Brazilian Cheese Bread

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on February 25, 2010

Traditional foods that are naturally gluten-free are gold mines for any gluten-free baker.  They’ve been perfected through the generations, and due to available ingredients, just happen to be missing that fateful component that some of us lucky ones can’t tolerate.  The darling Amy behind Playing House introduced me to this particular wonder, and I’m very glad she did!  It also only uses one flour; that of tapioca.  You cook it right on the stovetop before popping them into the oven to form these adorable little buns.  Sure, it may sound odd, but I found them to be an absolute delight!


The fantastic gooeyness of the tapioca starch cooks on the stove, forging a yeast-free spongyish dough.  As you stir the cheese into this hot clumped-up mess, the dough begs it to liquify; the miniscule shreds of hard cheese take their time contemplating whether or not to oblige.  Before either party can realize, they’ve already been plopped onto the silpat-lined pan and shoved into the oven.

Brazilian Cheese Bread
Adapted from All Recipes by Lauren of Celiac Teen.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp salt
2 cups tapioca starch/flour
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place olive oil, water, milk and salt into a large saucepan over high heat.  When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the tapioca and garlic powder until smooth.  Let mixture rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir the cheeses and eggs into the tapioca mixture until well combined.  The mixture won’t be smooth, but like cottage cheese.  Drop rounded 1/4-cup sized balls of the dough onto an ungreased or silpat lined cookie sheet.  Bake until the tops are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

CheeseBread Hand

We had some fantastically deep yellow yolks in the eggs, so the colour carried through to the buns!  Or is it bread?  Honestly, I don’t care.  These are delicious.

CheeseBread Cut

Split in half and topped with some butter that quickly liquified and seeped in to all of those beautiful tiny crevices.
I wish I had more to show you of these, but they disappeared much too fast.  I think it made 10 or maybe 12, but I can’t be too sure as at the end of the day, there was only 2 left.  They were left uncovered on the counter-top, and were fantastic for lunch the next day, warmed in the microwave and topped with a pat of butter.
Without question, these will be made again.  

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Iris February 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm

These look amazing!!!

Jeanine February 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Wow, those look fantastic, Lauren! Love that they are a naturally GF bread, that is awesome!

Erin Swing February 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Yummmm! Homemade Chebe! I must make some for my coworkers here in Spain. The texture is so addictive, isn't it?

Erin Swing February 25, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Pão de queijo. A Brazilian mainstay. Here the wiki entry:

Cheri February 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Fresh buns with butter are the best! Add some cheese in the mix and I'm there! These look delightfully delicious!

Anncoo February 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm

These look very impressive!

Lynn February 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I made a recipe like this from King Arthur Flour the other night and we loved it.So good and GF.

Amy I. February 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm

SO, so, so glad you liked them! Yours came out beautifully… for some reason mine were all spiky and lumpy-looking, but they still tasted amazing.

The Cooking Ninja February 25, 2010 at 5:50 pm

That looks yummy. We have lots of desserts made out of tapioca. Your buns are gorgeous.

Trish February 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Love your describing the process on this post Lauren! These do look scrumptious!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm

HA I love the cheese's internal debate :) These look amazing!

Sarah-Lyn February 25, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Looks Amazing!!


Gaile February 26, 2010 at 3:50 am

Awesome! Chebes from scratch! I can't wait to try them. Thank you!

Gluten Free Dee February 26, 2010 at 6:33 am

Look at you go with 13 comments and a yummy-wish I could eat it now-recipe! Way to go Missy!

Paula February 26, 2010 at 11:24 am

I was so suprised to see this recipe! A few months ago at a friend's house in Italy where I live we had a wonderful lesson on glutin-free baking. These were one of the recipes we baked. Fabulously cheesey and so good with everything from ham to honey at breakfast! P

denise @ quickies on the dinner table February 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

These are made kinda like choux puffs! I've had these before and I love them, though I never knew how they were prepared. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

bcroyal February 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

We love these, but we make them smaller and with a little bit of cheese on top = cheese puffs!

Gaile February 27, 2010 at 4:01 am

these were super yummy! I made them tonight (i couldn't wait) and we loved them. Thank you!!

Trissa February 27, 2010 at 4:36 am

Lauren! My husband and I fell in love with this bread when we went to a Brazilian restaurant (in Beijing of all places!). I've always wanted to re-create it and now here it the perfect recipe! Thanks!

G. February 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I made these last night! I was making soup and I was craving some type of bread (that didn't taste like cardboard). These hit the spot. my kids loved them too!

Chelsey March 1, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I desperately need one of these right now! They look perfectly chewy and wonderful. Next time you make them be sure to invite me over :).

Iris November 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Hey Lauren, I’m adding these to my Thanksgiving recipe roundup. :)

Caroline June 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I’m very glad that you like brazillian foods, as a Brazilian, I’m proud of it!
I´m a nutritionist and I loved this Idea to use Tapioca replacing regular flour… Great!
I´ll try this one!

Caroline R September 2, 2011 at 11:12 pm

I’m still confused/concerned regarding the dairy ingredients. Are the considered insignificate due to the small amounts required? Excuse my lack of knowledge… very new to GF world :-\

Lauren | Celiac Teen September 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Hi Caroline, I’m not sure what you are referring to. In this recipe, I would think of the cheese as being fairly significant. I’ve sent you an email.

susan September 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

mine came out really oily – oil puddle on the pan – used exact measurements , came out lumpy , hard and oily :(

Lauren | Celiac Teen October 2, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Susan, I’m sorry to hear it. They are a different type of bun – somewhat gelatinous, but a traditional brazilian variety. I haven’t made these in a long time, so I’m not sure what might have gone wrong. I would make sure that the tapioca flour is beaten in well to the liquids and that when you add the cheese and eggs, ensure that it’s mixed in quite well. Hope it helps!

Chrystal October 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Well after much wishing, tonight I actually made these! I had no milk, so I subbed in Vanilla Soymilk and used Cinammon instead of garlic :) I had to add at least 1/2 cup of water to the initial mixture so it would mix, but that seemed to work. I made 5 giant globs in the pan and like yours, used the most brilliantly yolked eggs so they were the cheeriest yellow! I just take so much delight in trying new recipes, so thanks for this one!

beth December 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm

SO glad I found your blog! My 17 yr old daughter has not been diagnosed yet but seems to be gluten sensitive. LOVE this site! Thank-you!

Becca August 27, 2013 at 2:38 am

Oh my goodness! We just made these for the first time and I decided to do a taste test and they are delicious! Garlicky and cheesy and oh so delicious. I’m betting we will be making these plenty often! (Or, I will. And hiding them. Haha.)

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