Brazilian Cheese Rolls | Pão De Queijo

Serving 30 people

180 min


  • black pepper Pinch of black pepper
  • cayenne pepper Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • egg yolks 2 large egg yolks
  • eggs 2 large eggs
  • ground nutmeg Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • kosher salt 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • manioc 3/4 cup manioc starch or sweet manioc starch (povilho doce; see source in headnote)
  • olive oil 1 1/4 cups sour manioc starch (povilho azedo; see source in headnote)
  • parmesan 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • water 2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano)
  • whole milk 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
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How to make it

  1. Place the Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add the eggs and yolks and blend until you have a smooth paste, about 1 minute.
  3. Place the two types of manioc starch and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  4. Place the milk, water, and oil in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Immediately pour the milk mixture into the starch mixture, all at once, and turn the machine on at low speed.
  5. Mix until the dough is smooth and the starch is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Pause the machine and add the cheese-egg paste, scraping it directly into the manioc starch mixture.
  7. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, and black pepper, and mix the dough at low speed until it turns a pale yellow, about 10 minutes. You are trying to develop the structure of the dough by kneading it slowly. The dough should feel a bit sticky and moist.
  8. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Lightly coat your hands with olive oil (or flour them with manioc starch), pinch off walnut-size pieces of dough, and roll them between your palms. Alternately, you can use an ice-cream scooper to make 1-inch balls.
  11. Place them on the parchment, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches between the rolls.
  12. Bake the cheese rolls in the oven until they puff up and are lightly golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. To ensure even cooking, rotate the pan once during baking time.
  13. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the rolls in a basket lined with a napkin.
  14. Serve immediately, while they are still at their warmest and chewiest.