Gluten-free and LOVIN’ it – cheese buns extraordinaire

1. Are you living a gluten-free lifestyle?

2. Do you LOVE cheese and garlic?

If you answered yes to either (or both) of these questions, this is your lucky day. Because I’m going to show you how to make light-as-air, crusty buns, aromatic of Parmesan and garlic.

They’re fast. They’re easy.

And they’re absolutely, positively, 100% gluten-free.

How can this be, you ask? Read on.

Back in December one of the regular readers of this blog, Ricardo Gonzalez, offered this comment:

“Here in Brazil we have a nice and loved bread, all the Brazilians love ’em! I’m talking about Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo) a nice soft delicious balls made of cheese and manioc starch. I promise to send recipe of this delicate bread to you PJ, but i think will not be easy to find manioc starch (we call it here POLVILHO) in USA markets. It’s the same that occur here in Brazil with Maple Syrup, difficult to find here. Anyway, these cheese soft ball breads, are common here freezed and sold in plastic bags. All of Brazilians and tourists who come visit Brazil loves a lot, Pão de Queijo!!! Hope you could visit Brazil and taste one of them in future!”

Since a trip to Brazil isn’t in my near future, I asked Ricardo to send along the recipe. Which he quickly did – thanks again, Ricardo! I love having some vague idea of where I’m headed before taking off on any baking trip, so I Googled up a few pictures of Pão de Queijo.

Ah. I see. Round, puffy, light-gold rolls, looking very much like smooth-skinned cream puffs. (Try searching Google images for Pão de Queijo. You’ll see a wonderful gallery of photos.)

Now I know where I’m going. Come along with me – let’s bake Pão de Queijo – Gluten-Free Brazilian Cheese Buns – together.


Tapioca flour (a.k.a. tapioca starch, cassava flour, manioc flour; all the same thing) is “the tie that binds” here. Extracted from cassava root, this pure starch is gluten-free, and nearly protein-free. We’ve always used it to thicken puddings and pie fillings, but never knew it could make great buns.

One caveat – all tapioca flours are NOT created equal. I learned this when a friend baking gluten-free test-baked this recipe for me.

“They were delicious, everyone devoured them. But the dough wasn’t scoopable; it was more like cake batter,” she said. I know Dani is a good baker, and almost certainly hadn’t measured wrong; so I quizzed her on what brand of tapioca she’d used. “Ener-G,” she said. I tried the recipe with Ener-G; she was right. And I’ll show you the results at the end of this blog.

But for now, let’s get back to the recipe.

Preheat your oven to 375°F. These buns come together quickly, so give yourself enough time for the oven to come up to temperature.

Put 2 cups (8 ounces) tapioca flour in a mixing bowl.


Choose your favorite extra-sharp, extra-hard cheese: Parmesan, Romano, Asiago. Grate 3 ounces – about 2/3 cup. Set it aside for now.


Cut 1/2 cup (4-ounce stick) of butter into pats. Put the butter in a saucepan with 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup milk, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.


Heat till the butter melts, then bring to a boil.


Pour into the bowl of tapioca starch.


Beat the mixture at high speed till it’s cohesive and elastic; this won’t take long, less than 30 seconds.


Beat in the grated cheese, plus 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic.


Whisk together 2 large eggs, and drizzle them into the tapioca mixture, with the mixer running.


You’ll have a viscous, fairly thick batter/dough.

We’ve found that tapioca starch/flour varies in its absorption capabilities. If you’re gotten this far and the batter is thinner, more like cake or pancake batter, beat in additional tapioca flour/starch till it’s thick enough to hold its shape when you scoop some onto a baking sheet. It should be the approximate consistency of cream puff batter: when you plop it onto the pan, it should settle slightly, but not spread into a puddle.


Scrape down the sides of the bowl, to gather everything into the center. This makes it easier to scoop.


Scoop out golf ball-sized mounds of batter. A tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.


Them mounds will settle gently.


Bake the buns for 20 minutes. Though I’m baking only one pan of buns here, you’ll be baking two. After 10 minutes, rotate the pans – top to bottom, bottom to top.


COOL! The buns are puffing nicely. Who knew tapioca could be so cooperative?


Bake till the buns have barely browned.


Remove them from the oven. They’ll have an interesting “crackly” appearance.

Now for the good part. Grab a hot bun, and take a bite. No butter necessary – these are complete unto themselves.

Ahhhh…. SO good.

Offer them to your family, friends, or whoever happens to be with you in the kitchen.

“Ahhhh…” I promise you universal acclaim for these little gems.


Share the recipe with your gluten-free-diet friends.

They’ll weep with joy. Promise.

Wrap leftovers in plastic. Store at room temperature. Rewarm briefly in the microwave.



So, here’s that tapioca test I mentioned earlier. These are the two brands of tapioca I could find at our local supermarket. The organic tapioca starch in front weighs less per cup than the tapioca starch/flour we sell here – 3 5/8 ounces vs. 4 ounces. Nevertheless, it made a stiff-enough batter, and acceptable buns. Not AS high-rising, but OK.

But the Ener-G tapioca flour, which weighs 3 7/8 ounces per cup, made a very soft batter, just as Dani said. I had to add an additional 1/2 cup to make it stiff enough to scoop.


And the Ener-G buns did a weird concave thing. Ener-G bun on the left, compared to organic on the right.

So, caveat emptor, I guess. Depending on the tapioca you use, you’ll possibly have to adjust the amount to get a workable batter; and you may get different results with the buns.

One of our readers, Mary, was asking if you can make these buns using a food processor, rather than a mixer. Good question, Mary. I tried it – it worked!

The batter was looser (more liquid) when I made it in the food processor. So I scooped it into a greased mini-muffin pan.


The pan has 20 wells; I filled them right to the top, as you can see.


Baked them for 25 minutes in a 375°F oven. WOW, look at that POP!


Oh yes… Wonderful, airy little cheese puffs.

These were a TINY bit doughier than the original; I might bake 30 minutes, instead of 25. But eminently palatable, for sure.

Mary, thanks for inspiring this successful experiment.

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Gluten-Free Brazilian Cheese Buns.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. jennie w.

    I’ve had these at Brazilian restaurants before and always wondered what they were as I finished off my seventh or eighth one. Now I know and I can make them for myself! I bought some tapioca starch from Bob’s Red Mill so we shall see how they turn out.

    Jennie, I’ll be really interested to hear how the Bob’s Red Mill tapioca works here – I couldn’t find it at my local supermarket, so couldn’t test it. Lt us know, OK? Thanks- PJH

    1. Daniel

      I used Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour today with this recipe, and after mixing the milk, butter and water with the flour, it looked a lot drier. I ended having to almost double the amount of milk and water to get a similar batter as in the pic. The pão de queijo otherwise grew well and was very tasty.

      I hear that tapioca sour starch results in fluffier, larger cheese bread. Some recipes mix both (the sour starch and the “sweet” one sold in the US). However, the sour starch is quite hard to find.

  2. Regina

    One of the girls I hang out with on “girls’ night” — a coworker of a friend is VERY allergic to wheat. So gluten-free is an absolute must for her, and I try to keep her in mind when I plan what snacks I bring… but I LOVE TO BAKE BREAD…

    So this is on for the next time I go!

    Not only are these tasty as all get out, Regina, they’re easy AND they reheat nicely – just try 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave. Hope they turn out well for you… PJH

  3. Stephanie B.

    I have been baking gluten free since 2004. When my children went gluten free in Nov ’08 I had to ramp up my skills. I found that most mixes were awful and I threw them away. It wasn’t until I figured out how to mix flours to create a “gluten like” dough for each type of recipe like breads, cookies and cakes that my baking began to flourish. It’s also all about the tools! At the beginning of this year I wrote a blog on the “tools of the trade”. My friends tell me my stuff is so good I need to open a bakery. Maybe after I finish my doctorate. 🙂 I think the biggest thing people want when going gluten free is something that A) tastes close to what they are used to so they don’t feel deprived and B) a way to convert their old recipes into gluten free versions.

    Your blog is a great resource, Stephanie – thanks so much for pointing me to it! I love your “tools of the trade” post. I think our mixes are superior to any others I’ve tasted. And we’re working on “foolproof” ways to convert recipes (though as you know, it’ll never be perfect). I appreciate your informed input here- Good luck on becoming a naturopathic doctor! (P.S. I’m a cancer survivor too…) PJH

    1. Abbie Steiner

      I am interested in reading Stephanie B’s blog about gluten free tools of the trade. Where can I find that?

  4. QuilterKnitterBaker

    Hello, I’m Japanese living in Northern Virginia. This Pão de Queijo (ポンデケージョ in Japanese) is very popular in Japan and I used to eat them all the time. Many bakeries make them. There are several Pão de Queijo mix sold at most supermarket in Japan. Since I’ve moved here 11 years ago, I have not seen any of this bread here in US. So every summer I go back to Japan for 2 months, I buy lots of this mix so I can make them at home in US. One day I found that carry Brazilian mix of this Pão de Queijo! But I have not tried those yet.

    I knew there are many recipe of Pão de Queijo on (Japanese cooking recipe website in Japanese) and I was going to try making it but haven’t done that yet. Now I found this recipe on your blog, I must try it! By the way, most of the recipes I looked at these are NOT runny like the ones I see on your blog. Its more like regular dough and you shape the dough with your hands, not to scoop with cookie scoop! But this recipe is from Brazilian Ricardo so it must be authentic….

    PJ, at the Housewares show in Chicago could you see if anyone makes individual non-stick hot dog bun pan? I know you used to carry New England Hot Dog Bun Pan but I prefer old standard hot dog buns. Just like this kind…

    I prefer to have individual pan instead of having large pan because I can stack them when not in use. I hate large pan that take up so much space in my cabinet. I’m also looking for Dropper Caps for 4oz & 8oz bottles like for Coffee Extract #2269, Fiori Di Sicilia #2475 and Vanilla #1229/#2336? I hate to spill and make a mess and waste every time I pour it and cap get sticky and sometimes not able to open the bottle due to spilling. I looked everywhere but I can not find it anywhere.

    Another item will be individual non-stick metal rectangular Financier pan (not sheet pan)?

    You mentioned that request must be “anything non-food” but I really want your company to carry SAF Instant Pizza Yeast Green! I buy them when I go to Japan and its available there. I wish I can get it here in US.

    If you have used SAF Green you know its great! Easy to stretch and it won’t shrink back. You don’t need dough improver nor dough relaxer. Every time I use this SAF Green I get best result with your Pizza Dough Flavor #1043!

    I really enjoy your blog with lots of pictures, its very helpful!

  5. Tuty

    This is interesting. I will try this recipe using the Tapioca Starch from Thailand which can be purchased in any Asian grocery store.

    Should work well, Tuty – let us know. PJH

  6. kp

    At what point would you be able to freeze these?

    When they’re baked, let them cool, wrap well, and freeze. Thaw at room temperature, and microwave to reheat. Should be fine – PJH

  7. Angela

    Don’t worry, I think most people allergic to gluten are still trying to figure out the whole diet thing too. My sister has Celiac (gluten allergy) and we’re still on the lookout for good recipes and reading every ingredient to make sure she can eat at family functions.

    The hardest thing is that you just can’t replace regular flour with a flour substitute, most need xantham gum or some other substance along with the alternate. I think that would be the most beneficial thing for gluten-free people… a recipe for a substitute for flour. That way they, and we the gluten-free friendly, could look at any recipe and just replace. Unfortunately, everyone is different and every recipe is different, requiring different agents for thickening, not thickening, substance, etc., and probably wouldn’t react the same. But basic breads might all be the same! Or basic cookies!

    This recipe sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to pass it on to my sister. She usually replaces the milk with some sort of soy or rice milk though since we’re allergic to that too! (Life is never easy, right? heh) Can’t wait to see what gluten-free recipes come out of your genius kitchen, KAF!

    True, Angela – it would be nice if you could “just” replace regular wheat flour with a flour-free substitute. We’ve developed a recipe for a very tasty flour-free substitute from stabilized brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour. Still, recipes need xanthan gum, too. But as we continue to test, we should be able to give some guidelines for the amount of xanthan gum to use, per cup of flour equivalent, for different types of recipes. And as you say – a basic GF bread recipe could be modified to include cheese, nuts, or whatever. Ditto a cookie recipe – which we’ve actually made, basic cookie, muffin and scone recipes which you can then add to with chips, fruit, etc. Thanks for your input – PJH

  8. Susan from Oregon

    Hi, PJ! Love the blog and the company! I think a good question for your FAQ page would be: What’s the difference between gluten-free and wheat-free? Thanks for all that you and your fellow employee-owners do!

    Thanks a lot, Susan – excellent question, and I’ll add it to the FAQS. PJH

  9. Bev

    I eagerly await your GF information. I had to go to a dinner party last week where I am normally expected to bring one of my bread creations. Unfortunately, this was a vegan AND gluten free dinner so I just threw in the towel and brought a salad rather than bring inedible hockey pucks to share.

  10. adrienne

    These look wonderful! Would I be able to make these with regular flour, and have them come out so light and airy? I’d like to try and make these, but don’t have tapioca flour on hand.

    No, Adrienne, you need to use tapioca flour/starch. There are plenty of good cheese bread recipes around using regular flour, though – try our Gruyere Stuffed Crusty Loaves, to start… PJH

  11. Laura

    Fantastic! It is a small world… Not 2 days ago I was introduced to this and immediately tried looking for a recipe online. In preparation for a medical school global health trip to Ecuador this summer, our program director’s wife cooked us an authentic meal, with Pan de Yuca served as an appetizer. Delicious! Yuca flour is the same thing as tapioca flour, but Ecuadorians use mozzarella cheese, and no garlic/water/milk in the ingredients. There are many names for this bread in South America (Chipas in Argentina, Pan de Queso in Colombia, and of course Pao de Queijo in Brazil). Thanks KAF for staying up-to-date!

    It’s one of those things that seems to be surfacing all over at once, Laura – interesting how that happens. So you know first-hand how yummy these rolls are – you absolutely don’t have to think of them as only gluten-free… they’re just plain good. Thanks for reporting your experience here – PJH

  12. Kathy

    Hi. I’m looking forward to making these buns, even though I do not have to be gluten free. I recently did a month-long trial on being gluten free – discovered no differences in my body or energy. I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flours (rice flour and an all-purpose flour). I found that the amount of xanthan gum needed varied, even though I used Bob’s guide. Cookies spread a lot more; pie dough did okay; cakes did well – I usually added one more serving of the gum (e.g., if 1/2 tsp per cup of flour was recommended, I added one more for the cook.)

    Thanks for the feedback, Kathy – both about how you’ve tweaked xanthan gum amounts, and your month of GF eating… PJH

  13. Rachel

    My father is gluten intolerant…I’ve been making him gluten free foods for quite a few years now! 🙂 So I’m all for this and can’t wait to see whatever tips you have and all your recipes! 😉 Thank you!!!!!

    We’re learning as we go, Rachel, so anything you and our other readers can share, we’ll share with all… Thanks for connecting – PJH

  14. Allie

    These look fabulous. And so easy, too. I don’t do the gluten-free thing myself, but it is always nice to have reliable recipes in one’s repertoire for a variety of diet requirements. 🙂 I’m a vegetarian (I did the vegan thing for 3 years but I missed real cheddar cheese) so am very familiar with the quizzing of people about ingredients things they make. I also like to be prepared with a list of ingredients for when someone asks. This makes me a BIG FAN of recipes with only a few ingredients! 😉

    I don’t know anything about the requirements for a gluten-free diet, but I know how hard it is to avoid animal products in food because they fall under different names (gelatin, casein, etc.) that do not always seem to relate directly to an animal if you do not already know what they are. I look forward to the FAQ so I can learn more.

    And more and more folks seem to have some kind of food restriction, don’t they, Allie? It is, indeed, good to be able to add something “allergen-friendly” to your repertoire… PJH

  15. Gwen

    well darn – I have Bob’s Redmill and was going to try it and tell you how they came out but I discovered my bag is almost empty, guess it’s time to restock.

    My family is not gluten free but we have friends who are so I bake/cook gluten free most holidays and occasionally in between. I love recipes for things that never included gluten in the first place, no trying to make them come out like something they aren’t.

    What I would love to see is some kind of a reference for all the different flours with what that particular flour adds to a recipe or why that flour is better for one purpose or another. Not sure if I’m getting my point across here… I’ve got a lot of gluten free food blogs bookmarked and they all say they’ve experimented with different flour blends but I have no idea, if I don’t like how something comes out, where I should start to try and fix it – which flour is more likely to change the taste, make it lighter, make a hockey puck, might work if left to stand longer because it needs more time to absorb water…. what? If I baked gluten free all the time I’d eventually come up with some rules of thumb of my own but just for special occasions I don’t really have the time and money to do that much trial and error.

    BTW, I am delighted to see King Arthur get into the gluten free thing – I am truly looking forward to adding your gluten free info to my bookmarks.

  16. Kristen

    Thanks for the recipe. It looked so intriguing that I made them last night shortly after seeing the recipe. The rolls turned out just as you described and were light and airy. I did not particularly care for them but my daughter loved them. Thanks for giving some gluten-free recipes; I don’t have to cook gluten-free but have dealt with a child with allergies and know how difficult it is to accommodate different lifestyles so it’s always great to have more info . Thanks again!

    Thanks for giving them a try, Kristen – glad your daughter liked them. PJH

  17. Julie

    I will be trying this recipe soon! I am not an advocate of eaching a lot of starch so it will be a special treat for me. I would like to know if you can replace the cheese with something else.. and if so what would you use? I am also dairy-free. Can you tell me if your gluten-free flours will be made in a nut-free facility as well as I just had a severe reaction to treenuts yesterday? I also would encourage your company to stay as pure as posible with your gf ingredients. I steer clear of xanthan gum do it being a chemically enginered substance. I prefer guar gum because it is a natural binder and works much better (not as gummy or sticky). It’s not only about flavor and texture but health as well. Keep it healthy, there isn’t enough healthy gf foods out there!

  18. Kimberly D

    Thanks for this recipe I have a friend who has Celiac. I will pass this page unto his wife. In my store I only see Bob’s red mill products. With me having IBS I been thinking of not totally getting rid of gluten but limit it and been looking at his products. But if you carry it I will check your line out. Maybe come up with some mixes that are gluten free?

  19. Cindy

    I’ll be trying these very soon! I always buy pao de queijo frozen in Newark, NJ, but I’m glad I can finally make them from scratch!

  20. Katie

    These look delicious! I don’t think anyone has mentioned it, yet, so for a gluten-free resource, may I recommend the blog and the companion book, Gluten-Free Girl, by Shauna James Ahern?

    Thanks, Katie – you’re right, I like her site. PJH

  21. Lucy

    I was so excited to see this recipe — it just looked good, different & delicious. On my way home tonight I stopped at 4 grocery stores looking for tapioca starch/flour and none of them had it. How disappointing! I’ll look again tomorrow at stores near my office in hopes of finding the flour/starch to try these delicious looking treats.

    [I’ll be interested to read/learn more about the GF world. We’re in the process of having our oldest son tested for celiac. ]

    Glad you like the recipe, Lucy. If all else fails and you get tired of searching, we do sell tapioca flour/starch. PJH

    1. Linda

      look for tapioca starch/flour in a supermarket in the oriental food section (or perhaps international food section). Don’t look for a large flour bag – it will be packaged in one pound plastic or paper bags. The Chinese recipes regularly call for tapioca starch as sauce thickeners or coatings, etc.

  22. Megan

    Wow! These look so good. I’m definitely going to try this soon. I don’t eat gluten-free nor do I know anyone who does, but it’s fun to try recipes using unusual ingredients. I’ve been wanting to purchase tapioca flour from our local WINCO (only on the west coast) just because it is so different, but I haven’t had a reason to. Now I do. This recipe looks amazing and delicious, I can’t wait to try it. Thank you KAF for introducing me to new and interesting recipes and ingredients. I have learned so much from you!!

  23. Bridget C

    I make these, but I leave out the cheese and they taste JUST like popovers and they are always devoured. And I make the round balls out of them, but also make breadsticks. We NEVER have leftovers.

  24. MCP

    I made Pao de Queijo for the first time about a month ago and used Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour/starch. They turned out great, my husband loved them. My recipe was a little different than yours (tapioca flour, milk, canola oil, salt, Parmesan cheese, eggs). I read on the South American Recipes site and had heard from friends that there was a problem with them not rising, but the Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour worked fine. We like them at room temperature almost better than hot.
    Thank you for all the great information and variety you bring to baking.

  25. Judy Veloski

    Can’t wait to try these, my husband is trying to go wheat free because of severe IBS symptoms. I see that you carry two different products, a tapioca starch and a tapioca flour, yet in your blog you say that they are the same. Can you explain? And Thanks for beginning to offer these flour alternatives, I would just as soon die than give up baking!
    Tapioca starch and tapioca flour are two names for the same thing: ground tapioca. We call the one we sell flour. Molly @ KAF

  26. Karen O

    I changed my intinerary for the day when I read this recipe ~ and so glad I did. They are absolutely fabulous and can’t get any easier.

    I can attest to using Bob’s GF Tapioca, the results are delicious and I believe a bit flatter than could be. I’ll be trying various brands of Tapioca soon.

    I’ll have to thank my brother for sending this!

  27. Matt

    Looks great, i’m going to make these tonight for certain, any chance of some other international recipes showing up on your blog? I’d love to see melon pan, all the recipes i’ve found and translated from Japanese have fallen short of what I could buy in the convenience stores.

    Matt, no real fixed plan to feature international recipes. But tell me what “melon pan” is, I’ll see what I can do… PJH

  28. SallYBR

    As a “former Brazilian”, living in the USA for 16 years, I am always tremendously homesick for those…

    they are delicious, very addictive, I hope everyone who sees your blog will try them

    I have a slightly different recipe, less traditional than this but I use it when I want to have THE fastest possible pao de queijo – I use mini muffin tins to bake them.

    If anyone is interested in the recipe and method, here is a link (I hope it’s not a faux pas to post a link to a blog here, but if it is, please let me know and I will edit it out)

    No faux pas at all – very happy for the link, thanks! PJH

  29. Kathy

    SallYBR — I’ve had those little breads! There’s a Brazilian steakhouse here in Madison, WI ( that serves a basket of them when you sit down. My friend and I ate every single one, noting that we’d never had anything like them. We could tell that there was some kind of aged, hard cheese in them, but they were a mystery otherwise. I’ll definitely be giving both recipes a try!

  30. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis, R.J. - BRAZIL

    Hi, P.J.! You done the buns like nice and fabulous ! Here in Brazil, they´re only much rolled like soccer small balls. Rounded i say! Well. AMAZING post and i´m here prouded to share the wonderful, delicious cheee buns recipe with all the readers of the fantastic blog!
    This is one of brazilians favorite breads, specially at Minas Gerais State at middle center of Brazil.
    It´s really found at any good barbecue reastaurants worldwide specially of brazilian meats. We call here CHURRASCARIAS. The tourists who come to visit us they love the buns!
    I´m really happy, absolutely happy about the results of your recipe. Now, i´m promising another brazilian jewel recipe. Tapioca cook. I´ll send it by e-mail and you´ll love to bake another tapioca delicious goods!
    Wait for it!!!

  31. Christina

    Really excited to see KAF beginning delve into the wilds of baking with “non-traditional” ingredients!

    One thing that struck me is that many of my gluten free friends are also dairy free. We’re dairy free as well, so I suppose this is also a bit self interested, but I think it may be good to discuss other common “allergy hotspots” along the way and how to work with them while baking because so many of them do overlap.

    I think this is certainly a positive step forward.

    Thanks, Christina – with a limit on how much we can accomplish at once, we’re tackling one issue at a time. But we realize there are other health concerns that people face, with dairy being a big one. I believe we’ll gradually suggest dairy-free alternatives to our GF recipes, with soy milk and rice milk being probable possibilities. PJH

  32. Myrnie

    Yummy! I’ve made these for years, with a slightly different recipe- my husband fell in love with them in Brazil before he fell in love with me 🙂 I use packages of tapioca starch from the asian market- they sell for about 3/$1 🙂

  33. Tamara

    I make gluten-free bread using the Gluten-Free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Bread Mix. I made a loaf several years ago as a gift for a friend. She cried when she saw it and cried again when she had her first PB&J in years. I use my Zo and substitute in buttermilk, butter, and honey. It turns out beautiful every time and smells delicious. She lets it cool, slices off a few pieces and freezes the rest, then thaws it slightly before cutting more slices. I can’t wait to try these cheese buns on her.

    And you’ll LOVE our new gluten-free mixes, Tamara. I believe they’ll be live and for sale on this site in the next day or so… PJH

  34. Christine

    I just finished making these using Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour and they turned out perfect. I weigh ingredients when that option is available for accuracy. They puffed like they were supposed to and are very light and tasty.

  35. Eileen

    I apologize for how long this is! Most of it is GF input and hopefully it’ll be helpful.

    These buns are yummy & light. The eggs and cheese balance the starchy tapioca nicely. If someone wants to try them first before investing in the tapioca there’s a reasonably good family of mixes from Chebe that’re pretty easy to buy online. This recipe makes a better product and lots more of it.

    My celiac fiancee and I are so excited that KAF’s gluten free options and support are finally ready for their public debut! We’re looking forward to the KAF touch in dissecting a recipe and showing us the results so we can know the direction to take it if we want or have a different result. We’re especially eager for whole grain flours & recipes. We figured the white flour version would likely come first but please, please work on bringing out a whole wheat and rye flour equivalent. The ancient grains flour is a nice start but more products are needed, plus more recipes and methods for whole grain GF baking.

    As for GF baking queries, the most important ones to be clear on are already on your list:
    · deciding how much and what to substitute in familar recipes, and
    · the possibilities for cross contact/contamination by glutenated ingredients when a cooking space isn’t completely GF. Many GF sites have this info online so you could probably just point folks to those for the longer answer but I think it will help everyone for KAF’s trusted folks to categorically state how easy it is to cross contact and how hard it can be to keep anything floury from dispersing through a room, and how a spoon dipped in a glutenated food then into a GF food then makes that food unsafe to eat!

    I think people’s queries will differ based on where they are in learning to bake GF. I was a long-time bread baker who transitioned to GF baking about 5 years ago. In the early days
    it would have helped to have a detailed comparison at various stages of how the methods differ. Other beginning issues:
    · Which pans should I use and/or how to prepare pans for GF baking? (mid gray or gold nonstick, or use liners (love your rolled silicon for these!); use taller pans or add height with a collar)
    · How do you get GF bread done all the way through and on the bottom at the same time? (the type of pan is as important as the size-monkey loaf/coffee cake pan to the rescue!; oven placement particulars; checking the temp for doneness, not using color, etc as guide)
    · Why does my loaf or other tall bread shrink into a mushroom/tree/other similar shape as it’s cooling? (moisture management, both amount and allowing enough time for GF flours to absorb moisture; tips for finishing & cooling to decrease bread stresses)
    · what are the binder/gluteny options and how do they affect texture, taste, etc.? (xanthan, guar, gelatin, pectin, eggs, egg whites, methylcellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, combos like Orgran’s wonderful GFG) Are certain ones better for specific tasks or are they all similar?

    We and lots of other folks we know are past the basics. We’re ready for…
    · incorporating amendments (cereal cooked/uncooked, fruits, etc),
    · how to figure out how many rises
    · whole grain baking techniques & recipes,
    · rich doughs and the things yoyu can do with it
    · using preferments, sourdough, potato water, etc. to improve flavor, keeping quality & texture

    The flour comparison another poster wrote of is very useful. Several of the better quality GF cookbooks have this (my current favorite is The Gluten Free Italian Cookbook by Mary Capone ) but it’s hard to find online in concise, usable form and KAF could fill that niche. Adding GF flours to your various ingredient weight & measurement directions charts will also be very helpful, both integrated & broken out into a separate GF chart.

    Again, thanks for starting up your GF product line and support program! We’ll be looking forward

    Thanks so much for the time you took to put together this comprehensive feedback, Eileen – much appreciated! PJH

  36. Mike

    Cold rainy morning, after brining tonight’s roaster, had me thinking french bread to go with it (obviously no gluten issues in this family). Reached into cabinet for a bag of KAF Bread Flour (first time attempting to use anything other than AP flour) and checked KAF site for tips when I came across this recipe. A friend recently was diagnosed with celiac and had me thinking how few recipes for baked goods are gluten free and how bummed out she was when she told me she had to give up baked goods.

    Buckwheat flour is one ingredient in my pantry I know is gluten free. Originally bought to make buckwheat pancakes and found great recipe for old Acadian buckwheat crepes called ployes (a griddle cake served at all 3 meals in parts of Northern Maine& Canada see ).

    My problem in researching recipes for buckwheat flour is there are very few which do not use some wheat flour (usually 25% to 50% of dry ingredients) which I assume is for texture/structure the gluten provides. In my experience substituting Buckwheat for a portion of wheat flour in recipes results in a thirstier batter (which I usually remedy with addition of extra buttermilk or yogurt). Like the almost nutty flavor buckwheat gives. Would be interested to find out if you folks have any all-buckwheat flour recipes.

    Will absolutely make the “pão de queijo”! Can’t wait to try your new Gluten Free batters and will refer them to my now gluten free friend.

    Also want to agree STRONGLY with Gwen’s comments above, “What I would love to see is some kind of a reference for all the different flours with what that particular flour adds to a recipe or why that flour is better for one purpose or another.” Such a reference would be invaluable for baker’s & cooks who want to know how to substitute or experiment in recipes. Know KAF has lots of this info in different places (for instance my original lookup was to see how bread flour differed from AP) but it would be great to have a single source comparing cooking qualities various KAF products (& flour types in general) versus having to look at each individual product.

    Thanks & keep up the great work!!

    Mike, I’m sharing this with the team. Thanks so much – I don’t have answers for you now, but we’re always looking for reader feedback, and this will definitely be saved. PJH

  37. M

    This is such a fabulous post I wanna share it on my blog! Love your photos and thorough step by step instructions. Also think it’s great that you compared products to help consumers just like me.

    Thanks, M! Sharing is very welcome… PJH

  38. Crystal

    My son is eight. He is also high functioning autistic. We’ve started on the Gluten Free and Casein Free diet. Boy, you can’t even begin to imagine how hard *that* is – no bread, no cow milk and no cheese (and no typical butter either). We *are* going to try to add in cheese products in a week or two and are going to try this recipe then. I’m a *pitiful* baker and I’ve had really heartbreaking success with Gluten Free bread. My son won’t touch a PB&J now, and that’s causing real problems with lunch.

    His biggest problem with GF bread: it’s shorter (i.e. not as tall) and less wide than typical bread. By the time I get through cutting the crusts off like I used to, it’s the size of a postage stamp. That doesn’t compute with the memory back of my OCD kiddo so in the trash it goes. How can I fix this with GF flour and bread mixes?

    The other posts are mostly right: I’m past the basics (thanks to exhaustive hours on the net) but I *REALLY* appreciate the step by step pictures!! I always have problems with stuff rising correctly: it’s usually a flat or concave rock (or in the case of my attempt to modify KAF’s wheat sandwich bread recipe a complete rock). Could you please have step by step guides for the less knowledgeable (like me) and the more advanced stuff for the Martha Stewarts around here?

    If KAF makes a bread mix or flour that won’t make a postage stamp sized slice of bread, I just may cry. Thank you for at least trying!!!!!

    Crystal, I’ll be blogging our plain white sandwich GF bread recipe, plus variations to make cheese bread and cinnamon-raisin, next week, with complete step-by-step pictures. If you have an electric mixer (hand, or stand), and the necessary GF ingredients, you’ll be all set. Really, you can’t go wrong. What size bread pan do you have? I just cut the crusts off a loaf I baked yesterday, and it was 3″ x 3″; not exactly full sized, but better than a postage stamp. Question: Are you able to follow the step-by-step instructions in the blog, or do you find them too advanced? If too advanced, tell me how you’d like them to appear to be more understandable, OK? Thanks- PJH

  39. Ellen

    Hello – is there any easy way to print the recipe without the photos? I’d like to save this in my gluten free notebook.

    Also – I am THRILLED that you are now carrying GF. I have been baking GF for several years, after much guidance from I mix my own flours, but will try yours too!

    Thank you!!!
    We are all very excited with our gluten free recipes and ingredients. Try this link: will give you the recipe without the pictures. Joan D@KAF

    1. Nell

      For Ellen – you can print out anything from the Internet with all kinds of pictures ‘magically’ removed by copying the entire text you want (pictures, sidebars – don’t worry what else you copy) and then pasting it to a word document. Use ‘paste special’ and ‘nonformatted’ and the pictures will disappear. You can then save the word document to a file of recipes that you can revisit and print out or e-mail to friends.

      You may have to removed some formatting codes here and there, but you can change the font and formatting to suit your eyesight, add or subtract text and basically do whatever you want with the document (for example, I also copy and paste in comments with changes or suggestions for additions or adjustments to the recipe).

  40. Janknitz

    I’m going to try these on Passover when you cannot have any of the four “species” of grain mentioned in the Bible (wheat, oats, barley, rye) and you cannot use any leavening for an entire week. It will be great to have something “bready” that week besides matzoh and matzoh meal products.

  41. julie ruffolo

    How timely! My husband just mentioned last night that he suspects some of his digestive probs may ease if he tries gluten-free. My college roommate has been cooking gluten free for a decade or so with an autistic daughter and genetic digestive probs in the family. Now I need to learn. My husband is intrigued as he read one entire Tour de France team went gluten free – if they can ride for a month, we should do fine! My questions:
    -is there value in easing back on gluten rather than completely free
    -should you modify your diet slowly? What effect on our body when make change?
    -what are the worst culprits? What eliminate first?
    -I like to cook, so all the questions you wrote are valid for me
    -what about restaurants or entertaining? what can be ordered? how cook for others or what eat if at someone else’s house for food?

    Our goal is to create excellent recipes. These questions are beyond our knowledge. For specific diet and health questions we recommend you consult your heatlhcare team. Frank @ KAF.

  42. SoupAddict Karen

    A batch of these just came out of the oven. They’re so good! I used buttermilk instead of regular milk (I know, I know, the curdling issue, but, I added room temp buttermilk to the other, already boiling ingredients so that the time on the heat would be minimal. I couldn’t help myself … I love buttermilk in bread). Even though I’m not GF, I’m happy to have GF baking in my repertoire, so, call me a big fan of this initiative.

  43. Kathleen

    I just made your Scone Nibbles

    and used my gluten free flours. I accidently used my bread flour mix instead of my regular gluten free mix and they still turned out fantastic. I was out of chocolate chips and vanilla extract so they turned into white chocolate butterscotch with amaretto glaze.
    Can’t wait to try these. They have a little booth in Vancouver, British Columbia that sells them in about 10 different flavours. Jalapeno and Cheddar, Garlic/Parmesan etc. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try them.

  44. Jess

    I tried these with a tapioca starch from Thailand that I got at our local Asian grocery yesterday. They turned out great and 8 oz. was the perfect amount – no adjustment needed. Brand name is Erawan.

  45. Kathleen

    Thank you for forging into the GF world. With KAF’s extensive baking expertise, it will be great to see what you all contribute to improve the world of GF baking.

    I’ve started baking for a GF friend and am trying it out on my family as well. The best bread recipe I’ve come across so far is Oatmeal Millet bread from There are some variations to this recipe at Delicious!! Best flavor bread my GF friend ever had. It’s hard to get a fluffy GF bread. I also want recipes I can make myself instead of relying on a prepackaged mix. If you can offer recommendations on how to work with GF dough I think that would be helpful. It tends to be super sticky and I don’t know at times if I should be adding more flour to combat this. As a previous poster mentioned, a side by side comparison of alternative flours would be awesome! I would also like to know shelf life of the alternative flours and their whole counter parts so I can take advantage of trying to buy in bulk as these kinds of flours are much more expensive than wheat. EX. So, how long does whole millet last vs. millet flour? Then I wonder if I bought bulk quantities and stored them in food safe buckets with oxygen packets, how long would they last that way. Lots to think about!

    In my limited experience so far I’ve learned GF bread only needs one rise. Many bread machines that say GF cycle often omit a rise time, big problem. GF bread machine bakers have more success with a machine that you can do a dough cycle on, then let the dough rest as long as needed to rise fully before selecting the bake cycle. Older machines do not have both manual dough and bake cycles. Your Zo does. I’ve seen some specific ways to program the Zo and work around problems people have with the Breadman GF cycle machine on Read the bread machine page and all of the blog comments and you’ll see wonderful user input. Well worth your time for the project KAF is working on with this subject matter.

    I’m going to give these rolls a try this week! My discount grocery store (WinCo) sells tapioca flour/starch in bulk as does my health food store so I’ll see how that compares to the preboxed kinds. It’s kind of funny to be working on GF eating when I live in the wheat heartland, the Palouse of Idaho!

  46. Angelica

    in nyonya cooking, you mainly use non-gluten flours [rice/tapioca/sago/mung bean] to make kuih, sort-of desserts that are steamed instead of baked. so if you don’t mind chewy-textured foods, you could try making some kuih

    and btw, “pan” means bread in japanese, so “melon pan” is melon bread. melon bread isn’t really melon flavored [though it can be], but it’s basically a soft bread with a crisp cookie-ish outside [it’s similar to a “pineapple bun” in chinese cuisine]

    here’s a link to a melon pan recipe,, though i haven’t tried it, so i don’t know if it’s any good

    hope this helps! 😉

    WOW – that is VERY unusual. Sounds like a bit of a project, but I’d love to carve out some time to try it. Thanks, Angelica- PJH

  47. Allison

    Here is a general guide on using GF flours in your recipes:

    50% grain flour (amaranth, teff, quinoa, millet, brown rice, sorghum, buckwheat)
    25% starch (tapioca, cornstarch, white rice, potato starch)
    25% protein (soybean, nut flours, garfava)

    So a substitution for 1 cup AP wheat flour would be 1/2 cup grain flour + 1/4 cup starchy flour + 1/4 cup protein flour. Also it is easier to convert conventional recipes if the total flour content is 1 cup or less. Just use an equal amount of GF flour (brown rice flour is the AP of GF flours) or flour mixture to sub for the AP flour. (For those of you who are Lactose Free as well, I have successfully substituted dry soy milk powder in many recipes.)

    Check out The author’s daughter is GF so she makes all kinds of GF recipes in her crockpot. btw: she even made bread in her crockpot! And it turned out great for them. I tried it, but it didn’t work for me (I live at 7,000+ feet altitude).

    Another great resource is Living Without magazine (

    Your local library probably has quite a selection of GF cookbooks. Look for anything by the Gluten Free Gourmet (Betty Hagman) and Carol Fenster. There are also some guides on eating out and several on living GF (dealing with everything from family dinners to business luncheons, traveling, and so on.) There is so much information available and new products coming out all the time. It’s very exciting!


    Thanks for all the great info. and links, Allison – PJH

  48. Kathy

    Gluten free flours are ‘gentle’ to the intestine and bowel…so it’s not just for people with allergies. I like using tapioca flour, but I avoid anything with rice flour…its so gritty. Is yours different?

    Yes, Kathy, our stabilized brown rice flour is a finer, less gritty grind. That’s one of the chief reasons we chose it. It’s not 100% non-gritty, but much better than others. PJH

  49. Catherine

    Is it possible to substitute potato or rice starch one to one with tapioca. I have them in the cupboard… but not tapioca starch.

    No, sorry, Catherine – the recipe is made for tapioca starch or tapioca flour. Luckily, it’s readily available – both here, and at Asian and some Latin American markets. – PJH

  50. Liz Williams

    I just finished reading all of the above blogs and so happy to find out that you’re now offering wheat-free gluten -free products. I too have to substitute and now use Almond Drink or Rice drink and Earth Balance,vegan buttery sticks , However, I was wondering, if Goat cheese would be an acceptable substitute in place of Parmesan, Romano, And, I’m not sure about the Asiago cheese for the Brazilian Cheese Buns. Also, I would like to know more about the Emulsifer you are featuring this month. Can it be used in place of the Xanthangum ? I’m not sure whether I’ve spelled these words correctly. Thanks again for your wonderful recipes and new items for health-conscious bakers.

    Hi Liz – Sure, try the goat cheese – not sure how its flavor would come through, as it contains more liquid and thus isn’t as strong as the harder grating cheeses, but it’s worth a try. As for the emulsifier – if you mean the cake enhancer, no, you can’t substitute that for the xanthan gum – they don’t perform the same function. PJH

  51. Bethany

    I just made this recipe (by weight) with yet another brand of tapioca flour (Authentic Foods), and the result looked very much like the organic box result– crackery rounds with very little puff. However, the center also seemed undercooked, wet and doughy even when the time had elapsed and outside appearance was as pictured. I put them back in, checking periodically, for ~ 7 more minutes, but the outside just kept getting browner and the interior didn’t really ‘set’ any more. It wasn’t unpleasant, just a little doughy. It seemed least pronounced in the puffiest specimens. Because of this, and the fact that it never disappeared, even with further baking, I’m wondering if somehow this was more a product of the density of the unpuffed interior dough rather than a baking time issue? Did you encounter this in any of your tests? They were still very tasty- reminiscent of certain kinds of homemade breadsticks- but i would like to sort out the interior texture. Thanks!
    Hi Bethany,
    I’m going to ask PJ to offer her input on this one. ~ MaryJane

    Yes, Bethany, you identified the problem – the buns needed to puff more, rather than bake more. And yes, the buns made with Ener-G tapioca exhibited this characteristic; wet/doughy at the center. Different brands of tapioca react differently. Guess you’ll just have to “bake and see” with the different brands you might buy locally, vs. the brand we offer; unfortunately, it would be impossible for me to test and then adjust the recipe for every brand of tapioca starch out there… PJH

  52. Oonagh

    Apart from Bob’s Red Mill and KAF tapioca starch/flour, most asian markets sell tapioca starch for about $1/lb. In ethnic section of our supermarkets in NH, yoki and goya normally carry tapioca starch labeled as manioc starch. Yoki makes a mix for pan de queso and so does Chebe. To me they don’t compare to fresh pan de queso from local Brazilian restaurant or my own from scratch. However, they were devoured at a gf meeting that I took them to for people who are not really bakers. BTW, KAF is right about difference in absorption level of gf flours. I have found with the last batch of my gf mix I made up, that mix was grittier even with same brands of starch. so even within brands, the grittiness must vary from time to time. Earth balance sticks are a very good butter substitute.

  53. Sharon

    My two grandsons and daughter-in-law need to be gluten free. Fixing meals isn’t that big a problem, tho choices are often more limited, and more thought needed to plan a meal. So happy to see the baking mixes you now offer, and will be very happy to use your gluten free recipe section, as I prefer to bake from scratch. I have not been overly impressed with recipes I have gotten from other sources…often crumbly, grainy, dry. The bread I buy for them, although good toasted and as French toast, is expensive, and not at all good for sandwiches. Thank you so much for this new offering.
    Sharon, let me just say that I’ve tried all of the mixes and recipes, and they are fantastic. Even those who aren’t gluten free love them. Give ’em a go! ~ MaryJane

  54. Mary

    Ok I’ve made these with the hand mixer but my arm feels like it’s going to fall off… I don’t have a stand mixer…Can I use my KitchenAid food processor and get the same great results? My friend is a celiac and i’ve just started to replace my appliances so there is no cross contamination. Love the recipes and just ordered a bunch of mixes from KAF. Thanks for doing the GF thing. Mary
    A food processor will cut through ingredients, while a mixer will blend ingredients. You’ll be disappointed in the end food result if you use the food processor! Irene @ KAF

    Hi Mary – Just tried the food processor. It produces a more liquid dough, so rather than scoop the balls out onto a baking sheet, I scooped them into a mini-muffin pan, filling the wells right to the top. Baked at 375°F for 25 minutes, till “popped” and brown on the bottom (though not so brown on the top); very nice! A tiny bit denser than the originals; and I might give them another 5 minutes in the oven. But for those who have a food processor and don’t have a mixer, this is a great option. Thanks for “forcing” me into the kitchen to try this! PJH

  55. Diane Dolan

    Below you will see a very similiar recipe that I send people that are newly gluten free or need something to serve a person that needs to be. My husband and daughter were diagnosed 7 years ago with celiac. When I saw that you had started your new gf line I was thrilled. Love your products! Not only for their quality but uniqueness. Sure these will hold up to any test. Kept wondering when KA would join in the crusade. You’ll never know how so many will be extremely appreciative of your efforts. Thank you!!!
    PS: you’ll notice a comment that is at the bottom…honestly – not added on when I sent this to you at KA.


    Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    Boil the following until white foam appears (on stove or microwave)

    1/2 Cup vegetable oil
    1/3 Cup water
    1/3 Cup milk
    1 tsp. salt

    Add this hot mixture to 2 Cups tapioca starch. Mix well with wooden spoon and let rest(this is an important step) for about 15 minutes. You will get a white ball. Mix in 2 eggs and about 6 ounces grated hard cheese (eg., parmesan, cheddar). You’ll get a gooey, sticky mass.
    To form balls, cover hands with grease (spray Pam on your hands), use a teaspoon and quickly roll into ball shape as best you can (they will smooth out during baking)*
    Better yet, use a miniature ice-cream scoop. Each ball should be about 1-1/2 ” in diameter. Bake on lightly greased sheet or on parchment paper.
    Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on size, until tops begin to brown.
    * I use muffin tins (mini are especially nice for “dinner” rolls) – think it works better than a cookie sheet. Also make “buns” using English muffin rings (bought through King Aurthur’s website)

  56. Monica

    My older sister was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease, and has gone gluten free. I would love to try some of these KAF recipes as a treat for her. I’m concerned about contamination though. I bake with gluten in my kitchen, and we do not have a dishwasher, so mixing bowls, etc. are hand washed. Will I be exposing her to gluten, if I use tools and a workspace that have touched gluten?
    HI Monica,
    This is an excellent question to have your sister ask her physician or nutritionist. There are different levels of tolerance, so it’s best to involve a medical professional at the get-go so you can both feel safe and comfortable. ~ MaryJane

  57. Karen

    Hi there! We have family in Brazil and I LOVE pao de queijo, so I was very excited to try this recipe.

    I used KAF tapioca starch and followed the recipe (even weighed cheese and starch) but am having a problem with the cheese buns staying rather flat, similar to the results you had with the organic tapioca starch.

    I am thinking that it may be due to the altitude – I am in Salt Lake City – and I am wondering, do you would have any suggestions for tweaking the recipe to make them puffier? I will try some things but I figured I would ask in case anyone else had a similar problem.

    Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes and for your help!
    Have you seen our High Altitude Baking Resource ? I think you’ll find it very helpful to make those buns work. Molly @ KAF

  58. nika

    Hi. I have multiple food sensitivities and dairy allergy. For those that would like a cheese product that would work in the recipe Vegan Gourmet has very nice soft cheeses. Their only drawback is that they don’t grate as nicely as real cheese does. You could also use nutritional yeast (if you’re not allergic) for that sharp salty flavour that the cheese brings.

  59. Claudia


    There are many types of maniocs and many types of manioc flour and two main types of the thin manioc starch flour. One is called “sweet” manioc starch and the other one is called “sour” manioc starch (polvilho doce) and they are used for different cooking purposes. The “sweet” starch (polvilho doce) is the result of the dried manioc milled while the “sour” one is produced after a quite long process where the manioc is washed and fermented before it is turned into what us, Brazilians, call “sour” starch (polvilho azedo). The “sweet” starch is suitable for cookies (melt aways and sablé style) and cakes while the “sour” starch is suitable for breads like the cheese buns and for hard crunchy biscuits like crackers and another Brazilian classic, “biscoito de polvilho”. In places with a larger Brazilian community you can probably find both versions and experiment with them.

    Best regards,


  60. Elaine

    THANK YOU so much for this recipe. Very similar to commercially available GF rolls and baguettes (no yeast, egg dough) that have been costing me a fortune! My only modification is to start the oven hotter, at 425, and then turn down to 350 or 375 after about 6 minutes. As for popovers, this gives a consistent rise and i suspect it might be more forgiving of variations in the tapioca flour (I use an el cheapo brand from my Asian market). Love ’em as is, but sometimes I bake a batch with no garlic, less salt, and very mild cheese. These can be used as a breakfast bread — split, toasted, and spread with jam. Try baking ’em in a baguette pan too!

    Elaine – I just commented on your review and will say again, thank you for your suggestions. We are learning along with you, the customer. Saving money is always a good thing, too! Elisabeth @ KAF

  61. Elaine

    I just posted a moment ago. I meant to add that, though I am the only celiac in my household, I have to hide away a few of each batch for myself ‘cuz hubby and kids demolish them…

    Elaine, always a good sign when everyone enjoys a GF treat, not just the one who has to eat GF… PJH

  62. Natasha

    So happy to run across this recipe. I recently found out that I need to eat GF and my (Brazilian) husband has been such a good sport… agreeing to also eat GF. We love Pao de Queijo and have not had any since our visit to Brazil last year. I think I’ll wake up a little bit early on Saturdays and surprise him with the wonderful smell of his childhood. Thank you so much!

    Natasha, glad you found us – hope these buns prove as good as the original! PJH

  63. Gloriachef

    I love those! I was born in Brazil and this bread is everywhere!
    In Brazil they serve this bread many times with an espresso, delicious!
    They also can be sold with different kinds of fillings, like cream cheese, guava paste.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  64. Jennifer

    Hello, I just found out that my son is allergic to wheat, eggs and I already knew about peanuts. So this recipe sounds like something he will really like. However, can you please tell me if I can use an egg replacer instead of the eggs and if it will still turn out good? Thanks for any tips and suggestions.

    Original recipe has you whisk together 2 large eggs, so I think the equivalent amount of egg replacement may work in this recipe. Let us know your results, you can post them on the recipe review or in the blog review for Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Buns. Irene @ KAF

  65. Jennifer

    Hey there! I made the cheese buns with Ener G egg replacer and I also used light salted butter, Assagio and Parmesan cheese together and sprinkled in some Italian Seasonings in the dough prior to baking! They came out delicious. Very very good. Tonight we are making Quinoa noodles with sauce and meatballs and I am making another batch of those buns, but I am trying Cheddar cheese tonight. I will let you all know how they come out. Thanks again for this recipe. 🙂

  66. ashley

    mine were also quite flat, as some reviewers have mentioned, but I also measured by volume, not weight. Regardless, I couldn’t stop eating them, straight from the oven and again the next morning, topped with eggs and “hollandaise” sauce for breakfast… WOW, YUM!

    I am going to try again and weigh ingredients this time. I used Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca and 2 cups by volume is not enough. However, the taste was delicious! Thanks!

    We’ve found the brand of tapioca makes quite a bit of difference in how they rise. Since there are so many brands on the market, it’s impossible to test them all; I know the results you’ll get (good rise) with the tapioca we sell, but if you make some adjustments, as you suggest, you can hopefully get the same results with other tapioca starches. Good luck – PJH

  67. Jane C

    Thank you King Arthur, for jumping into the GF world! I’m delighted! To answer Gwen’s question about the different GF flours, the intro pages of Roben Ryberg’s book, You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free!, have a chart showing an analysis of the different properties of the different flours. And the recipes in the book, btw, are very good!

  68. Lillea

    This truly is a phenomenal recipe, and I’m a fuss pot when it comes to gluten free recipes.

    I made these for my boyfriend tonight and he loves them! They are amazingly flaky on the outside, tender on the inside – not something that is easy to achieve with gluten free recipes unless fancy steps and ingredients are involved.

    My buns turned out exactly as your pictures show, both on the outside and inside. I followed your directions carefully. Thank you for them. They helped a lot.

    Note: I used the tapioca starch from Thailand that comes in a little white bag. It seems to require less liquid.

    So I omitted the water and used half of the milk in the recipe. Actually, I used half and half, and just lightly simmered the butter/half and half before proceeding because I was dealing with less liquid overall and didn’t want to risk burning anything.

    I also omitted the garlic because my boyfriend doesn’t care for garlic.

    This recipe also works really well as a pizza crust. Spread it in the pan and bake it, then put on your toppings and bake just long enough to heat everything up.

    My boyfriend also enjoyed putting a bit of olive oil on the buns, but he said that they taste so good on their own. That is the mark of a truly great bread, isn’t it? No need for anything else!

    Love the idea of making this as a pizza crust – thanks for sharing your success here, Lillea. PJH

  69. ashmeadskernal

    Do you think this is possible with Ener-G egg replacer or the flaxseed/water mix commonly used in baking as a replacement for eggs? My cousin is a lacto vegetarian and recently discovered she is gluten sensitive. So I would love to make these for her. Thank you

  70. Claudio

    Looks very good and very close what you get in Brazil. Pao de queijo is one of my favorite snack foods ever since I was a little kid. I am originally Brazilian and am quite curious about making these from scratch using American ingredients. I’ll have to try it soon.

    I usually get these frozen or in a pre-made mix from an import store (there’s usually at least one in every major metro area) but have been itching to make them myself for a while. A few comments:

    – I was quite surprised to see garlic in the recipe, as I’ve never heard of that being part of pao de queijo before. I asked some of my family members and they hadn’t heard of that either.

    – Perhaps the amount of starch or water needs some tweaking, as normally these are rolled into balls rather than scooped. Some bakeries make them quite big, with lots of the gooey insides. Some of my family prefers that, while I prefer the smaller ones.

    – The cheese used for pao de queijo in Brazil is called queijo minas. Many recipes I’ve seen call for minas mixed with parmesan for more flavor. Minas is a fresh, watery and brittle cheese. While I’ve seen it at import stores, I think the more commonly-found Mexican queso fresco would substitute quite well. I will try that when I make this recipe. It might be wise to dry out the fresh cheese a bit–I think they use a slightly aged minas cheese for this.

    – In Brazil you can buy polvilho doce, which is regular (sweet) tapioca starch, and polvilho azedo, sour tapioca starch. I think the sour variety goes through some fermentation before being dried. I’ve seen some recipes that call for mixing a bit of sour tapioca for a more flavorful pao de quejio.

    – I think I’m the only one in my family that thinks this, but I LOVE these out of the refrigerator the next day. The cheese taste gets a nice boost. I can’t speak for this recipe, having not made it yet, but I’ve found this to be true with all the PdQ I’ve had.

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  72. Dawn

    I have made these in Colorado and Michigan. Each time I have made these in CO the consistency is more liquid using the exact measured ingredients. The first time in CO I poured the final mixture into a muffin tin as suggested and they turned out good. Making these in MI actually showed me how they really are to turn out – also with these I used the exact measurements of ingredients. This time in CO making them again I added more Tapioca flour until the consistency was as shown in the pictures above. I am not sure what the difference is in each location other than altitude. Either way I do enjoy this recipe.

  73. Roxann

    Just my experience (to be added to the list of experiences with different brands of flour)- I used Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour and found that I needed an extra 1/2 cup to get the batter to a manageable consistency.

  74. Ho

    Hello! wanna try this yummy bun. I’m wondering if I can use egg replacer and dairy free cheese to make it ? Have you tried this with success?
    We have not tested this yet, but it it certainly worth a try. Please let us know how it comes out. ~Amy

  75. kandisinmi

    This is for Liz: Regarding goat cheese in this recipe, I’m assuming that you have a lactose issue? If you can tolerate sheep’s milk products, see if you can find Kashkavel cheese (be careful, though, as it comes in both cow and sheep’s milk varieties.) It’s a Bulgarian sheep’s milk cheese that has a wonderful, somewhat sharp flavor, and ranges slightly in moisture level, but is usually similar to that of a fontina. It is delicious for eating by the slice or chunk, but can also be grated and used in baking, in omelettes, etc. I think that it would work very well in this recipe. Good luck!

  76. Woman

    Made these last night, sans garlic, and inadvertently it’s EXACTLY the recipe we’ve been searching for. Used Bob’s Tapioca Flour which made a thinner batter like you described with the food processor method (I used my mixer), so I borrowed your muffin tin idea. Only cooked them for 15 minutes and they were perfect. Perfect in this case is a bit “gummy” inside just like the Pan De Bono we get from Marina’s Empanadas here in Houston, TX. Now to get the flavor to match the Pan De Bono our next batch will be with Queso Blanco. I can’t wait!

    It sounds like you are on the road for a perfect cheese bun, please let us know how it goes!-Jon

  77. Zane

    Does bobs red mill tapioca starch work for the cheese buns
    Do they puff up well
    Can I use shortening for butter

    We did not test Bob’s tapioca flour, but feel free to give it a go! Again, you may need to adjust the flour to get a scoopable batter. Finally, the butter is really important for flavor in this recipe: if you cannot use butter, shortening will be okay (perhaps a flavored shortening would be good to try if there’s one with a decent taste). Kim@KAF

  78. Alys

    My head is spinning with the “contradictions” of substituting cassava flour for tapioca flour. It seems that cassava flour would be ok to use in bread type foods i.e. pão de quiejo but not in a lighter textured recipe (more cake-like)
    Are there issues with substituting one for the other?

    Tapioca is the name for dried and powdered cassava root, Alys. If you have cassava flour, you have tapioca flour–though there are certainly variations in the texture and quality of the flour, so that will dictate their bakability in recipes. Conclusion: They will work the same way in baking, though. Does this help clarify things a bit? Best, Kim@KAF

    1. James Arnold

      Actually the Cassava Flour I have seen is the ground Cassava (Yucca) root dried (white) or toasted (yellow) this has a texture like sugar. The Tapioca Starch has the texture of powdered sugar. Very different products.

  79. Grace

    I just came back from Brazil this weekend…I was so excited when I found out while I was there that Pao de Queijo is gluten free! It’s so delicious and salty and cheesy and wonderful. I planned to find a recipe as soon as I arrived home to make it myself here. This looks great and I can’t wait to try it.
    Wonderful! Now you can make these tonight and relive your vacation! ~ MJ

  80. Barb

    I am part of a small household – 2 people. I’ve read some of the comments which say these buns warm up nicely, but can they be frozen for storage & thawed later?

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      On the whole, gluten free goods don’t have great texture after freezing. For light airy buns like these, it would be best to use them up within a day or two at room temperature. ~ MJ

  81. Jeanette Lim

    Hi!. I live in Taiwan. My husband was in the US last year and I asked him to purchase some King Arthur’s gluten free flours and mix. I already used multi-purpose and brownie mix. I am very satisfied with the result.! Superb! Your product is not available here and so are so many gluten free flours and products 🙁 I tried a Vietnam sourced Tapioca starch and followed the rest of your recipe. Taste superb as well, however, I don’t know why, when I put the hot melted butter on starch, the result were crumbs (not as per your picture of cohesive and elastic). Anyway, my cheese breads were not airy at all. which part went wrong? or ingredients I should adjust? My cheese bread look more like the finished product of the organic tapioca starch. I am quite new in baking.

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out using the Vietnamese tapioca, Jeanette. Unfortunately, tapioca starch seems to vary wildly by source; so I’m not sure what to tell you, other than if you have any friends traveling to the U.S. to have them pick up some of the tapioca starch we offer here. Or, of course, you can order it from us and have it shipped. Or, if you’re willing to experiment with the Vietnamese starch, try adding more hot water – enough that the crumbs come together to form a smooth dough. Hopefully that will work? Good luck – PJH

  82. James Arnold

    There is a new company in Iowa that sells Pão de Queijo frozen ready to bake. The owners are Brazilian and use a very authentic recipe and have a great product.

  83. Andie

    These sound wonderful. I have to take some kind of gluten free bread to a dinner after a funeral, and these look perfect. However, I’m wondering how to keep them warm. There is no microwave at the place where they will be serving, but there are a couple of ovens. Can they be warmed in the oven without drying out?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I imagine you could put them in a 9″ x 13″ or larger baking pan, cover with foil, and heat them in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes or so. Be careful not to pile them on top of each other so they don’t collapse. Try to bake them as closely to the time you are going to serve them, as gluten free baked goods are best enjoyed within a day or two. Barb@KAF

  84. Karen

    I come back to this recipe again and again. Tonight it’s his accompaniment to a big pot of French onion soup. Inspired by Yankee Magazine’s New England French onion soup with my buns tonight have Parmesan and cheddar in them. Looking forward to dinner!

  85. Lillea

    I’m curious about freezing and reheating in an oven, rather than in a microwave as previously advised in the comments. Any tips?

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Lillea, try reheating the buns in a 350°F oven, lightly tented with foil, for about 10 to 15 minutes, until they’re warm all the way through. Enjoy – PJH

  86. Ellen Friedman

    I have made these buns at least 8 times and they are different almost every time. The dough ranges from stiff to very runny and I am using the same tapioca starch each time and am using the called for amounts of ingredients. I thought the difference might be in the light beating of the eggs that I do with a whisk, so I tried beating them more and the next time beating them less but nothing changed with that. I then looked at the boiling of the butter mix. I am using a small stainless steel sauce pan and the most success I was at getting the right consistency of the dough ( the buns were actually too dry and flour-like tasting) was when I boiled the butter mix the most. However, I lost some of the mix to it being stuck to the bottom of the pan. At what heat setting do you recommend I boil the mix? Mine never comes to anything other than a slightly rolling boil. It does not look anything like the pics on your website. I am using Lactaid 2% milk. I could try Lactaid whole milk if you think it would make a difference. Tonight I decided to measure the liquid ingredients after the boil and I had just under 1 cup. I wish I had measured what I had when the dough was dry enough to form into balls. i thought I would have had more evaporation which could have been the difference between stiffer dough and what I got tonight. Tonight I baked the mixture in the popover pan (regular sized– not mini) I got from KAF a while back. They came out fine. When I out the butter mixture into the tapioca starch, it does not perfect- nice and elastic. Everything goes bad when the eggs are added. This recipe has become a challenging experiement for me. Any suggestions are welcome.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Measure the eggs at 1/4 cup each to make sure you have the right amount. Check for a full rolling boil. Are you at altitude? Any other ideas out there? Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

    2. Ellen Friedman

      Trying them again this morning. No altitude issue here in MA. Just lightly beat the large eggs and will mesaure them to see if I have 1/2 cup for the two of them. Would rather have the batter a little dry and add liquid than too liquid. When it was really bad one time i kept adding the tapioca flour a little at a time and the rolls were way too floury. Thanks for the response.

  87. Amanda

    Your “pães de queijo” look awesome, although I must say that they are originally made with SOUR tapioca flour (polvilho azedo), which adds a totally different dimension of flavor. Unfortunately I can only find it on Amazon for a steep price, so I stock up every time I go to Brazil.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Richard, rather than experimenting with this reverse substitution, what about trying one of our cheesy bun recipes that are designed for wheat flour? Our Cheese Brioche Buns would be really tasty with a little added garlic: Mollie@KAF

  88. Kimberly Cooper

    So hopeful…but they turned out dry. Followed the directions of adding more tapioca flour to get it to the right consistency. Too much apparently… 🙁

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sorry to hear this recipe didn’t come out quite right for you. To achieve a moist interior texture, we recommend measuring your flour by weight using a scale or like this (if you’re not already doing so). Otherwise it’s easy to pack the flour into the cup and end up with dry dough. Also, you might want to try reducing the amount of time you bake the buns for to help retain moisture. The internal temperature should reach about 205-210°F when they’ve finished baking. We hope that helps! Kye@KAF

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