Brazilian cheese bread, or pao de queijo, is naturally gluten-free as it uses an ingredient commonly found in Philippine supermarkets–cassava flour! Think of them as cheesy gluten-free pandesal!
It uses a few ingredients, although there is some effort involved in beating the dough, the smell of cheese bread baking in your oven makes the effort worthwhile. They are crunchy on the outside, and soft and airy on the inside.
If you can wait long enough to let them cool, these are best served freshly baked and piping hot. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, and heated in the oven toaster, and they are as good as new. Serve them as snacks, appetizers, or even as sandwich bread.
Recipe adapted from Eat Retreat
18 oz/ 500 grams cassava flour
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons salt * (use 1/2 tsp if using queso de bola)
8 whole eggs
4 cups finely grated cheese (preferably a hard cheese like parmesan, but any cheese will do)
Put milk, water, extra virgin olive oil and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Add in the cassava flour and mix it best you can with a wooden spoon. Remove mixture from the heat. At this point, the dough will not look incorporated.
You can use a stand mixer or beat by hand by this point (do not use a hand mixer!). Once the dough has cooled for 10 minutes or so mix in the eight eggs one by one, with the mixer, or by hand. Mix in the grated cheese. Add the salt, preferably partially so you can adjust by tasting the dough.
Use a 2-inch cookie dough scoop, or roll by hand into 2-inch balls onto a greased or non-stick baking sheet.
Bake them in a 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.