This recipe, ‘pao de queijo’, cheese bread, is adapted from The Cabana cookbook, a beautifully designed cookbook with Brazilian recipes. I’ve tried this recipe a few times from other sources and this one is the best so far. I used something called ‘sour starch’ from Yoki, a manufacturer of Brazilian foods that you can often find in small stores. This sour starch is gluten-free and made from manioc or yuca or cassava. You can really see the African influence on Brazilian cookery with this ingredient; it is popular in Africa and Brazil, with a high carbohydrate count but very little protein. There is also ‘sweet manioc starch’ from the same manufacturers which is finer. A combination of both gives you both the chewy inside and crispy outside of the classic pao de queijo. The most important one however is the sour starch, you won’t get an authentic result without it.
- Don’t make the balls too big.
- The dough can be made ahead of time and frozen into little balls. You can heat them up directly from the freezer.