Cheese Bread


  • 2 cups finely grated fresh Parmesan (or Pecorino Romano)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups sour manioc starch (povilho azedo)
  • 3/4 cup manioc starch (povilho doce)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup, plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of black pepper


1 Place the grated Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Add the eggs and yolks and blend until you have a smooth paste, about 1 minute. Set aside.

2 Place the two starches and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Set aside.

3 Place the milk, water, and oil in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Immediately pour the milk mixture all at once into the starch mixture and turn the machine on at low speed. Mix until the dough is smooth and the starch is all incorporated, about 2 minutes.

4 Pause the machine and add the cheese and egg paste, scraping directly into the manioc starch mixture. Add the nutmeg, cayenne, and black pepper. Mix the dough at low speed until it turns a pale yellow, about 10 minutes. You are trying to develop the structure of the dough by kneading it slowly. The dough will feel a bit sticky and moist.

5 Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, or overnight.

6 Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

7 Wet your hands with olive oil (alternatively, you can flour your hands with manioc starch) and use an ice-cream scooper as portion control to make 1-inch balls, rolling them with your hands. Place them on the baking sheet, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches between each roll (or you can freeze them at this point by storing them in a ziplock bag for up to 3 months).

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