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Monday, March 31, 2014


Posted by Bryna Bear aka Gluten Free Baking Bear

     I had been hearing murmurings about Brazilian Cheese Bread also known as Pâo de Queijo or Chebe rolls .  I found some recipes and tried two. OMG delicious! I could not believe how easy and fast it was to make fresh rolls that actually taste like ‘real bread’. Depending upon how fast you can measure out ingredients, you can have fresh baked rolls in 20-30 minutes, start to finish. The original Brazilian recipe is made with tapioca flour so it is naturally gluten free if you use certified gluten free tapioca flour. I am in bread heaven.
     I tried a traditional Brazilian recipe and one from Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s blog. I love Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s blog.  I made her croissants a few years ago and they were amazingly delicious and had a great texture.  Since making those croissants I trust her recipes.  I am good at baking cakes, cookies, pies, etc., but bread is more difficult for me to convert into a gluten free version.  Why reinvent the wheel?  If someone has already made a great gf version why not use it?
     The traditional recipe was similar to a French gougére recipe where you heat the dough in a pot and then add the eggs.  In the comment section a woman from Brazil gave the same recipe, but said that they don’t bother cooking the dough on the stove first.  Just blend all the ingredients in a blender and bake in a mini muffin pan.  Simpler sounded easier and better to me so I tried the blender method.  The results were good but the center was a bit too ‘doughy’ for me.
     Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s recipe is also simple, but no milk and you make it in a mixer.  I liked this recipe the best for taste and texture.  The results were less ‘doughy’ inside and the flavor was superior.  I don’t know what the real bread is supposed to be like, but this will be my go to recipe and the one I will post on the blog.
     I made this recipe many times changing the amounts of butter and cheese; changing the type of cheese and adding various herbs and spices.  I also tried a dairy free version which, by the way, is just as good as the one with real dairy.  Once I forgot the butter all together, still great just a bit drier and less stretchy.
     If you add some garlic powder and parsley and use cheddar cheese they are reminiscent of Red Lobster’s cheese rolls.  If you use a mild mozzarella cheese they are like the rolls from Bertucci’s.  Or, at least, they are what I can remember those two types of rolls are like.  Really, trust me, they are close enough and really good.  No one will know or care that it is gluten free.
     If you use the entire amount of cheese and butter in the recipe the rolls will be a little dense, moist and will pull apart and stretch a bit when warm.  If you use half the cheese and or leave out the butter or oil completely they will be a little drier and lighter, but will still pull apart when warm, just not as stretchy and moist as the full throttle version. 
     These are best eaten when warm out of the oven.  You should reheat them if using them the next day or so.  Once cool they tend to be dry and stiff. The original texture is restored when they are warmed up. 

Makes about 12 rolls

1 1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
2 large Eggs
2 cups/ 8oz. Grated Cheese (you can use half the amount of cheese and get a great roll, just a little drier)
For Red Lobster type rolls use Cheddar.
For a milder more neutral flavor use Mozzarella.
You can also use Italian blend or Mexican blend shreds.
I did not try it, but some recipes use half Parmesian and half other cheeses.
For Dairy Free use non dairy cheese shreds such as Go Veggie or Daiya.
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter - melted.
For Dairy Free use non dairy margarine-melted or olive oil.
If you omit the oil or butter the bread will be a little drier and less stretchy, but still yummy.
1 tsp. Dried Herbs such as Parsley or Dill or herbs of choice.
If you use fresh herbs you will need to use more, 1 Tbs. or to taste.
(Herbs are optional.)
For Red Lobster type rolls use parsley.
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder or Onion Power or Chives (optional).
For Red Lobster type rolls use garlic powder.

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
  2. First add the tapioca flour and baking powder to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix together well by hand with a whisk.  You can try to mix it on low speed in the bowl, but I think you might have a dust storm.
  3. Add all the rest of the ingredients.  Mix on lowest speed until there is no loose flour.  Increase the speed to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes until smooth.  I have tried to make these rolls by hand mixing and by using a hand held mixer.  They come out really well, but not quite as wonderful as with the electric stand mixer.
    All the ingredients together in the bowl.

    The dough after mixing.
  4. Measure out portions of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet with a scoop that measures 2” across.  Leaving 2-inches of space between each portion.
    On left, dough scooped out.
    On right, scooped out dough rolled into a round.
  5. You can leave the scoops of dough as they are or you can roll them into a round.  After baking the dough will flatten slightly.  I like to make the dough into a round to get a larger ‘fluffy’ area inside.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the tops start to get lightly browned.
    Rolls done baking.
  7. Serve warm.  Once cooled they get a little stiff, reheating will restore the original texture.

    Close up of the inside of a roll.

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