Pão de queijo- Cheese Bread

This past summer I spent about two months in Brazil.  I stayed with my brother and his family is Rio, and while I was there I met wonderful people, new friends, went to beautiful places and picked up a little Portuguese.  The slight differences in the brazilian culture compared to the American, is one to appreciate only by being immersed in it.  Though on occasion I regret not visiting Cristo, I enjoyed going where the locals went and doing what the locals did.  But I did go hanging gliding in São Conrado!
One part of Brazil that one can not escape experiencing, tourist or not, is the pão de queijo.  It is as easy to find as it is to find pizza in NYC, it is everywhere; and it is delicious too. There are moments I wish I was back in Rio, but knowing I can make my own pão de queijo, I can stay in the US a little longer.  The only difference between mine and ones in Brazil is the type of cheese.  In Brazil they use a cheese called “queijo minas” which I have not found in the NYC.  Parmesan seems to be the next best thing and works just as well.
The Brazilian holiday Carnaval was recently celebrated last weekend and I couldn’t help but find a way to celebrate myself.  I could have gone out dressed up in sparkles and feathers, but instead, I made 
pão de queijo and listened to Seu Jorge on Pandora Radio.

As soon as the pão de queijo came out of the oven, my friends Matt and Joe called to say they were on their way over.  Thank goodness for that because I wasn’t going to eat 30 all by myself!  The boys came over with milk and a box of fruit loops, but gladly put it on hold to eat some pão de queijo.
These little balls of goodness are great for feeding some friends or having as a snack. You can shape the dough into balls, freeze them and cook a few at a time to snack on.

Makes 30
Ingredients:
1 stick butter
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp salt
2 cups tapioca starch/flour
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 375°
Step 1:  In a saucepan melt butter, then add water and milk and bring to a boil.
Step 2: Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the tapioca statch while stirring with a wooden spoon.
Step 3: Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. Then add the eggs and cheese.  Knead the mixture for about 6 minutes, or until it is (mostly) smooth.
Step 4: Grease a cookie sheet then using a tablespoon, scoop the dough into a ball and place it on the cookie.  Cook for 20 minutes or until the the outside is crispy.
Serve warm and enjoy.
xx G

How to slip-cast

As I mentioned in my earlier post, How to make a cavity mold, I had tons of slip, so I made house bottles.  Slip casting is a way to replicate an object in ceramic. It is also great for small scale production and editioning.  There are two ways that something can be casted, either solid or hollow. Here are the detailed instructions for hollow slip casting. Directions for solid slip casting are briefly described at the end.  And here, below, are my houses waiting to be glazed!

(the ones in the front row are still drying)

Supplies:
slip
container
water or slip dope
spoon, or something to mix with
rubber bands
clay shaping tools 
sponge
blow dryer (optional)

step 1- make sure the inside of your two-piece cavity mold is clean, fit the two pieces together and close it tight with rubber bands.

step 2 – mix your slip to remove any clumps.  add water or slip dope to thin your slip so that it is the consistency of half-and-half or heavy cream.

step 3a- pour the slip into the mold. after a few seconds the slip may sink a bit, so add some more.

step 3b- the plaster of your mold will begin to absorb the moisture from the slip, and a wall will start to form (pictured above).  when you have achieved your desired width(at least, pour the slip back into the container for later use.  for my object I waited about 8 minutes(depending on the size of the object you are casting and the thickness of your slip, you may need to add or subtract to your wait time.)

step 4- wait at least 2 hours to let your slip dry.  the longer you wait, the better your object with come out.  if you don’t want to wait, you can dry it with a blow dryer.  and again, if your object is larger than mine, wait longer.

step 5- gently pry the mold apart.  BEFORE removing the object, slice off the excess slip at the top of the object, to easily get an even lip.

step 6- trim the object with trimming tools and/or smooth with a sponge.  let dry and underglaze, or bisque fire your objects.

directions for solid slip casting

follow directions above, but skip step 3b.  simply fill the mold and let dry.  but note that smaller objects, like mine, are ideal for this method because if your object is too large or thick, it will explode in the kiln.

THANKS AGAIN TO ALEX MAC

xxx G