Pao de quiejo (pronounced “pow-ge-kay-ju”), which directly translates to “cheese bread” is a staple Brazilian breakfast that’s best chased with a shot of espresso.

It has a starchy-to-pillowy mouthfeel that’s reminiscent of biting into a Turkish delight; except it’s savory and cheesy with a crispier exterior.

The key ingredient here is tapioca flour, which when mixed with hot milk turns gelatinous and pasty and gives pao de quiejo its distinct chewy consistency. It puffs up to an almost-perfect ball whose exterior is slightly cracked and crispy. If you’re making this for the first time, make sure to eat them hot and fresh out of the oven because you’ll never have your first pao de quiejo again.

Pao de Quiejo

  • Serves: 15-20 Pieces
  • Active time: 1 Hour
  • Total time: 1 Hour
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Special tools: Mixer, Oven


  • Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cups tapioca flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 2 tsp. salt


1. Preheat oven to 400F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, add the tapioca flour and all-purpose flour. Whisk to combine.

2. On a saucepan, combine milk, water, oil, and salt and heat until boiling.

3. Add the hot liquid mixture to the flour and mix until well combined on medium speed, about 5 minutes. While the mixer is running, add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.

4. Add the parmesan, mozzarella, and salt, and blend until just combined.

5. Using an oiled spoon, spoon the dough in 1 tbsp. portions onto and oiled baking sheet, leaving a 1-inch space in between each piece.

6. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and a light golden brown.

Serve warm.

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