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Pao de Queijo (Cheese bread)
A famous bread from the state of Minas Gerais served at most steak houses in southern Brazil. Unusual in that the recipe calls for manioc starch (available in some Latin groceries) rather than wheat flour. Leavening is from steam during baking, similar to the way eclairs are leavened. These rolls do not hold well and are best consumed while warm, directly from the oven. In Brazil these rolls would be made with Queijo de Minas, a mild, white cheese similar to Muenster in texture - but quite different in taste. They are addictive.
16 ounces Manioc starch (polvilho)
1/2 cup Sunflower seed oil
3/4 cup lowfat milk
3 eggs, large
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1-3/4 cups Mild cheddar, grated
Bring milk and oil to a boil in a small saucepan. Add to the manioc. Mix and allow to cool a little. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time. Add the cheese and blend well.
Divide into pieces the size of a walnut or small plum. Place a little oil on the hands and round dough into balls. Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees Farenheit until done, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.
© Reuel J. Smith