Monday, February 27, 2017

Brazilian Cheese Bread


Po de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Today is an auspicious day for me. The sixth book in my favorite series is due to be released.  That means a day of binge reading!  In order to do major binge reading, I must have snacks at the ready, and I can think of no better snacks that Po de Queijo.  It is naturally gluten-free, easy to make, and oh so tasty.

First, I decided to make three different flavors.  Strictly speaking, two of them are not Brazilian Cheese bread since they don’t follow the precepts, but they use most of the same ingredients, but a girl (stretching that a bit) needs options.

For the first and true cheese bread, boil together butter, milk and water.  When it just comes to a boil and the butter is all melted, remove from the stove and pour over tapioca flour.  The flour will melt into the liquid.  The first time I made this, I didn’t believe it would really meld together, but to my astonishment, it did.  It looks kind of like cottage cheese, but it worked.  Immediately, put it into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, turn it to high, and mix away. 

 You’ll want to mix it until it becomes smooth and elastic looking.  Add some parmesan cheese and minced garlic and continue beating until it’s completely mixed. 
At this point, let it take a bit of a nap.  It needs to rest for about ten minutes so it has a chance to cool a bit. It would be sad to cook the eggs you’ll be adding before their time.

This leads us to the eggs.  While the mix is napping, beat a couple of eggs together in a small bowl.  Once the mix has cooled down, slowly pour in the eggs while the dough continues to beat and let it go until the eggs are well combined.

Now, take an ice cream scoop – it’s the perfect size for the job – and scoop out 2 TBS size balls and drop on prepared baking sheets. 

Bake them for about 20 minutes in a 3750 F oven until they have light brown speckles from the cooked cheese and are just starting to work on their summer tan.

Next is my favorite part.  Remove from oven, and serve warm.

The second type of bread was a bacon and cheddar cheese bread.  It’s made exactly the same, but I replaced the butter with bacon grease, the parmesan cheese became sharp cheddar cheese, and I chopped up three slices of cooked bacon and added that to the mix.  As anyone who knows him can attest, this is the one my husband likes best.

I really needed something sweet to cut all of the savory flavors, so I decided to try some chocolate.  Now this is the farthest cry from the original recipe.  Sift a quarter cup of baking cocoa and a quarter cup of sugar into the flour before adding it to the boiling liquid.  Everything else will be the same – even the parmesan cheese.  It tastes a lot better than it sounds.

While we’re talking, I would like to introduce you to my favorite books.  Because they have given me so much pleasure, I would encourage everyone to give them a try. So, check out the Green Rider series by Kristin Britain www.­kristenbritain.­com

Now, time to go do some serious reading.
Brazilian Cheese Bread
Ingredients:
½ C Butter
¼ C Water
¼ C Milk
¾ tsp Salt
2 C Tapioca Flour
2 tsp Fresh Garlic, minced
2/3 C Parmesan Cheese
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
Directions:
1.    Preheat oven to 3750 F

2.    Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment

3.    Put butter, milk, water and salt in a saucepan and heat until the butter has melted and the liquids have come to a rolling boil.

4.    While the mixture is heating, put 2 C of tapioca flour in a large mixing bowl.

5.    Pour the boiling mixture over the flour and mix with wooden spoon until the tapioca flour is well combined.

6.    Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat on high until the mixture becomes smooth and elastic-looking.  This should happen fairly quickly.

7.    Beat the garlic and cheese into the dough until well combined.

8.    Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes to allow it to cool.

9.    While it’s resting, in a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs.

10.                       Once it’s cool to the touch, beat on medium and slowly add the beaten eggs until well combined and the dough is smooth.

11.                       Drop the mixture by 2 TBS size balls onto baking sheets, about 1 ½” apart.

12.                       Bake about 20 minutes until they look speckled from the cheese and are just starting to turn a golden brown.

13.                       Remove from the oven and serve warm.
 
This recipe makes about 20 cheese balls

Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Balls:

Replace the butter with bacon grease
Replace the parmesan cheese with cheddar cheese
Chop 3 or 4 slices of cooked bacon and add to the mix with the cheese.

 
Chocolate Cheese Balls:

Sift ¼ C baking cocoa and ¼ C Sugar into flour before adding the liquids.

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