Chewy Cheesy Buns

Ever since my 1st chewy cheese bread from Churrasco Brazilian, I have been determined to discover the secret to this cheesy chewy bread. How awesome is it that there’s a recipe for it floating around and it is gluten free too!

Should have figured it was the flour that resulted in the chewy texture, it is just like the pearls in bubble tea with a fragrant cheesy crunchy crust. Tapioca starch and tapioca flour are the same thing, and is available from most Asian grocery store or health food stores. I understand Asian grocery store, after all it is one of the commonly used flour for desserts. I suppose it is available in health food stores due to its gluten-free properties.

Original recipe from Spoon University.

I finally got an oven! I bought myself a countertop convection oven, and I am totally loving it. It is the Breville Smart Oven Pro and it is pretty! I would prefer the cranberry red one, but hey, when it is almost $100 cheaper from a particular dealer, you go get the cheaper one.

Some notes:

  • 500g bag of tapioca starch is approx 4 cups
  • 250g bag pre-grated parmesan is approx 3 cups
  • Cheese is measured loosely and not packed into the cup.
  • Not sure if there’s an additional smokiness in the cheesy buns because of the type of salt. Honestly, there really isn’t a need for that much salt. Cheese is salty enough.
  • This recipe calls for quite a bit of elbow grease. Work it!

Here’s some photos of the process. The complete recipe (without comments) will be at the bottom of the page.

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Ingredients

Ingredients:

1 cup milk (please, no skim milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt (I’m using a smoked rock salt)
2 1/2 cups tapioca starch (tapioca flour)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups finely grated parmesan
1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheddar

Preheat oven: 175C

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Milk, oil and salt in a saucepan

Step 1: Put milk, oil and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. I find that with this step, it would be best to keep stiring as the oil floating on the surface may not bubble as quickly while the milk is burning on the base of the pan.

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Stir in flour

Step 2: Turn fire down low and add flour gradually into mixture, making sure to keep stirring with a wooden spoon till combined. I find that by adding a small portion at a time while stirring helps instead of putting the whole lot of flour in at 1 go.

When fully combined, remove from heat and set aside to cool. You would want the dough to still be warm, but cool enough to handle with your hands.

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Prepare cheese

Step 3: While the dough is cooling down, start preparing your cheese. I bought a pre-grated parmesan and a block of cheddar. As long as both cheese are finely grated, it would be fine to use pre-grated cheese as well.

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Add egg

Step 4: Add eggs one at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate fully.

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Egg is fully incorporated into warm dough

This is how the dough looks like at this stage. In my 2nd attempt, I transferred the dough into a glass bowl before adding the egg, to prevent myself from burning my hands on the side of the pot.

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Add all the cheese!

Step 5: Add all the cheese into the bowl and continue stirring with a wooden spoon or kneading with your hands. I find using my hands a lot easier. I would use my thumbs to push any surface visible cheese back into the dough, or break apart clumps of white tapioca flour chunks by pushing cheese into it.

You will find the dough rather greasy, it is probably the oil melting out of the dough and cheese.

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Finished lump of dough

Here’s how it looks like when it is done. Time to start shaping the balls!

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Little balls of cheesy buns!

Step 6: Time to shape the buns! Each batch makes 24 buns. I split my dough up before starting to shape and bake. In my 1st attempt, I grabbed lumps of dough and did not really press them into shape. I find that with this method, it resulted in a much rougher surface, with more crunchy bits hanging from places.

In my 2nd attempt, I squeezed the balls in the palm of my hand, dabbed the oil off, then shape into smooth balls. These resulted in a more evenly cooked smooth surface. I quite prefer the taste of the rustic-y rough tops though. Try them both!

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My new oven!

Step 7: Bake at 175C for 25-30 mins till tops are golden brown.

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Serve warm on kitchen paper towel

All done! I served it up while warm on kitchen paper towels to blot off any oily bits.

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Chewy Cheesy Buns

Preheat oven to 175C

Ingredients

1 cup full milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups tapioca starch (tapioca flour)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups finely grated parmesan
1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheddar

Steps:

Step 1: Put oil, milk and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil.
Step 2: Turn heat down to low and stir in tapioca flour with a wooden spoon till well mixed and a dough is formed.
Step 3: Remove from heat, transfer into a glass bowl and set aside while preparing cheeses.
Step 4: Once dough has cooled down enough to be handled by hand, stir eggs in 1 at a time till well incorporated
Step 5: Add cheese and continue kneading till completely mixed in.
Step 6: Form balls with hand and place onto baking sheet
Step 7: Bake for 25-30mins till golden brown

Serve warm.

(I had to reheat it the following day, so I did it in a 160C oven for 5mins. It was warm and chewy but not as crunchy.)

Enjoy!

Chewy centre!

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