Monday, September 30, 2019

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) from The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

I always look for baking cookbooks in my lists of books to review, but when I saw The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs, I thought I probably had too much experience to give it a fair review. However my husband Nathaniel has not baked a lot, so I asked him to select a recipe to try. He chose Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) because it was savory, lower-carb, and cheesy.

Overall, the cookbook comes from America's Test Kitchen, so you know the recipes have been tested and tweaked and should be pretty solid. They give great advice for new chefs without talking down to kids, explaining concepts such as "mise en place" and adding safety tips. You will see in this recipe that it tells you when to ask an adult for help. With shows on like Master Chef Junior, this would be an excellent cookbook gift for your rising bakers and pastry chefs!

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)

Vegetable oil spray
1 cup (8 oz) whole milk
1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (2 oz)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
2 cups (8 oz) tapioca starch*
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 F. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray (making sure to get inside each cup).
  2. Add milk, cheddar cheese, Pecorino cheese, oil, eggs, and salt to blender. Add tapioca starch. (Make sure to add tapioca starch last, or the mixture will turn to glue in the blender.) Place lid on top of blender and hold lid firmly in place with folded dish towel. Process on high speed for 30 seconds. Stop blender.
  3. Use rubber spatula to scrape down sides of blender jar. Replace lid and replace on high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour batter evenly into greased muffin tin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
  4. Place muffin tin in oven and bake until rolls are golden and puffed, 25-30 minutes.
  5. Use oven mitts to remove muffin tin from oven (ask an adult for help.) Place muffin tin on cooling rack and let rolls cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes.
  6. Run butter knife around edges of roll to loosen from muffin tin (ask an adult for help - muffin tin will be very hot.) Using your finger tips, gently wiggle rolls to remove from muffin tin and transfer directly to cooling rack. Serve warm. 
Jenny received a copy of this cookbook from the publisher through Edelweiss. It comes out October 1, 2019, the day after this posts.

Notes from JennyBakes:

These notes are actually from Jenny's husband, Nathaniel.

Tapioca starch is also sold as Tapioca Flour, and in my experience that was much easier to find, but I did not realize they were interchangeable at first.

I took them out when they began to be golden but should have waited a bit longer.

Follow the instructions where it says tin if you want them to rise properly. Silicone won't rise as far. I wouldn't describe them as chewy, more as gummy, a level beyond chewiness (this could have been underbaking.) They still come out as very cheesy even if the batter doesn't look very cheesy after the blender.

One note from Jenny: I really like to use these as buns for the giant tofurkey vegetarian sausages, cut into smaller pieces. 

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