Vegan Brazilian Cheese Bread, better known as Pão de Queijo! These light and fluffy gluten-free balls of “cheesy” bread goodness will be at your fingertips in 20 minutes with only 5 minutes of prep.
Pão de Queijo
Pão de Queijo literally translated means bread of cheese. A traditional recipe in Brazil, these rolls are known for their light and airy texture. If you are unfamiliar with traditional Brazilian Cheese Bread, you can expect a delicate crisp outside enveloping a chewy, soft and glistening inside. A very unique roll. There’s nothing quite like it!
Brazilian Cheese Bread made according to the traditional recipe is gluten-free. Yipee!! The main flour/starch is tapioca, made from the dried root of the cassava plant. Tapioca flour and starch are the same ingredient but can be referred to by either name (unlike potato flour and starch which are two different ingredients).
Out With the Dairy
The traditional recipe for Brazilian Cheese Bread calls for the dairy triad: milk, eggs and cheese! I knew it would be a challenge to veganize this recipe, but well worth the time if a victory prevailed! And that it did!!
Vegan Brazilian Cheese Bread
My family has very diverse eating preferences and this sometimes makes eating out a challenge. One restaurant that we all love is a nearby Brazilian steakhouse (p.s. their salad bar is a dream come true for anyone on a plant-based/vegan diet). As with most Brazilian restaurants, Pão de Queijo is offered on the table. I’m not sure that the basket actually has contact with the table before all of the reaching hands have emptied the contents. That’s how much they love them. So the heat was really on with this recipe redux.
I am beyond thrilled to report that across the board everyone thought the vegan version was identical to their favorite version from the restaurant! My husband warned me to be prepared for my son to request them all-the-time! “I hope they aren’t complicated because I think they will be a new favorite.” Lucky for me they only require five minutes to prepare and between 15 and 20 minutes to bake. We are all looking forward to trying different versions. Substituting vegan cheddar for the vegan mozzarella, or adding fresh rosemary or a nice Italian spice blend. These little orbs of delight are a slice of heaven served fresh-baked, still warm. But they do reheat very well so don’t be in a hurry to eat them all at one sitting! Or if you’re in the mood for something with an Italian flair, try my Rosmarino Vegan Flatbread!