Pão de queijo (“Cheese Bread” in Portuguese) is a small, baked, cheese roll, a popular snack and breakfast food in Brazil. Pão de queijo originated from African slaves like many other Brazilian foods. Slaves would soak and peel the cassava root and make bread rolls from it. At this time, there was no cheese in the rolls.
At the end of the 19th century, more ingredients became available to the Afro-Brazilian community such as milk and cheese. They added milk and cheese to the tapioca roll making what we now know as Pão de queijo.
It is also widely eaten in northern Argentina and is inexpensive and often sold from street-side stands by vendors carrying a heat-preserving container. In Brazil, it is also very commonly found in groceries, supermarkets and bakeries, industrialised or freshly made.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Grease a 48-cup mini muffin pan with vegetable oil.
- In a food processor, combine the tapioca flour, cheese, milk, vegetable oil, salt, garlic and eggs. Process for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Fill each mini muffin cup with 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, then remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes.
- Remove the pao de queijo from the muffin pan and enjoy.