Yesterday, I mad Brazilian cheese bread. Officially known as pão de queijo, these little balls of delicious are found everywhere in Brazil, and are actually quite easy to make yourself! There are only a few ingredients, and all you need to do is combine them and mix, knead, form little balls and bake.
I have been trying for years and could never get my cheese bread to turn out exactly like what I remembered having eaten in Brazil. I was starting to think that there must be some sort of cheese bread gene, and that perhaps I should have my elf (who is half Brazilian) tested to see if she was a carrier. Another, perhaps more plausible, theory was that there was something slightly different about the ingredients, utensils or oven I was using.
They are made with manioc flour, which can be difficult to find in some parts of the world. In my city, they sell bags of it at some of the larger supermarkets, but I recently discovered a pre-made cheese bread mix!
All you do is add a little water and a couple eggs and mix the heck out of it! It turns out, the key step I had been ignoring was the kneading. The longer you knead the dough, the better the results! However, I discovered yesterday that the results are best when you knead each individual little ball before placing it on the baking sheet, as opposed to kneading the dough as one huge ball. From now on, I will spend a few minutes working each little ball of dough before baking, even though it takes longer and I feel slightly silly doing it, the results were well worth it. Plus, kneading the dough counts as a work-out, so I can just eat more cheese bread to regain my energy, right?
Here they are in the oven…..
Finished product! You can tell the difference between the first batch (more irregularly shaped) and the second batch, which was kneaded for longer and thusly came out rounder, puffier and even more heavenly.
Great with a cup of coffee on a cold, snowy afternoon!
I did a little sketching, too… I want to share my sketches, but I need to tweak them, first. I’m such a perfectionist!
Today my elf is home from school for a staff development day and we’ve been painting, eating cheese bread and reading poetry… and it’s only 10AM! Still on the agenda for today: shoveling the drive way and front walk, making hamantaschen, painting our nails and planning the menu for our Purim dinner tomorrow!
What is everyone else up to today?