Pão de Queijo with paprika and sea salt

pdqIt’s World Cup time, and although Brazil is not my team, I thought that I’d make some Brazilian snack foods for the games. Pão de queijo, Brazilian cheese bread, is a very common breakfast or snack food. It is SO delicious, and worth trying if you’ve never had it!

I topped half of mine with spicy paprika and sea salt (that is definitely my preference) but they are amazing just plain as well. If you seal them in an airtight container, they should last for a few days. BUT bring these out at your next football viewing and I promise you there will be no leftovers!

pdqThese are airy little cheese puffs, bite-sized for the perfect game day food!

A quick note on finding cassava or tapioca flour: Whole Foods has it and so do most health food stores. You can also find it at Latin markets, if there is one conveniently located near you.

Pão de Queijo
Makes a little over 2 dozen puffs

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups tapioca or cassava flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups parmesan-reggiano cheese, shredded
parchment paper for baking


First, preheat the oven to 450°F.

Pour the milk, oil, and kosher salt together in a medium-sized bowl. (The oil + milk combo is super cool looking, like mercury!) Over medium heat, continually stir everything until a rolling boil gets going and everything is completely mixed together. When it’s ready to be taken off heat, you should see big bubbles coming up through the milk.

pdqPour the milk mixture into a bowl and add in the tapioca flour. Using a rubber spatula or your hands, stir in the flour until there is no more dry flour. It will be hot from the boiling milk, so be careful!

pdqIt will look super weird once the milk is all soaked up, but I promise you haven’t done anything wrong! Let the dough cool until you can put a finger on/in it and hold it for a few seconds.

pdqIn a separate bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Then, mix the egg in with the dough using your hands, only putting in 1/2 at a time. Let each part soak into the dough thoroughly before adding in the second 1/2. The dough will be very sticky!

pdqFinally, add in the cheese!

Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and pour a small amount of vegetable oil in a cup (this will help with the stickiness of the dough). Measure out 1 tablespoon portions and round them. You can use your hands to form the little balls, continually dipping them in the vegetable oil to keep them from sticking.

pdqSpace them about an inch apart on the baking sheet.

pdqIf you choose, top them with sea salt and paprika!

pdqNow, turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for 25 minutes, or until they are just browning on the outside, more golden brown on the bottom, and have puffed up nicely!




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