When I set out to search for a recipe to substitute for the various flat bread wraps in the world (e.g. roti, naan, four tortillas, pitas, etc.), I had no idea that I already had one. Many recipes for gluten-free wraps or pitas online use a ridiculous amount of xanthan or guar gum to create the chewy flexibility. For some folks, that’s fine. For my partner and I, xanthan gum really messes up our digestive system and we feel really ill for a few days if we have too much. So the recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring caught my eye for being gum free. Then I noticed that her recipe was pretty much traditional Pão de Queijo (Brazilian tapioca bread) but rolled out and pan-cooked instead of baked into rolls. Maybe this should have been an obvious solution considering the chewy deliciousness of Pão.
With Pão de Queijo you bake the dough while it is still warm and sticky, but for wraps they really need to sit in the refrigerator until quite cool to make them workable. Otherwise you will never be able to roll them flat. Do not skip this step, but if you need to shortcut it you can separate the dough into individual balls (about 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup each), flatten them slightly, and stick them in the freezer for 10 minutes. I have not yet frozen the dough completely to see how it behaves after thawing, so don’t leave them in longer than you have to.
Once you have the dough made up, it can sit in the fridge for three days wrapped air-tight in plastic wrap. This makes it perfect for quick meals, as you can just tear a couple of hunks off, cook them up, fill them with leftovers or lunchmeat, and have a hot meal in 20-30 minutes.
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups tapioca flour (also sold as tapioca starch)
2 cups shredded or grated cheese (anything meltable: mozzarella, cheddar, colby, etc.)
- Bring the milk and butter to a full rolling boil, stirring often to prevent scorching
- Remove from heat and dump in the tapioca flour all at once and stir vigorously until it is all moistened
- Move to stand mixer with paddle or dough hook attachment
- Mix on low until cool enough to touch without scorching, but still warm (may need to stop and pull the sticky dough off the beaters if it clumps)
- Add half the eggs, beat until incorporated, then repeat with the other half
- Add the cheese and beat until incorporated
- Separate into two or more chunks and cool completely in fridge (up to an hour). Will cool faster in smaller pieces, or rolled out into a long snake.
- Dough keeps in fridge for 3 days if tightly wrapped.
Once the dough has cooled:
- Preheat a cast-iron or non-stick skillet at least 10″ in diameter to medium heat
- Tear a chunk off the dough about 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup in size.
- Flour a surface with tapioca starch (have more on hand)
- Dust the dough with starch and roll out, dusting as it sticks, to preferred thickness. Tortillas can be very thin, roti should be about 1/8 inch thick.
- Cook on skillet for about 2 minutes. Should be stiff enough to pick up with a spatula, with brown spots on the underside.
- Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. If desired, brush with olive oil and garlic/herbs, then flip and cook an additional minute.
- move to a plate and cover with a paper towel to keep warm, or use a tortilla warmer.
- These do not keep well in a packed cold lunch, but can be re-heated by cooking on a hot skillet for 30 seconds each side.