Pronounced in Portuguese poww de kayjjjo, which translates into English, simply as cheese bread.  In Brazil these are eaten for breakfast with strong, short coffee (espresso) or as snacks.  The origin is not known, however, it is thought to be traced to the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais in the 1600’s as slaves would harvest manioc (yucca root) to produce tapioca starch (manioc).  They would cut, peel, then soak the roots in water.  After washed and drained they would be spread on the floor to dry outside.

The ever resourceful slaves would scrape the leftover residue (starch) from the bottom of the bowls and roll into small balls, which were then baked.  With the limited available ingredients available in those days, they were simply baked manioc starch.  Some 200 years later, the now freed slaves began to experiment by adding milk and cheese to the recipe.  Since the 1950’s these have become commonplace in snack bars and bakeries, right across Brazil and into parts of northern Argentina.

Speaking to my Brazilian friends in Rio de Janeiro to explain Cassava/manioc there seems to be confusion from different parts of the country what it’s called.  The recipe traditionally uses manioc/cassava flour.  If I understand it correctly….Cassava in the plant and manioc is the tuberous and starchy root of the cassava plant.  Cassava, when dried to a powdery (or pearly) extract, is called tapioca.  Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize and is also grown as far away as Nigeria and Thailand.  Confusingly in different parts of Brazil, cassava is referred to as manioc, tapioca and Brazilian arrowroot.

I have yet to source any manioc flour in the UK, although some specialist shops are likely to have a limited supply, so I substituted it with tapioca flour, which is also starchy and from the same plant, it is the closest alternative.

pao de queijo
Pão de queijo - cheese bread
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Pão de queijo literally translates as cheese bread; small baked cheese-flavoured roll and is a popular Brazilian snack and breakfast food.
Servings
24
Prep Time
30min
Cook Time
30min
Servings
24
Prep Time
30min
Cook Time
30min
pao de queijo
Pão de queijo - cheese bread
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Pão de queijo literally translates as cheese bread; small baked cheese-flavoured roll and is a popular Brazilian snack and breakfast food.
Servings
24
Prep Time
30min
Cook Time
30min
Servings
24
Prep Time
30min
Cook Time
30min
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/400F/200C fan/Gas 7. Grease a baking sheet with oil and put aside.
  2. In a saucepan, add the milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the tapioca flour. Stir it vigorously to combine and then leave it to cool a little.
  3. Pour the dough into a mixer or use an electric hand whisk. Now beat the dough until it's cool. Beat in the eggs ONE at a time, waiting until each one has completely incorporated, before adding the next.
  4. This should leave the dough all glossy and all ingredients fully mixed. Then add the cheese and beat a bit more.
  5. Spoon the dough onto a baking sheet. Use a tablespoon to keep mixture even with each ball, shape slightly if necessary to ball shape. Keep about 5cm apart, as they will puff up a little. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Serve slightly warm or cool. They will store nicely in an airtight box for 2-3 days.
Recipe Notes

Traditionally the recipe requires cassava flour, but in the UK this is not available, so substituted with tapioca flour, which is readily available.  I have substituted the 250ml full-fat butter for skimmed milk and made up the difference with 0% fat greek yoghurt.

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Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving
Calories 103kcal
Fat
Saturated Fat
Sodium
Carbohydrates
Sugars
Protein
6g
4g
70mg
12g
1g
2g
9%
20%
3%
4%
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Title Text
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Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving
Calories 103kcal
Fat
Saturated Fat
Sodium
Carbohydrates
Sugars
Protein
6g
4g
70mg
12g
1g
2g
9%
20%
3%
4%
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Title Text
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