I love a good copycat recipe. And I also love a good gluten free bread recipe. I don’t care for it when packaged gluten free bread costs, like, a million … more
I love a good copycat recipe. And I also love a good gluten free bread recipe. I don’t care for it when packaged gluten free bread costs, like, a million dollars. Especially when it’s not much more than this recipe for pao de queijo and the ingredients are simple and cheap.
Just the other day, in a pinch I bought a package of Against the Grain original rolls. They were so expensive (nearly $9 for 4 rolls!) that it was really really (really) hard to pull the trigger. But my family loved them. So I did the only thing that seemed reasonable to me. I made my own copycat version asap, and if I may be so bold so should you.
In case you’re wondering, yes I did write a whole book called Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread (you can preorder now, even). And before you know it, I’ll be sharing some preview recipes to get us all excited about the book (okay, I couldn’t be any more excited about the book, but I may be biased). Which means I haven’t posted many recipes for gluten free bread lately. But this? This had to happen. Did I mention they cost almost $9 for 4 rolls?!
These are all the ingredients. Like all my copycat recipes, I start with the ingredients in the product itself. I don’t generally try to make it better, just to copy. Cat. These rolls are chewy but still soft, and believe it or not they make lovely burger buns. During grilling season, that’s no small thing. Be sure to use low moisture mozzarella cheese to control how wet the dough is, or you’ll have more trouble handling it than you should.
I stepped outside the ordinary way of making pao de queijo (which is essentially what this is) just a bit, to make everything more pleasant. This dough is crazy sticky, which means that cleanup isn’t a pleasure. But that doesn’t mean that handling the dough can’t be kind of nice. The secrets: (1) chill the dough before handling it; (2) use wet hands; and (3) a light touch.
A light touch really is important. You’re not kneading in the traditional sense. The dough is already smooth. You’re just coaxing it into a roll shape. The oven does the rest. Oh, and these also freeze very well. There are instructions below for how best to store any planned leftovers. I hope Against the Grain doesn’t yell at me, like a certain shall-remain-nameless company did when I created & posted a copycat recipe for their boxed pao de queijo mix. I’ll take one for the team though. You’re worth it. :)
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) milk
2 cups (240 g) tapioca starch/flour, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons (42 g) canola oil
2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
5 ounces low moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat. As soon as the milk begins to simmer, turn off the heat and add the tapioca flour and salt, and then the oil. Mix to combine. The mixture will look curdled and will be difficult to bring together. Transfer it to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse a few times to smooth out the dough. Add the eggs in two parts, and pulse until the egg is incorporated into the dough. Once the eggs have been added, turn the machine on and allow it to work until the dough is smooth (2 to 3 minutes). It will be very thick and sticky. Add the shredded cheese, and pulse to combine.
Sprinkle some tapioca flour on a large piece of plastic wrap, and scrape the dough onto it. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with more tapioca flour, and close the plastic wrap. Transfer the dough on a flat surface (like a dinner plate or small cutting board), and place it in the freezer until the dough has become much more firm (it will not freeze solid), about 10 minutes.
Remove the dough from the freezer and unwrap the plastic. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts with a bench scraper. With wet hands, gently shape each piece into a round and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, and then open the oven and, working quickly, slice a small hole in the top of each roll to allow steam to escape. Close the oven door and continue to bake until lightly golden brown all over (another 5 to 10 minutes).
Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly before serving. Allow any leftover rolls to cool completely before wrapping them tightly and freezing them. Defrost at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing, toasting and serving.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, and you loved this recipe, please pick up a copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! There are loads more ingenious recipe creations in there, and I really appreciate your support!