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Filed under :Appetizers, Brazilian Recipes, Breads

It has been a bit crazy around the house lately.  I am loving the new addition to the family, my little baby boy! He is a lot of fun.  My parents were visiting from Brasil, so you can just imagine all the cooking that went on.  Here is one of the recipes we made recently.  Hope you enjoy it!


1 c milk

1 egg

1/2 c oil

1 T sugar

1 t salt

1 T yeast (I used the instant dry yeast)

Flour until the dough is soft and stays together. (it was about 3-4 cups or so of flour. I just add until it forms a dough)

Mix it all together, then make small balls (or big ones depending on the size of esfihas you want)

Open the dough flat into a triangle.

Fill with the meat filling (recipe bellow) or any other filling you may like.

Close the dough into a triangle shape.

Brush with egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 F or until golden brown. This recipe will be around 40 small esfihas.

For the meat filling:

1 lb ground beef



2 tomatoes (diced)

1 diced onion (diced very small, or you can shred it)

2 T ketchup or tomato paste

4 small potatoes (shred them using the cheese shredder)

drizzle oil

1-2 limes (drizzle juice on top)

Mix it all together and fill the bread with this mixture.

If you would like you can also make esfihas abertas (open esfihas). Follow the recipe until you turn them into balls, then open them into a circle, leaving the sides a little thicker.

Fill (meat, or cheese) and Bake.


This was a cheese filled one topped with a bit of fresh salsa!

Pao de Batata – Potato Bread

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Breads

Homemade bread is one of my comfort foods. I love the smell, the texture and especially the taste.  This Wednesday is homemade bread day!  Why not make your favorite homemade recipe to celebrate this wonderful day?  I have been playing with a potato bread recipe and I thought this would be great to share in case you want to try it. In Brasil, it is very common to find Pao de Batata recheado com Catupiry (potato bread filled with catupiry-my favorite cheese from Brasil).  We were lucky to find catupiry cheese in Florida and I just had to make some potato bread to go with it! Enjoy!

4-5 medium size Potatoes

1 cup Milk

1/3 cup Butter

3 T  Honey

4-5 cups Flour (start with 4)

2 T instant dry Yeast

1 1/2 t Salt

1/4 cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1/2 cup Water (if needed)

First you want to peel and boil your potatoes. (make sure you salt the water)  Once the potatoes are soft, mash them either using a ricer, fork or food processor.

Add the mashed potatoes, milk, butter and honey into your mixer (with the bread attachment). You could mix this bread by hand as well. I used my kitchen aid mixer (also known as FRED).  Mix it for about 1 minute.  Add 4 cups of flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Mix for a little bit then add the eggs (one at a time).  Mix for about 4 minutes and check the consistency. Here is where you will use either the rest of the flour (if dough is too sticky) or some of the 1/2 cup of water (if dough too dry).  I usually end up adding about another 1/4 cup of so of flour and 1 T of water.  The consistency will be wet, soft but not too sticky.  Let it mix for about 5-10 minutes. If doing it by hand, kneed it until soft.

Transfer the dough to a bowl drizzled with oil. Cover and let it rest until it doubles it size. It will take about 1 hour.

Punch the dough and transfer it to a floured surface.  Shape your bread and let is rise until double size. It will take about 30-40 minutes.  I like to make rolls filled with my favorite cheese, catupiry!  I also make loaves and hot dogs and hamburger buns.  Just let your imagination go wild! 😀

Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 350. If you like a more gold-ish brown color, use 1 egg (beaten) and coat the top of the bread before putting it in the oven.

This recipe will make either 2 loafs, or 1 loaf, 6 dinner rolls and 4 hot dog buns.

Here are the hot dog buns:

Here are the dinner rolls:

And the best for last, filled with catupiry:



Filed under :Breads

I thought I would post my recipe for homemade tortillas in celebration of cinco de Mayo tomorrow!  I really like these tortillas. It is a bit of work to roll them out, but they taste so good!!!  Also as you’ll see in the pictures, we decided to make them square (easier to cut) and it was a fun little change!

Mix together:
1 tsp salt
3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Cut in 1/4 c margarine or butter with a pastry blender.
Add: 3/4 – 1 c warm water, stir until dough is formed.

Divide the dough into 8-10 equal size balls.
Roll them thin and round.
tip: If you want them nice and round, use a small plate and cut around it.

or you can have fun and make it in any shape you like!

Cook on a hot frying pan or gridle about 30 seconds each side.
Suggestions: Serve with taco meat and toppings, make deli rolls or serve with salad.

Depending on the weather they may harden after cooked.  To soften the tortillas, just keep them warm. You can use the microwave for a couple of seconds to warm them up. Or you can gently wet a clean dish towel with hot water (damp, not soaked) and keep the cooked tortillas inside while you cook the rest. (It will be just like using one of the tortilla warmers) 😉

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Filed under :Brazilian Recipes, Breads

This is a traditional bread we make in Brazil. We use Polvilho to make it.  Polvilho is basically tapioca flour/starch. You can  purchase tapioca flour at the health food store in bulk. You can also find small bags at the grocery store in the health food aisle.  Now all I have to do is try with different cheeses. This bread is very good warm.  It is also yummy to cut it in half and make sandwiches or even add a little bit of butter! YUM 🙂 Enjoy!

1 cup whole milk
½ cup water
4 T. butter
1/4 cup oil
1 t salt
2 ¼ c tapioca flour
2 eggs
1 ½ cup shredded cheese*
¼ cup Parmesan

Boil milk, water, butter, oil and salt.  Take off heat and add flour.  Mix well. It will be clumped together.

Add eggs (one at a time) Mixing well after each egg.  Add the 1 1/2 cups of cheese and the Parmesan cheese.

Let mixture cool a little bit. Roll into balls.

Spray a cookie sheet with oil or butter, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until golden on top.

*I used a white cheese called queso panela (pan cheese)- I bought it at Sams. It will also taste very good with a Cheddar, Colby  or even all Parmesan. I do like to mix the cheeses.  I also used a Spanish cheese called Cotija, instead of the queso panela. It was good.

Another thing I noticed is that depending on the tapioca flour you use, you may need to add a lot more flour to get to the correct consistency.  I have a reader say they added an extra 1 cup of flour. I bet this has to do with the temperature, altitude and flour consistency.  Let me know if you have questions.

Twisted Bread Sticks

Filed under :Appetizers, Breads

I love leftovers. One of the main reasons why I love them so much is because I can go back and recreate! This recipe is an example of that.  I had a little bit of puff pastry left and what do you do with that?  Definitely not throw it away… so here it is! Twisted Bread Sticks, yum!

Puff Pastry (they are so good you may use the whole sheet) 😉  For this recipe I had about 1/4 of a sheet of puff pastry

2 t garlic powder

2 T Parmesan cheese (or any other cheese of your liking)

Spread half of garlic and half Parmesan in one side of pastry, press the mixture with your fingers.  Turn pastry over and repeat. Cut into strips. I used a pastry cutter.

Now twist them gently.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until they are nice and golden!