So in my newly launched blog, and my new name PavPourri, lies my favorite pastime right now, which is baking different kinds of bread. Pav in Hindi means bread and the word Pav has the same pronunciation and various spellings all over the world.
Take, for instance, this fabulous Brazilian cheese bread, Pão de Queijo. Queijo means cheese and of course Pão is bread.
Like a lot of Brazilian food, this little snack has it roots in Africa. African slaves that came over to the Americas would make these bread rolls of cassava or tapioca. Later, when more ingredients were available to them, they began to add cheese and oil. Tapioca starch/ flour is essential to the bread, which gives it elasticity and makes it gluten free. Variations of this bread can be found all over Brazil, sold popularly as street food from heated containers, with different fillings.
Pão de Queijo
- 500 g tapioca flour/ starch
- 300 ml milk
- 150 ml vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 250 g grated Parmesan
- 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
Combine the milk, oil and salt in a saucepan and bring it to a soft boil.
When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, add the flour and stir continuously until a dough begins to form.
Remove pan from the heat and let the dough cool a bit before adding the eggs. Stir thoroughly to combine.
Add the cheese and mix completely.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Grease the paper with oil and sprinkle some tapioca flour over the paper.
Shape the dough into small 3-5 cm balls and place on the greased and floured paper, keeping some distance between them.
Place the tray in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until brown.
Serve warm for a teatime snack or breakfast.