brazilian market here in Boston (Somerville, actually, just across the river.)

      2. Hi Dave, I saw a very similar recipe on the internet. All the ingredients and amounts are the same, except the milk and fat. The other recipe uses only 1/3c milk and 1/2 c oil. The difference between 1/3 c and 1 c milk is huge. How stiff is the dough supposed to be?

        I too love the texture of this bread; it's unlike any bread texture.

        How do you store the pao de queijo?

        1 Reply
        1. re: elise h

          In Brazil we always made a point of eating them hot out of the oven, it's terrible and has a chewy-in-a-bad-way texture once it cools off. We found that keeping them in a ziploc and reheating in a toaster over brought them back to about 50% of their former glory, but really they're the best right out of the oven.

        2. Is buying tapioca starch at my local supermarket the same as manoic flour?

          1 Reply
          1. re: julseydesign

            Not the same. The flour is a ground meal that resembles wheat flour in texture.

          2. HELP! Has anyone gotten these to 'poof'? I just returned from Brazil gung-ho to make these, and all my attempts to make cheesy-poofs have turned to chewy-cheesy bricks (yummy, but not what I'm looking for). I'm trying to make these for my soon-to-be sister-in-law, who is also gluten-intolerant, and would like something that approximates the Brazilian ones.

            FWIW, for flavor in the dough I've had great success with more expensive cheese: sheep's-milk rustico with peppercorns is my favorite, which gives it the same rich 'foot-iness' of a good, ripened queijo de minas. Also, for a real treat, try a few slivers of Parrano Robusto stuffed inside - OMG heaven! But sadly, when stuffed, the pães poof even less, so be warned. (the melted nutty-buttery-salty-robusto makes it worth the gumminess, though!)

            Please let me know if you've had success with getting these to puff up!


            2 Replies
            1. re: evergreengirl

              Did you figure out how to make it puff rather than the chewy centre? I am trying to make them for a dinner tonight (ya, last minute!) and wondered if you had any eureka moments. I first had these at Fogo de Chao and am assuming that's the texture. Thanks!

              1. re: iflutist

                If you want a crispier paozinho de queijo balls (what I think evergreengirl asked in 2009) which rises a bit better, consider using povilho azedo in addition or instead of polvilho doce. I like to mix them 50/50. This gets translated as "sour starch" or "acid" something, but it goes through a fermentation process before being turned into a flour and is actually a bit more expensive. If I fill them its generally after baking.

                iflutist you want to make paozinho de queijo which is soft and mostly hollow in the middle, this is generally done with a more liquid batter and its cooked in small aluminum tins. You can just beat the ingredients in the blender and make it without cooking the starch like is done with the other type, but need forms. There are recipes for this which use baking powder. I have a hand me down recipe for this type, but its not with me. Best I could do is translate one from a brazilian cooking site.

                BTW what you ideally want is queijo minas curado ou maia cura (or queijo minas padrao) different cured cheeses, whereas most people think of queijo minas frescal (white fresh cheese) when thinking of queijo minas. Mozarella and parmesan together are very common, even in Brazil.