I can’t eat gluten anymore and bread no longer has the presence in my life it once had, but one thing I do love is pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread). It is a naturally gluten free cheesy roll, traditionally containing tapioca starch and lots of cheese. Though delicious, I wanted to transform this traditional dish into a flatter bread that I could use to make a sandwich. My inspiration was Arnold’s Sandwich Thins. Prior to having to adopt a gluten free diet, I used to love to pull an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin out of the fridge, slather on some mayonnaise, the cold cuts of my choice, and some freshly sliced summer tomatoes. After researching traditional recipes for pão de queijo and playing around with ratios, ingredient additions, bake times, and techniques, I have finally accomplished the goal! A delicious bread that has all the flavour and savouriness of Brazilian cheese bread, the shape of a Sandwich Thin, and most importantly is gluten free! There’s also a nice bonus – there’s only one bowl necessary to mix in. That means you won’t be doing dishes forever after making these crispy breads.
Before we get to the recipe, there is one technical note. To get the circular shape, there are three ways to accomplish this. My favourite was and the way that yields the best results is to get a non-stick hamburger bun pan (I bought mine on Amazon for $20). Other possible methods include: baking on a baking sheet with circular ring molds or baking in ramekins.
Now onto the recipe! Please enjoy and share any feedback with me.
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup milk (I like to use 2% and since I’m lactose-intolerant, I also use lactose-free milk)
- ¼ cup water
- 3 cups tapioca starch
- 2 cups grated cheese (I use a combination of Parmesan Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Fontina, Mozzarella, and Cheddar. The cheeses used are really up to you. Any cheese should work)
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix together with a fork or wooden spoon. Make sure to add tapioca starch just before you are about to begin mixing, or else it will clump up and be much harder to incorporate. After mixing, the batter should have the consistency of a thick pancake batter.
- Fill hamburger bun molds to three-quarters of the way full and sprinkle some remaining cheese on top. If using ramekins or circular ring molds, fill with batter until the batter is about as high as your pinky finger is thick.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy.