I help out in some classes at an English school across the street from my Portuguese school. (There are, in fact, approximately 5 English schools in walking distance around here. I’m surprised more people can’t speak it!) It’s one of the highlights of my week, not just because I have a chance to speak English for a while and give my mushy brain a break, but the students and teachers are all super awesome people and I have a lot of fun with them both in and out of the school.
During one of the classes, we came up with the fabulous idea to have a cooking-themed class, and one of the students, Marcos, offered to teach us how to make the original Minas Gerais pão de queijo - one of the iconic Brazilian foods. And luckily for you all (sort of, because you might find yourself addicted), I managed to get a copy of the recipe in English!
Minas Gerais Pão de Queijo (Cheese bread)
3 cups sour mandioca flour (polvilho azedo)
2 cups of grated semi-aged cheese (If you can get it, get the cheese from Minas Gerais; otherwise, a semi aged cheddar should suffice)
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of salt
Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees.
Put the flour in a bowl. Heat the milk, oil and salt until it just starts to boil. Pour the heated milk mixture over the flour to scald it and then mix them to start forming a dough. Mix in the eggs until combined, followed by the cheese and mix thoroughly. The dough should not be too sticky; add more flour if necessary.
Roll the dough into small 1 inch balls and place in a baking pan or cookie sheet. Heat until they start to turn brown on the bottom and are the consistency of bread on the top. Remove from oven, let cool a few moments and eat! For a truly cheesy experience, add some of any leftover grated cheese inside one of the rolls.
The trick to this recipe I think is getting the right flour. It is a very fine sour flour called ‘polvilho azedo’ (Hikari makes a decent one, and you can find it on Amazon). I’m not sure exactly what it’s made from. The cheese is cheddar-like but white; a white cheddar or similar aged cheese should work if you can’t find ‘Minas cheese’ from Minas Gerais (although Marcos insisted that it was the key ingredient!)
Here’s a couple pictures of the cheese bread making:
Buttering the pans!
Which turned out to be not a good idea...
Mixing the dough!
It's very sticky right now.
Thanks to the Doctor! (She's the one drinking the wine with me and Flavio
Listening while Marcos gives directions in English.
Me and Tony are here to eat
Tony is the teacher of one of the classes I help out in. He's also my jujitsu instructor!
Full bellies and wine!
Waiting for the baking
to be done.