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Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) Recipe


Cheese bread

A soft, chewy bread roll about the size of a golf ball and infused with cheesy flavor, pão de queijo is Brazil’s favorite savory snack and an excellent recipe to add to your repertoire. The manioc starch is what gives the cheese bread an incredible gooey and chewy texture, so try your best to use both types of manioc starches.

Adapted from "The Brazilian Kitchen" by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz.


  • 2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 ¼ cup sour manioc starch (povilho azedo
  • ¾ cup manioc starch (povilho doce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Place the grated Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Add the eggs and yolks and blend until you have a smooth paste, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Place the two starches and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Set aside.

Place the milk, water, and oil in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Immediately pour the milk mixture all at once into the starch mixture and turn the machine on at low speed. Mix until the dough is smooth and the starch is all incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Pause the machine and add the cheese and egg paste, scraping it directly into the manioc starch mixture. Mix the dough at low speed until it turns a pale yellow, about 10 minutes. You are trying to develop the structure of the dough by kneading it slowly. The dough will feel a bit sticky.

Transfer the dough into a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wet your hands with olive oil (alternatively, you can flour your hands with manioc starch) and use an ice-cream scooper as portion control to make 1-inch balls, rolling them with your hands. Place them on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 ½-2 inches between each roll (or you can freeze them at this point by storing them in a sealed bag for up to 3 months).

Bake the cheese rolls in the oven until they puff up and look lightly golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. To ensure even baking, rotate the pan once during baking time.

Remove the baking sheet from the over and place the rolls in a basket lined with a napkin. Serve immediately while they are still at their warmest and chewiest.