We're So Smart: Gluten-Free Pao De Queijo Burger Buns

I'm not gluten-free, and for that I thank Science every day. That being said, I know some people who can't handle their wheat, and I sympathize with them. They can't eat cheeseburgers, and cheeseburgers are one of earth's most perfect foodthings. A friend (who may be a Food Republic editor) came over once when I was making burgers and brought her own gluten-free bun in a little Ziploc bag. It was so sad and inadequate compared to my monstrous fresh-from-the-bakery brioche bun. I thought, how can I help my friends really enjoy burgers without having to resort to these unhappy gluten-free bun-like discs? Or no bun, which is fine, I guess, but...dat bun doe.

That's where the Paoburger comes in. I took my pao de queijo recipe, added extra cheese and baked them in 4.5-inch ramekins to make perfect, cheesy gluten-free buns. The best part about these? My wheat-eating friends will still eat them without complaining, cause they're made of cheeeeeese!

We're So Smart: Gluten-Free Pao De Queijo Burger Buns
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  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 cup mild or medium cheddar (sharp is too oily)
  • 1 cup gruyère or other Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Add all your ingredients to a mixing bowl, and mix well.
  3. Blend your batter until smooth with an immersion blender or regular blender.
  4. Grease the inside of your ramekins with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Scoop out 1/2 cup of batter into each ramekin, and place on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (this may vary depending on your oven), or until golden yellow on top. Be careful not to let them go too long — you want to pull them out before they go brown (there’s a lot of cheddar in there, that’s why they're yellow).
  7. Allow to rest and settle for at least an hour, or you won’t be able to slice them in half. In the meantime, make any kind of burger you like, then slice the buns in half, reheat the halves quickly in a hot oven and assemble! I suggest this special sauce and some pickled onions to help cut through that cheese, but it’s your burger, so top it however you want!
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