I have never been to Brazil and I only know a few words in Portuguese (though I know Spanish so it is easy to grasp the general ideas in a conversation), but I LOVE hosting churrascos (pronounced shoe-hask-oo). There is a Brazilian family we are friends with. The wife is from Brazil and her husband is American, but he is practically Brazilian by now. They have three kids that are all fluent in Portuguese and her adorable grandparents who only know a few words in English as they only moved here a few months ago. Add a few more friends (most of them don’t speak Portuguese), my husband (knows Portuguese) and I into the mix and it’s a regular party. We are loud. We laugh A LOT — a good deal coming from language barriers and miscommunications. There is singing and sometimes dancing. And there is really good food.We all bring our own meat to grill and share. Brazilian beans and rice are so much more amazing than normal beans and rice. There are tons of other dishes that I don’t know the names for and then there is the item I made (my meager contribution to the meal), Paõ de Quiejo or Brazilian Cheese Bread. This little beauty is easy to make and a definite crowd pleaser. If you are going to a party or looking for a good side dish, your search is over. Paõ de Quiejo.So not only did I marry someone who speaks Portuguese, but his parents also speak Portuguese. They are not Brazilian, but they have all lived in Brazil serving with our church several years ago. Well my sweet mother-in-law gave me this amazing recipe. I remembered her telling me in the past they had a good one, but they only time we have made this before we were lazy and bought the boxed version. Never again will that happen. Not when I know how easy it is to make it myself and how much better it tastes.So this recipe is not dairy free… it is hard to make cheese bread without the cheese. BUT it is gluten-free. It uses tapioca flour! Apparently that is a must. Unlike some recipes you can’t trade this out for a different flour mix. Another must with this recipe is the temperature of the ingredients. They all have to be room temperature when you mix them together. This means your egg and milk of choice need to be heated in some way until they have adjusted temperatures. Once that is done mix all your ingredients together in a blender: egg, oil, milk, tapioca flour, cheese and salt. Pulse the blender a few times, scrape the sides down and pulse the blender again. Pour into muffin tins and bake. Easy, right?!
Brazilian Cheese Bread (Paõ de Quiejo)
1 egg, room temperature
1/3 C olive oil
2/3 C almond milk (it called for dairy milk but it worked just fine with almond)
1 ½ C tapioca flour/starch (cannot substitute this with another flour)
½ C packed grated cheese, I used mozzarella
1 t salt
Cheese or rosemary to garnish, optional
- Heat oven to 350 F and lightly oil a mini-muffin tin.
- Your egg and milk MUST be room temperature. To warm up your egg you can set it in a bowl of warm water and you can microwave the oil and milk in order to get it slightly warm.
- Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse until a smooth batter has formed. Scrape the sides of the blender to pull leftover flour back into the batter and pulse a few more times.
- Pour into mini-muffin tins until they are almost full. Sprinkle garnish on top if you so desire. Bake for 13-16 minutes or until they are puffy and just starting to golden.
- Remove from the pan and cool for a few minutes. Serve immediately. They are best warm.
* You can bake batter right away or it can store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Give it time to become room temperature again before baking.