Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Cheesy Poofs Bleg

One of the best things about Little Rock was this Brazilian restaurant, and one of the best things about it was the cheese bread (pão de queijo). I've been trying to reverse-engineer the cheese bread for a while now with mixed results. Maybe throwing this open for suggestions will help.

  • The rolls should be light and airy and taste of cheese.
  • They must be made with manioc flour.
  • Many recipes on the internet suggest that it is hard to get them to rise. I have been using a modified version of the recipe on the flour sack, which includes baking powder, but mine do not rise either.
  • Attempt one: 1 cup flour, 8 oz. shredded "white cheese" from the Latino section of the dairy case, 1 egg, 1 tsp baking powder, enough water to form sticky balls. Produced mostly flat biscuits that had visible cheese throughout and on the exterior (this is not right). The texture was close to the chewiness that's desirable with the yuca flour. I think this was too much cheese.
  • Attempt two: same, but with 2 cups finely shredded romano. Produced small, pale hockey puck biscuits with a bread-like interior concealed within 1/4 inch of rigid crust. I think this was too much flour.
So: any advice? The recipe on the bag actually calls for 1 pound of shredded cheese, but that's just absurd. Should I use milk? Allow more rising time (currently 15-20 minutes)? Move to Brazil? I don't really care for churrascarias, but any recommendations for a D.C. place where I can get pão de queijo and dishes with Catupiry sauce is welcome.
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