By Melody Gluth
Years ago, I went to a fancy Brazilian steak house with my family. There were all kinds of dishes, but one in particular caught my attention. It was these delicious bites of cheesy bread that I really enjoyed. I didn’t know what was in them or even what they were called, so I jokingly called them “cheesy poofs”.
Years later, a friend of mine from high school was living with my family for six months while her family sorted out a moving situation. Around Christmas time, she was getting ready to go to a family party and said she was going to bake up some Brazilian cheese bread for the party. We didn’t really think much of it until later when my mom asked if she could have the recipe to try. So, one night, she baked up some Brazilian Cheese Bread to go with dinner. To my surprise, they were cheesy poofs! I was ecstatic because now I could make one of my favorite side dishes.
They are very easy to make and taste super delicious. You can use any kind of cheese you want, so play around and have fun with it. Parmesan is a good cheese to use since it is easy to find and mild in flavor.
Also, this recipe is gluten-free since it only uses tapioca flour. Using tapioca flour gives them an interesting gummy and chewy texture.
So, here is the recipe for Brazilian Cheese Bread:
Brazilian Cheese Bread
The recipe as presented is fairly basic. Feel free to dress it up a bit with herbs or spices of your choice.
- 1 egg*
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup milk
- Scant 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) tapioca flour
- 1/2 cup (packed, about 66 grams) grated cheese, your preference, though we got the best results from Mexican farmer’s cheese – queso fresco
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)
Special equipment recommended:
- One or two mini muffin tins. Mini muffin tins are about half the size of a regular muffin pan. The muffin openings are about 1-inch deep, and 1 3/4 inch wide at the top.
*It helps when baking with eggs to start with eggs at room temperature. If you don’t plan ahead (that would be me, usually) you can put the egg in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to gently take off the chill of the fridge.
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a mini-muffin tin. Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender so that everything gets blended well. At this point you can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to a week.
2 Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and just lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes.
Eat while warm or save to reheat later.
Note that Brazilian cheese bread is very chewy, a lot like Japanese mochi.