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This Brazilian cheese bread recipe is easy to make and addictively delicious. With a handful of simple ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time, you can have these fluffy, cheesy, and naturally gluten-free treats on the table in no time!
When it comes to baking bread, it doesn’t get much easier than today’s recipe for Brazilian cheese bread. Also known as pão de queijo, this cheese bread requires no yeast, no kneading, and no mess.
Aside from cooking the bacon, which I added to this version of the recipe, you basically just toss all the ingredients into the blender in the correct order. Pulse, pour, bake, enjoy! It’s really that simple. You’ll be enjoying your new favorite food in under 30 minutes!
Table of Contents
- Milk – Adds softness and richness to the batter.
- Egg – Adds volume and helps bind the other ingredients together.
- Oil – Canola, sunflower, or any standard vegetable oil will do the trick.
- Cheese – I like parmesan for this recipe, but you can use romano if needed.
- Salt – A little dash enlivens and harmonizes the other flavors of the dough.
- Baking Powder – Works as a leavening agent to give your Brazilian cheese bread a light, fluffy texture.
- Tapioca Flour – Also labeled as tapioca starch, tapioca flour is easier to find in the United States than the cassava flour used in some traditional recipes. Shop for this ingredient at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Sprouts. Bob’s Red Mill is a common supermarket brand that offers it as well.
- (Optional) Bacon – The candy of meats, bacon makes everything better with a blast of salty-sweet savoriness. You can choose to substitute 2 ½ inch slices of fresh, unsmoked pancetta if you prefer.
- Prepare the Oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
- Cook the Bacon. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and slice the pancetta or bacon into pieces. Cook the meat until the fat is rendered. You want the bacon to be brown and crispy, but be careful not to burn it. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate and set aside to drain.
- Blend the Wet Ingredients. Add the egg, oil, milk, and cheese to a blender and pulse to mix well.
- Add the Dry Ingredients. Now add in the cooked bacon, salt, and baking powder along with half of the tapioca flour. Pulse to blend, then add in the rest of the tapioca flour. Continue blending to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Transfer to Muffin Tins. Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the muffins are a nice golden brown.
- Serve and Enjoy! Remove the muffins from the oven and serve immediately.
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The origins of Brazilian cheese bread go all the way back to pre-colonial times in southeast Brazil, in the region of Minas Gerais. Here, the indigenous peoples, known as the Guarani, had a long-standing tradition of pounding native cassava root into flour. Also known as manioc or yucca, the flour was crafted into basic bread that has evolved into the recipes we have today.
When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil in the 1500s, they quickly adopted the recipe since the land was unsuitable for growing the wheat they were used to. The primary credit, however, belongs to the natives.
With tapioca flour, bacon, and cheese, this Brazilian cheese bread recipe has no doubt evolved from its humble roots. I assure you though, it is just as delicious as ever!
The result should be a delicious, chewy bread with a crispy exterior and a soft, cheesy center. Brazilian cheese bread is a popular snack in Brazil and is enjoyed as a breakfast food or as a snack throughout the day. It is also gluten-free, which makes it a great option for people with gluten intolerances or allergies. The cheesy, soft center might throw you off at first, but it doesn’t mean the recipe has gone wrong. Give them a chance first!
If you decide that they have simply come out too liquidy, you can try increasing the tapioca flour by a bit. Don’t add too much or overwork the dough, though. If you overdo it, you’ll end up with super tough, inedible cheese bread.
Yes! To get nice crispy results, the best method for reheating pão de queijo is the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place your Brazilian cheese bread on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven for about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the bread to make sure it doesn’t burn. Mini-muffins can heat up fast.
If you are in a rush, you can reheat it by wrapping the bread in a paper towel and sticking it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. It will get warm, just not crispy.
Brazilian Cheese Bread
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut the bacon or pancetta into pieces. In a large skillet over medium high heat cook the bacon or pancetta until rendered, brown and crispy. Be sure not to burn. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
- Using a blender or Vitamin add the milk, egg, oil and cheese. Pulse to blend.
- Add the salt, baking powder and half the tapioca flour. Pulse to blend and add remaining tapioca four and cooked bacon (optional). Blend to mix.
- Pour into prepared mini muffin pans coated with cooking spray and bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
- Feel free to substitute two 1/2-inch thick slices of fresh pancetta for the bacon. This add is optional and not traditional.
- Feel free to use Pecorino Romano cheese if Parmesan is not available.
- I find tapioca flour at Whole Foods, Sprouts and Trader Joes. Bob’s Red Mill makes it, too. It is sometimes labeled as tapioca starch as well.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.