Brazilian cheese buns

Brazilian cheese buns
  • Serves icon Makes about 30-36
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 30 min

These crispy, gluten-free cheese buns, known as pão de queijo, are a Brazilian snack staple. Tear one open to reveal the irresistibly gooey centre, then use it to scoop up the zingy, salty peanut salsa.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
119kcals
Fat
7.8g (2.5g saturated)
Protein
5g
Carbohydrates
7.2g (0.9g sugars)
Fibre
0.7g
Salt
0.3g
Calories
119kcals
Fat
7.8g (2.5g saturated)
Protein
5g
Carbohydrates
7.2g (0.9g sugars)
Fibre
0.7g
Salt
0.3g

Per bun

Ingredients

  • 230ml whole milk
  • 115ml vegetable or sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300g tapioca flour (available from Waitrose and online from Ocado)
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 100g mature cheddar or vegetarian alternative, coarsely grated
  • 175g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, coarsely grated

For the salsa

  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • Juice 2 limes
  • 2 large pinches sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Large bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • ½-1 red chilli, to taste
  • 150g salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220°C/ fan200°C/gas 7 and line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper. Put the milk and oil in a large heavy-based saucepan with the salt, then bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat. Remove from the heat as soon as large bubbles start to appear.
  2. Add the tapioca flour to the pan and stir until there are no dry patches of flour remaining. The dough will be gelatinous and ragged at this point – this is normal.
  3. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer for a couple of minutes until it becomes smooth and has cooled slightly (or use a stand mixer). Don’t worry if you see the oil leaching out – the dough will come back together when you add the cheese.
  4. Beat the eggs into the dough, one by one – wait until the first egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat in all the grated cheese until fully combined. You should end up with a dough that is very sticky, soft and stretchy, with a consistency similar to stiff cake batter.
  5. Using a well greased ice cream scoop or dessert spoon, scoop walnut-size portions of the dough into mounds onto the prepared baking sheets, allowing them room to expand.
  6. Put the trays in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the buns have puffed up and turned crisp and golden, but are stretchy and gooey when torn open. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool a little.
  7. Meanwhile, make the salsa. Toss the onion in a mixing bowl with the lime juice, sugar and a good pinch of sea salt, then set aside for 10 minutes. Stir through the chopped coriander leaves, chilli and peanuts. Taste to check the seasoning – you may need to add a little more salt or sugar. Serve with the buns for scooping up.

delicious. tips

  1. Chill the dough, covered, in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Shape it into balls as in step 5 (it won’t be as sticky to handle once chilled) and put on a lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with cling film and leave for 1 hour to warm up to room temperature before cooking as in step 6.

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