Fluffy Brazilian Manioc Rolls

Fluffy Brazilian Manioc RollsI first made manioc bread about three years ago. My neighbor gave me some manioc and I decided to have a go at making bread with it. It turned out really nice. It was super fluffy and really tasty. But, after that one time, I never made it again. Probably because manioc, in its raw form, is a vegetable that I rarely buy.

Recently, however, I have been buying organic manioc to sell along with the produce from my farm and what is leftover I end up keeping at home. So, finally, I decided to give another go at making manioc bread.

This time, instead of making a bread, I decided to go with a bit of a richer roll, similar to brioche. The recipe was really easy and fast to make. The rolls turned out delicious and fluffy and were a perfect roll to eat just with butter or with some delicious strawberry and rhubarb jam from my neighbor.

Here is the recipe. Give it a go. If you can’t find manioc at your local supermarket you can probably substitute with mashed potato.
Fluffy Brazilian Manioc Rolls


600g/1.3lbs cooked and mashed manioc
2 tbsps of white sugar
45g bread yeast
1 cup of milk
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsps of unsalted butter
3 eggs
1kg/2.2lbs of white flour

Peel and chop the manioc. Place in a pan of water and boil until soft (if you have a pressure cooker, boil the manioc for about 30 minutes). Remove from the water and mash well with a fork. Add the milk and mix until you reach a smooth consistency (it is ok if you have some lumps).

In a mixing bowl add the sugar, yeast, oil, salt, butter and eggs. Add the manioc and milk mixture and using a kitchen aid or wooden spoon mix until well incorporated. Slowly begin adding the flour a little at a time until you have a dough that is smooth and not sticky. Knead for approximately 10 minutes.

Place in a large bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 250C/480F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, shape small rolls, approximately 20. Place on the prepared baking sheets and set aside to rise for 15-20 minutes, until doubled in size.

Brush the tops of the rolls with egg. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Fluffy Brazilian Manioc Rolls


Tapioca Recipes – Two ways to use ‘goma de tapioca’

Gluten-free anything seems to be all the rage at the moment and quite regularly I get questions from people curious about tapioca flours and wondering what other gluten-free tapioca recipes I have. After a long hiatus, I am ready to share a new gluten-free tapioca recipe. If you are still a little confused about what I mean by tapioca take a look at my post on tapioca/manioc flours, hopefully that will clear some things up!

In the north of Brazil there are many foods that are made with manioc flours, much more than in the south. For a very long time manioc flours were the primary flour source in the north, therefore all breads, cakes and cookies were made with manioc flours. Over the past years these recipes have begun to make their way to the south of Brazil and slowly new and different gluten-free recipes are getting known, as well as access to some different manioc flours!

One of the most popular items at the moment is a dry-white manioc starch pancake called tapioca. This pancake is eaten for breakfast or as a snack in the north of Brazil filled with butter and cheese, or jam, or any other filling you may like.

Tapioca is made with a hydrated manioc starch called ‘goma de tapioca’. It used to be almost impossible to find goma de tapioca in the south, but with the growing popularity of tapioca you can almost find it anywhere.

Making the tapioca pancake is super easy. For those of you in the USA, the hardest thing will be trying to find the goma de tapioca. If you cannot find the goma you can always use polvilho azedo and hydrate it yourself (see below for instructions).

I often eat tapioca as an afternoon snack and for breakfast I sometimes make a richer european pancake, substituting the white flour for goma de tapioca. I have included instructions for making the traditional northern tapioca and my european tapioca pancake. Enjoy!

Making Goma de Tapioca at home:
To make the hydrated tapioca starch flour you will need to start with either tapioca flour, polivilho azedo or polvilho doce. To buy online take a look at these links: tapioca flour, polivilho azedo, polvilho doce.

You will need:
> 500g tapioca flour, polivilho azedo or polvilho doce
> 200ml water

Step 1: Put the tapioca flour, polvilho azedo or polvilho doce into a bowl. Begin adding the water a little at a time, mixing well with each addition. It is important to add the water slowly so that you guarantee all of the flour is fully hydrated. Once all the water has been mixed in, let sit for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Pass the hydrated flour through a sieve to get rid of all lumps. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. The hydrated flour will keep for up to 2 weeks.

The Brazilian Tapioca Pancake: Once you have the hydrated tapioca flour sieve the flour into a hot frying pan, make sure you create a good layer and making sure to spread evenly over the pan. Leave for 30-60 seconds and then turn over (you do not want the flour to brown). Bake on the other side for another 30 seconds. Remove from pan. You can eat the tapioca pancake with any filling you wish; my favorites are jam or cheese.

Pancakes made with goma de tapioca instead of white flour

Pancakes made with goma de tapioca instead of white flour

The European Tapioca Pancake: Although I am providing a recipe for the european tapioca pancake that I make at home, you can use any pancake recipe, just substitute the white flour for goma de tapioca (hydrated tapioca flour). I have not made this with american style pancakes, so do not know if it will work.

Give these pancakes a go, they are super tasty and are a little bit chewier than regular pancakes. They make for an excellent pancake for anyone who is gluten-free or for a different pancake in the morning!

3 Eggs
1 1/2 cups of Goma de tapioca (hydrated tapioca flour)
A splash of milk
Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together until you have a slightly runny batter free of lumps. Heat a frying pan and melt a bit of butter in it to prevent the pancakes from sticking. Pour some of the batter into the hot pan, bake until brown and then turn over. Bake the second side until brown. Remove from pan. Eat while hot with you favorite pancake toppings!

Do any of you have your own goma de tapioca recipes? If so, I would love to hear them!


Vitamina de Abacate – An Avocado Vitamin

Vitamina de AbacateIt’s been a while since I have shared a recipe about avocados. Since avocados are eaten sweet in Brazil (and most Brazilians can’t stand the idea of eating avocados in salad or with salt  and pepper sprinkled on them) I think I should share a recipe with you for an avocado vitamin

For most foreigners in Brazil the thought of eating avocado with sugar is rather strange, but once you have tried it perceptions are likely to change. I don’t eat avocado that often, but living in Brazil I like to eat it sweet and savory. The avocado vitamin is a tasty and simple drink that is great for breakfast. Sometimes, instead of drinking the avocado vitamin that is made with milk and sugar I like to make it a little bit thicker and eat it almost like a yoghurt together with granola.

Although you can have an avocado vitamin at any time of the day I prefer it for breakfast or an afternoon snack when I want something a little bit more substantial and sweet.

Vitamina de Abacate com GranolaIngredients

1/2 large avocado (1 small avocado)
1 cup cold milk
1 tbsp white sugar
juice from half a lemon or lime

Put all ingredients into a blender. Mix well for approximately 1 to 2 minutes. If the texture is too thick add more milk, if you want a thicker texture you can add less milk.Vitamina de Abacate

Bolo de Coco (Coconut Cake)

Coconut CakeCake is a popular item in my house. Almost once a week I can expect a question from my husband asking me when I am going to bake a cake. You see, Brazilians absolutely love cakes. They like a simple cake that they can eat for breakfast that will have tons of flavor and just hit the spot to start the day right.

Coconut CakeYes, I did say cake for breakfast. I know, I know, I know, it is slightly weird to think of eating cake for breakfast. It definitely took me a little while to wrap my head around this one. Cake for me has always been something to eat for tea break in the morning with a cup of black tea or coffee. Or to have later in the afternoon. But, Brazilians view cake a little bit differently. Yes, they do eat cake at other times during the day, but as I have discovered with my husband, morning seems to be the favored time of day to have a slice of cake.

Coconut CakeAfter experimenting with cake for breakfast I have actually come to really enjoy it and never pass up the opportunity to have a slice of cake with my breakfast. Eating a yummy slice of cake early in the morning does have the tendency to help get the day off to a great start.

Brazilian cakes are generally very simple. And it is the simplicity of these cakes that make them so enjoyable for breakfast. Brazilian cakes have a simple flavor, light and fluffy texture, and either some icing or no icing.

This coconut cake is perfect for breakfast or with a cup of tea or coffee in the late morning or afternoon.


3 cups white flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
200 g  butter, room temperature
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
80g shredded coconut

Chocolate Glaze
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp milk

For the cake:
Heat the oven to 180C. Place the butter in a glass or metal bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add all of the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, and salt together with the coconut milk. Mix well. Add the shredded coconut and mix lightly until it is just mixed in. Transfer mixture to a pre-greased baking tin. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the cake clean.

For the glaze:
Mix the cocoa powder, sugar, and milk until it is a very smooth consistency. When the cake is taken out of the oven, immediately remove from the tin and place on a plate. Cover the cake with the glaze and return to the warm oven, make sure the oven is turned off. Leave the cake in the oven with the door open for 15-20 minutes.

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!

Coconut CakeSources:
Pitadinha: O bolo de coco mais gostoso do mundo

Empadinha de Frango (Chicken Pies)

Chicken PieHands down empadinha are one of my favorite Brazilian snacks. Found in any lanchonete (snack shop), padaria (bakery), or cafe empadinha’s are the perfect savory snack to have with a good strong cup of coffee. Usually you have a choice of filling, with frango (chicken), palmito (hearts of palm), and queijo (cheese) being the most common. Once you eat one of these you will want to eat one every day.

Chicken PieEmpadinha is a small cupcake sized pastry filled with a savory filling. The pastry is not like your usual pie pastry, instead, the pastry for the empadinha is usually much thicker and as soon as you take your first bite the whole thing should fall apart. Although it is not the easiest thing to eat, one of my favorite parts of eating empadinha is the fact that the pastry is so crumbly and falls apart.

There are different ways of referring to this little chicken pie in Brazil which I think you should know about. Empada is what they are really called, but everyone calls them empadinha which basically means ‘little empada’. When you have a big empada it is called empadão or litterally ‘big empada’!

Chicken PieI have wanted to make empadinha for a long time but was always a little bit nervous. I love making pastry and over the past years I have considerably improved my pastry making skills. My apprehension with making empadinha was that I couldn’t really find the right recipe. Every recipe I found had a different pastry recipe and I became overwhelmed and couldn’t decide which one would give me the perfect falling-apart-pastry that I wanted. In the end I found two recipes that I liked, mixed them together, added my own twists, and made delicious empadinha that were devoured really fast!

I ended up making much larger than usual empadinha’s and my pastry was a little bit thinner than normal. But, they tasted perfect, the pastry was light and crumbly, and most importantly, fell apart when you took your first bite. Everything in the baking process went surprisingly smooth. When I started making these I was not convinced I would have an easy time in the kitchen, but luckily I was wrong. My only advice for if you are going to make these is make a large enough quantity so that you can freeze them and have them quickly ready to eat when you want!

If you want to try a different filling you can use the recipe for the filling of my Hearts of Palm Pie.

Chicken PieIngredients

3 egg yolks
200 ml water
600 g (1.3 lbs) white flour
1 tsp salt
300 g (10oz) butter or margarine
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten, for brushing

1.2 kg (2.6 lbs) chicken breast, cooked and shredded
4 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded, and finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 can of peas (optional)
Handful of green or black olives, finely sliced
6 tbsp parsley
2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp white flour

Pastry: Put the flour, salt, and butter or margarine in a bowl. Mix well until it resembles breadcrumbs. Lightly beat the egg yolk and water together and add, a little at a time, to the flour and butter mix. Mix well until the pastry just holds together. It is ok if it crumbly, this pastry is supposed to be crumbly. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge, lightly dust a worktop with flour and roll out the pastry. Leave the pastry relatively thick. Grease a muffin tin and put the pastry in the muffin forms. Cut rounds for the top of the pies.

Filling: In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until soft, but not browning. Add the garlic and leave to fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and fry for a approximately 5-8 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the flour and mix well. Pour in the chicken broth a little at a time until you have a thick mixture. You do not want the filling to be too runny. Add the parsley, olives, and salt to taste. Leave to cool.

Assembling: Heat the oven to 200C/400F. Once the filling is slightly cool spoon into the prepared muffin tins. Close the pies with the prepared pastry tops. Seal well and brush with egg yolk. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Chicken PieComments
> For the chicken I like to boil it in water using my pressure cooker. This usually takes about 30 minutes.
> I use the stock from the chicken instead of store bought stock.
> You can also freeze these after baking to eat at a later time!
> If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making all the small empadinha’s you can make this into one large pie, just use a large pie dish!

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!

Recipe helpers: