This easy Brazilian cheese bread recipe is definitely a must-make for cheese lovers. Crispy on the outside, and soft, chewy with airy pockets on the inside. You won't be able to stop eating them, trust me. And it takes only 15 minutes to make.
What Is Brazilian Cheese Bread?
It's pao de queijo in Portuguese. It's a very known traditional snack in Brazil that originated in a state called Minas Gerais.
They're gluten-free, made from basic ingredients of tapioca flour, eggs, milk, oil, and cheese. Traditionally the local "Minas cheese" was used but any sharp cheese is great in these.
These Brazilian cheese puffs are with crispy skin with a contrast of soft and airy inside. They're also chewy with a mochi-like texture. They're deliciously cheesy and trust me, you won't be able to stop munching on them!
Why This Recipe Works
This is the easiest recipe, delicious and success-guaranteed. Trust me. Marco's had this cheese bread since he was a kid. He and his family ate these every time they went to Brazil. We've made this so many times, our readers loved them, and everybody we serve these cheese bread balls simply goes crazy for them.
And you don't need a food blender to make them. Just a wooden spoon, a bowl, and a small pot. Simple, eh?
Also, the dough is very forgiving. You can't go wrong with it. Just follow our easy instructions and tips, and you'll be golden!
Ingredients For This Recipe
Tapioca flour - Make sure it's tapioca flour also known as tapioca starch. If you go to a place/aisle where they sell Latin American products, look for polvinho doce (sweet tapioca starch). There're two types; sweet and sour. The sour one has too strong of a taste, I don't recommend it.
Cheese - I use grana padano but any sharp cheese like parmesan or cheddar will work amazingly. Talking about cheese, my skillet pull-apart bread with parmesan and mozzarella cheese dip is to die for!
Oil - I use extra virgin olive oil but any oil will do. Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, your choice. Think of the flavor it'll add to this delicious Brazilian cheese bread.
Milk - Whole or skimmed works great. I've used them both without any problem.
1. Prepare the liquid mixture. Add milk, oil, and salt into a small pot and bring it to a rolling boil on medium heat, while stirring now and then with a wooden spoon.
2. Add to the flour. While still hot, immediately pour it into a bowl with the tapioca flour. Mix everything well until you get a homogenous crumbly dough. Leave for a few minutes until it's warm to the touch.
3. Add in the eggs. Briefly whisk the eggs in a bowl and pour them together with the dough. Make sure the dough is not too hot to avoid the eggs from being cooked (we don't want scrambled eggs!). Mix thoroughly.
4. Add in cheese. Mix in the cheese, the dough will be sticky at first. Knead with your hands until everything comes together. The more time passes, the less sticky the dough will be.
5. Bake. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place them on a baking tray with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 400ºF for 25 minutes. I love them hot from the oven but Marco and his family don't mind these pao de queijo at room temperature.
⭐ See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Recipe Expert Tips
- Coarsely grated cheese. This is to get those beautiful cheese bits that you see on the Brazilian cheese puff! The similar cheese bits that you can see in my cheesy flaky biscuits.
- Wait before adding the eggs. Make sure the dough is warm to the touch, before adding the eggs. This will avoid getting scrambled eggs in our dough.
- The dough will be firmer in time. You'll get sticky dough at the beginning. As you knead it, and as time passes, it'll not be as sticky. Cleaning your hands from sticky dough bits or oiling them will help.
- Rest the dough. If for some reason your dough is still sticky after kneading, no worries. Simply cover it with a cling film and leave it for 10-20 minutes. As time passes, it'll be firmer to handle.
How To Serve, Store And Freeze
Serve - Marco and his family don't mind eating this Brazilian cheese bread hot from the oven or at room temperature. I love them hot! Serve them as snacks or appetizers. They're the best fresh, on the day of baking.
Store - In an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave for a few seconds. Or in the oven or air-fryer at 350ºF for a few minutes.
Freeze - Place raw dough balls on a tray with parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour until they're solid. Then transfer them into a Ziploc bag or an air-tight container and back in the freezer, for up to 4 months. Bake for a few minutes longer as instructed in the recipe. No need to thaw them first.
If you love this bread, then I know you'll also love my cheese-stuffed naan bread. It's so delicious and easy to make!
Yes, they are! We're not using wheat-based flour, so no worries.
Of course! Just use a lower temperature. Bake in a pre-heated air-fryer at 360ºF (180ºC) for 12-15 minutes or until they're golden brown. The time varies depending on the air fryer.
You'll get sticky dough at the beginning, don't worry. Knead it on a working surface for a few minutes, it'll not be sticky as time passes. Remove/clean the sticky dough bits from your hands, or oil your hands, it'll help.
If that doesn't help, cover the dough with a cling film and rest it for 10-20 minutes. It'll be more manageable then, and not sticky anymore. Trust the process!
Other Cheese Bread Recipes
If you tried this Brazilian Cheese Bread or any other recipe on our website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let us know how it went in the comments below!
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Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cup tapioca flour
- 3 large eggs , room temperature
- 2 ½ cup coarsely grated grana padano cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Add milk, oil, and salt into a pot, and bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring now and then.
- While still hot, pour it into a bowl containing tapioca flour. Mix using a wooden spoon until you get a crumbly dough. Leave for a few minutes until it's warm to the touch before adding the eggs. Mix thoroughly.
- Lastly, mix in the cheese. You'll get sticky dough at first. Knead for a few minutes on a working surface until nothing sticks to your hands. Cleaning your hands from the sticky dough bits or oiling them will help.
- Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and place them on the baking tray 1 inch apart.
- Bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes or until they're golden brown. Enjoy!
- Wait until the dough is warm to the touch before adding in the eggs. This is to avoid the eggs being cooked with the hot dough.
- If the dough is too sticky and you can't manage it, no worries. Cover it with a cling film and leave it for 10-20 minutes. It'll be not as sticky as time passes.
- Kneading with clean (no sticky dough bits) or oiled hands will help bring the dough together faster.
Originally published on Nov 8, 2017. Updated with improved text and pictures on Jul 8, 2023.