WHY NATURALLY GLUTEN-FREE?
Different from other gluten-free bread, our Cheese Bread Dough or Pao de Queijo was created centuries ago, whose main ingredinet is Tapioca Flour. A flour that comes from a root called cassava, manioc or mandioca, very popular in Brazil. The cheese bread recipe has been spread all over the country and gained popularity in the 1950's. Today, countries like the United States, Portugal, Italy and Japan import the delicious bread from Brazil.
But, let’s understand a little bit more the origins of Tapioca flour.
In Brazil, mostly in the north of the country, there is a delicatessen well known as Tapioca, made from starch (fécula) or gum (goma) extracted from cassava, the root of an euphorbiaceae plant vastly cultivated in South America.
In order to make the flour from home, we must peel the cassava root, wash it, grind it, press it, and strain it with a cloth. As the crushed cassava is mixed with water, a juice is extracted from it. A milky juice rich in starch that, after resting for long hours, something around 12 to 15 hours, in some container, the water will separate and the starch will settle on the bottom of the container, in the form of a thick, rigid, gummed block, hence the name “gum”.
Tapioca is made from this fresh hydrated gum that has never before gone through a process of drying and total dehydration. If this gum is completely dried and dehydrated, after being crushed and sifted, it will become manioc starch or polvilho doce (sweet starch), or, depending on the processes, it may become polvilho azedo (sour starch), because of its acidity. The main difference between the sweet and sour starch is their fermentation. Both come from the decantation of cassava milk, but while one part is dried and ground (the sweet portion), another part ferments before going through the drying and grinding process, which will give a more intense and sour taste.
In the case of our cheese bread dough, we can make good use of the two starches. The sour one, due to its better capacity of expansion, gives an aerated and light consistency. The sweet stash, gives it a great aroma and most authentic flavor.