I ended up making this to serve with a lentil soup. I'm not sure if I used too much tapioca flour or it is just the nature of tapioca but these rolls were really spongy. The flour solidified almost as soon as it hit the liquid and was really difficult to incorporate. David and K liked them a lot. I kind of wish I had made a half batch because they ended up going bad before we could eat them all. I might try again but I might would also do the half batch. All in all, a fun challenge that made my family happy!
Pão de Queijo
Yields about 80 small balls
500 gm (4 cups) tapioca starch (If you have access to sour tapioca, you can use 250gm (2 cups) of each)
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
2-3/4 tablespoons (40 ml) (1½ oz) (40 gm) butter
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) salt (or to taste depending on how salty your cheese is)
3 cups (750 ml) (9 oz) (250gm) Monterey Jack Cheese (or another cheese of your liking, or a mix of cheeses), coarsely grated
1 to 3 large eggs
- Heat milk, butter, and salt in a small sauce pan until it comes to a boil. Watch closely as it may boil over. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Sift tapioca starch into a large bowl.
- Pour the boiled (hot) mixture over the tapioca and start stirring with a fork. The milk mixture will not be enough to form a dough yet. You will have a lumpy mixture, that's what it is supposed to be.
- Keep stirring with the fork, breaking down the lumps as much as you can, until the mixture cools down to warm.
- At this point, preheat your oven to moderately hot 400° F/200° C/gs mark 6
- Add the grated cheese to the tapioca mixture and mix well, now using your hands.
- Add one egg at a time, mix with your hands until dough comes together. I suggest you lightly beat the egg with a fork and add little bits until the dough comes together into a soft but pliable dough. You only have to knead it a bit, not as much as you knead a yeasted bread. It's OK if it is slightly sticky.
- Form balls with the dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicon mat or lightly greased with vegetable oil. If necessary, you can oil your hands to make shaping easier. The size of the balls may vary from small bite-sized balls to the size of ping pong balls. They will puff up quite a bit after baking. I personally prefer the smaller ones.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until they just start to brown on the bottom. You may have golden spots of cheese on the crust. Don't over-bake as they will get hard and bitter.