Adapted recipe for Pão de Quiejo by Luciana Schrader (Photo by Luciana Schrader / cookingbrasil.com)

The quintessential Brazilian snack “Pão de Queijo” translates literally as “cheese bread,” but is known in English as “Cheese Balls.”

These little rolls, like many Brazilian foods, originated with African slaves who would make bread from the cassava root. Cheese eventually made its way into the recipe around the end of the 18th century.

Pão de Queijo is particularly popular in my home state, Minas Gerais, but is eaten across Brazil. It’s also eaten in Argentina. The bread is inexpensive to make and gluten-free.

Put some butter and jam, Brie cheese, or hummus on them and they fit perfectly throughout the day — from morning coffee to dessert at a dinner party. Pão de Queijo is easy to make and gluten-free.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 14 ounces of tapioca starch
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 ounces of shredded Parmesan and Romano Cheese combo
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour all the ingredients into a large Kitchen Aid mixer bowl and mix until it forms into a ball. If you do not have a mixer mix, put the ingredients into a large ceramic bowl and use your hands to knead it into dough. The more you knead, the better it is. But it should take about 5 minutes.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in your refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Take small portions of dough using a teaspoon as a measure and roll them into small balls, about 1 and 1/2 inches in size, and place them on a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.

Luciana Schrader adapted the common Brazilian snack into her own recipe for her blog, cookingbrasil.com.