Monday, March 21, 2016

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)

Food has the power to take you back to a time and place of the past. And for me, this Brazilian cheese bread does just that. It takes me back to my days in Paraguay when we woke to chiperos walking the streets calling out "Chipa, chipa, chips, tres por mil, chipa!" It takes me back to the very first studio apartment I lived in and we could step off our balcony and buy this yummy freshly baked bread from street vendors for breakfast every morning. It takes me to the days Hna. Rodriguez and I would stop by the neighborhood bakery on our way home from a long day of walking the streets of our querido Paraguay. 

The first place I found this in the states was at a Brazilian barbecue place and as much as I like the meat, I must say, this is what I look most forward to indulging on when we go for Brazilian food. Although Brazilians and Paraguayans might argue that these breads are not the same (there are minor differences--the paraguayan version sold in the streets tends to be generally shaped like a bagel and has little bits of anise for flavoring), but for me, this is the closest thing I have found to Chipa in the U.S. And lately I've seen it popping up in places like Costco (frozen and ready to bake) and online ads...I got it in my head one day and couldn't get it out so I had to make some! And I've been craving it ever since. 

It's simple and delicious:
1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups yuca flour (harina de mandioca) also known as tapioca flour
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese (grated)
1 tsp salt

Blend egg, milk, and oil together. Add salt. flour, and then cheese to liquid and blend until smooth. 

Pour into greased mini muffin tins (do not fill completely--about 3/4 full) and bake on 400F for 15-20 minutes. Bread will be puffy and slightly golden.

Serve warm or save and reheat till later.