Tag Archives: Brazilian Cheese Rolls

Asparagus shoots up, and I wait.

The rain continues, glory to God! But… it’s hard to get enough endorphins to keep in a good mood, when the rain keeps us indoors. A few times I’ve put on Celtic music and danced in order to get muscles exercised and my whole self warmed and enlivened. Yesterday I went for a walk that had to be shortened when the weather forecast proved wrong, and in spite of my longish raincoat I came home drenched.

But a few minutes previous, I had just got on to the creek path when I came upon a eucalyptus limb that had fallen the night before, when there had been no significant wind. Those of us who stopped to analyze the situation finally saw where the tree (on the left below) had broken, higher up than this picture shows. The log must have bumped lower limbs that forced it to flip over before it hit the ground.  We thought it likely it was so waterlogged that it snapped off from sheer weight.

One day neighbor Kim and I walked her dog between showers and I saw this friendly face on a cactus. My own garden is looking fresh and clean; asparagus are pushing up and the fava beans getting taller.

This morning a couple of ladies were coming for tea, and I found one calla lily with which to decorate the table. Last night when I thought to bake a cake for the occasion, I remembered these Brazilian Cheese Rolls that I love, and made them instead. I knew I had all the ingredients on hand, too, and since I’m still working on Using Up, they worked out perfectly.


The only starch in the recipe is tapioca flour, so they are grain-free. The first stage of dough containing hot milk, butter and tapioca is gluey. After it rests a few minutes and egg and cheese are added, lumps of the soft dough are pulled off and baked. This time my rolls were smoother on the outside than I remember. The inside is always moist and chewy with that dense mochi texture.

My remodeling project is not making much progress, because the architect seems to keep my small job at the bottom of his stack. I can’t apply for a permit until I have certain drawings, and who knows when they will ever be done. In the meantime I have plenty of work to do on my end, all falling into the broad category of Housework, but not so much that I can’t enjoy the rather restful pace I have fallen into, in my waiting. Lent begins on Monday, and especially in that first week I’ll be glad the house is not yet filled with sawing and hammering and men in boots tromping up and down the stairs. By the time construction starts the rain will likely have stopped, and in every way we will be feeling the lightening of springtime.

Biscuits and Buns

In this post I will share two recipes I’ve had waiting in my Recipes-to-Try folder, and recently did get around to. I loved them both.

I found Brazilian Cheese Bread here at The Traveler’s Lunchbox. The Portuguese name is Pão de Queijo. These little buns are said to be very popular with coffee for breakfast in Brazil. (The picture at right is not of these rolls. I was afraid that if I didn’t put a colorful picture there you might not keep reading. That picture is of the biscuits I tell about further down.)

There are many recipes for the cheese buns around, with different ingredients and techniques (This one at the San Francisco Examiner looks plausible), but I will tend to stick with the Lunchbox version, as mine came out so good. One thing non-traditional in that recipe is the use of butter rather than oil. And I do love butter. I did cut down on the salt in my recipe, by 50%.

They are quite unusual, in that they are made with tapioca starch rather than flour, and therefore are gluten-free, and chewy.

The first picture I took was of the sticky dough that one puts little globs of on parchment paper. This is the unappetizing stage. But just be patient.

The rolls puff up as they bake, and while mine did come out with some “horns” and such like, they were oh-so-tender and light, while at the same time moist and tasty. I noticed that the Examiner recipe does have you make balls of the dough, which would reduce the prickly nature of the crust somewhat. But my dough was not firm enough for that.

The thin crispy crust broke open to reveal an interior that was not doughy at all, but very cheesy, with a stretchy “crumb.” No need for extra butter or anything. One eater said they were “intense.”

We all noticed the likeness to mochi, the Japanese term for food that is chewy like this and often made with a highly-refined rice flour called mochiko. I think if you like mochi-anything, you would love these buns. I’ll tell you more about mochi in another post.

Mr. Glad doesn’t like mochi, and he didn’t like the Brazilian Cheese Breads. Too bad.

I put the leftovers in the freezer, even though the original recipes say to only bake as many as you need and to freeze the balls instead, etc. This morning we put them in the microwave for a few seconds and they came out quite delicious.

The other recipe I tried last week was Sweet Potato Biscuits. I would be happy to live off sweet potatoes, and because they are almost nutritious enough for that, I like to use them in as many ways as possible.

I was a bit skeptical about how flaky a biscuit could be with the addition of vegetables, but they passed that test. Buttermilk biscuits have been my standby, so these were sweet by comparison, but not overly so. They were enjoyed by all. [lost the recipe somehow while trying to edit it at a later date. Sorry.]