Pão de Queijo, Brazilian cheese bread, is an addictively delicious food. Traditionally, it is made using eggs, dairy cheese and milk. However, as we are keeping this recipe completely plant-based those ingredients were omitted. Nonetheless, these pães de queijo taste extremely cheesy and have a chewy centre enclosed in a thin pastry-like case.
For this recipe, we were inspired to use potatoes for several reasons. We retained the traditional tapioca starch used in making pão de queijo. However, as we were excluding three important ingredients, we needed an ingredient which could act as a binder that also would not make the final product too firm. We also needed an ingredient containing more starch for the chewy texture and the ability for the pão de queijo to still have a soft stretchy cheese-like interior when warm or hot. Finally, our decision to use potatoes, in particular, was because we knew it would serve the purposes we need it for based on research. From reading through the recipes of others such as a translated version of this pão de queijo de batata recipe, stretchy vegan cheese recipes and Japanese imomochi recipes, we realised that potatoes were our best option for experimenting to develop this recipe.
This recipe also includes an infusion of garlic and onions. Although these were flavour profiles we wanted to introduce. They ended up just contributing to the cheesy flavour of our pães de queijo making them even more addictive.
Without further ado, here is or vegan pão de quijo recipe!
Ingredients (makes 12)
225g Potatoes (equivalent to 2-3 medium potatoes)
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
1/4 Purple Onion, chopped
5tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
100ml Water, freshly boiled
70ml Oat Milk, hot (to keep gluten-free, use any other plant milk or gluten-free oat milk)
250g Tapioca Flour
Black Pepper (to taste)
2tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Ground Turmeric (to colour)
- Steam the potatoes for approximately 40mins. (Alternatively, pop then into the microwave for 5-10mins or until fully cooked).
- Set the potatoes aside to cook for a few minutes.
- When cool enough to touch, peel the potatoes.
- Preheat the oven to 170C
- In a saucepan, gently heat up the oil with the garlic and onions in it to infuse the oil. Do not let the garlic or onion burn as that will taint the flavour of the oil. When the onions are translucent, the oil should be ready to use.
- Turn off the heat and set the saucepan aside as you heat up the milk and boil the water.
- Combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- Strain the oil and combine it with the boiling water and heated milk.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and using a fork, mix them together till clumps start forming. Add 225g of the peeled potatoes to the mixture and mash them as you combine all the ingredients in the bowl together. Keep mixing and mashing until a smooth glossy dough is formed.
- Scoop some of the dough into your hands, press it together then roll it into a ball and place the ball on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Place the baking tray at the middle level of the oven for approximately 30mins. Note that the dough will remain pale yellow although the bottom of it might be golden brown.
- Once done, let the rolls cook for about 5mins.
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