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Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Pão de queijo, which means “cheese bread” in Portuguese, is a delightful snack from Brazil made with tapioca flour (meaning it's gluten-free) and cheese. Our recipe calls for both Parmesan, which adds a sharp and salty flavor, and farmer's cheese, which is creamy and milky. You definitely want both!


  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces fresh farmer's cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces crumbled Parmesan (about ½ cup)

Recipe Preparation

  • Arrange a rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°. Heat milk, butter, salt, and ¼ cup water in a large saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture begins to boil, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add flour; vigorously stir with a wooden spoon until dough is dry and shaggy, about 10 seconds. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl. Let cool 5 minutes.

  • Beat mixture on low speed just until dough starts to come together, about 30 seconds (alternatively, vigorously stir with a wooden spoon). Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat on low speed until incorporated (dough will look broken at first, then come together). Continue to beat on low speed until dough is smooth, sticky, and somewhat stretchy; do not overbeat or dough will lose its stretch. Add farmer cheese and Parmesan and beat on low speed until evenly distributed.

  • Using a 1⅓-oz. ice cream scoop, portion dough and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, spacing about 2" apart (alternatively, form dough into ping pong ball-sized pieces with your hands).

  • Bake 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue to bake until pão are very light brown, with some darker brown speckles all over (that’s the cheese), and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, 20−25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Reviews SectionHello Team Bon Appetit - It would be very helpful if you could list recipe quantities by weight. It makes a little more specific than cup measures. Australian and US cup measures are different and that is why I make this commentThis is a great recipe! However, and this is why i give 4 starts, I got really confused when reading the recipe. It calls for "Heat milk, butter, salt, and ¼ cup water(...)" this last 1/4 cup of water is not listed in the ingredients. I still add it, however, i feel this extra wet ingredient made the batter super loose. I added about 1/4 cup more of the tapioca (I used Arrowhead Mills, I think i should mentioned since the recipe does not recommend one and no one mentioned it in the comments) and let it rest in the fridge for about 10 min. I didn't have much parmesan cheese left, so I used half cup shredded mozz, 1/4 parmesan and 1/4 gouda. They came out really good. I baked them in the cupcakes tin.Next time i wont add that extra 1/4 cup of water to see how it turns out!This recipe is ok, but in my opinion there’s not enough cheese. Use half sweet tapioca flour and half sour tapioca flour, add a little water (half a cup max), cut one egg out and add about double the amount of cheese and you have a truly excellent pao de queijo. Use Minas cheese as well. Que gostosa.AnonymousWashington D.C.05/16/20Butter in pão de queijo!! Oh you fancy, huh? My Mineiro relatives would never go more high-brow than margarine, but this recipe is enough to make me upgrade. Also for a more “authentic” brazilian taste, add cream cheese or some creamed ricottaI have a question - if I were to replace tapioca flour with tapioca pearls, what is the ratio for this substitution?AnonymousHong Kong03/25/20I've been with my hunky Brazilian husband for 15 years, and I can tell you this recipe is very authentic. Almost identical to the family recipe I've inherited. Except I was taught by my sister in law to take a shortcut and just use pre shredded mozzarella ;) and, I recommend tripling the batch and freezing the balls in ziplocs. They are best when fresh. Serve with spicy cheese, butter, or cream cheese. Total crowd pleaser, too. Thank you for this bomb recipe Mr Martinez!AnonymousIthaca, NY03/15/20Do you all have any advice for altitude bakers (above 5,000')? Tapioca is a new beast for us... but we love pão de queijo!AnonymousRocky Mountains. Seriously.12/27/19TIP: I bought the tapioca starch at my local Asian market - $.89 a pound - can’t beat the price. I’ve seen sites recommend specialty stores at upwards of $11 for Bob’s Red Mill but that’s absurd! I used only one cheese - Emmentaler - because, ya know, that’s how I roll! I have been making pate a choux since I was in Jr Hi so having the dough behave like it does when incorporating the eggs was not troubling. I agree with the other poster - don’t even try without your KitchenAid! The only 2 eggs on hand were both double-yolked so my batter was a tad bit wet, but they turned out splendidly! I’ll definitely make these again (probably tomorrow after I’ve eaten all these!)! Thanks, BA, for the recipe!UnknLegendFresno CA09/19/19Wonderful. I was able to find farmer's cheese at a local market, but I think you could probably sub in queso fresco (the farmer's cheese I bought did taste different though, a little more sour). Not sure if I could have done it without the KitchenAid. The dough looks like it's failed when you first add the eggs, but keep going. It'll start looking like a sticky paste eventually. My dough also ended up very wet at the end. I ended up having to wet my hands as I worked them into balls to prevent them from sticking everywhere. This worked well. Overall, I would definitely make again. I just kept eating them. So good.AnonymousMountain View, CA09/01/19

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