Sunday, July 3, 2016

Party Food - Brazilian Cheese Bread

I've been obsessing over these for over a year a year and half. I should have shared the recipe the instant they popped out of the oven, all thin toasted, crispy crust around a soft chewy, cheesy puff, hot enough to make my roommate juggle one in eager anticipation.

Last year on my boyfriend's birthday, I gathered our friends, many bottles, a magic custard cake from White on Rice Couple and a batch of these beautiful breads. True to form for a karate party, drinks were mixed and shots taken, but these stood out amongst the fuzzy memories. They are fully worth the labor, enough so that a staunchly non-cooking friend asked me for the recipe. Since then, they've been to a Christmas party, a birthday party (as the birthday cake request...!) and a baby shower.

Tomorrow, they're going to the beach! To those in the U.S., Happy Independence Day! Let's eat a lot, terrify our pets with bright lights and loud bangs and generally cause a ruckus :D

To those in every other country in the world... Happy Monday...?

Like those bottles hanging out on the top shelf of my pantry, these are always welcome to the party.

Brazilian Cheese Bread
Adapted from The Kitchn

2 cups tapioca flour (I use plain, not fermented, which is just fine)
1 cup whole milk (yes, you can use skim, evaporated + water, etc. Forgiving recipe!)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I like olive)
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup shredded Parmesan/mozzarella/cheddar cheese


1. Set aside the tapioca flour in a bowl.

2. Boil the milk, oil and salt. They will bubble up alarmingly fast, so have the tapioca flour ready to go!

3. Dump in the tapioca flour and stir quickly, forming a gelatinous dough. Turn off the fire, but keep stirring until all the tapioca flour has been incorporated. I recommend a wooden cooking utensil, such as a spoon. My personal favorite is a wooden paddle with square edges, so I can scrape the inside edges of the pot.

4. Stir vigorously (I prefer a mixer at this point...) until cool. Add the eggs and keep stirring until the dough is light yellow and reasonably homogenous.

5. Add the shredded cheese and stir until all the cheese is evenly mixed in.

6. Using a scoop, spoons or your hands (dip your hands in water to reduce sticking), form balls of dough around 2 tablespoons in volume. At this point, you have a few choices.

7.A. Preheat the oven to 350F and arrange the breads on top of parchment paper on baking sheets, a couple of inches apart. Bake for 25-30 minutes, then party!!!

7.B. Alternatively, arrange the breads on top of parchment paper on baking sheets and freeze, saving them to bake later. This is also a good method of portion control...

Either way, now or later, enjoy! These are best warm, since they lose their unusual chew when they cool, resembling more typical cheese buns made with wheat flour. They do make fantastic sandwiches, though, hot or cold.