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Brazilian Cornmeal Popovers - Broinhas de Fuba


Brazilian Cornmeal Popovers - Broinhas de Fuba

Brazilian Cornmeal Popovers - Broinhas de Fuba

Marian Blazes

The word broinha is the diminuative of the word broa, which is the name of a traditional Portuguese cornbread. These "little cornbreads" are really more like popovers, as they are made with an egg-based dough and they puff up dramatically in the oven. They are sweet and delicate, and flavored with fennel or anise seeds. The cornmeal gives them a yellow color and bit of crunch.

Broinha de fuba are similar to the more famous Brazilian pao de queijo. Though pao de queijo are made with manioc starch and cheese instead of cornmeal, they have the same egg-based dough and they also act like popovers when baked.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: About 20 rolls


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon anise or fennel seed
  • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Place the milk, butter, salt, and anise seeds in a heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat.

  3. Once the mixture has begun to simmer, stir in the flour, the cornmeal, and the sugar with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Continue to cook mixture over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until it comes together into a smooth dough - about 2-3 minutes.

  4. Remove the mixture from the heat, and let it cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until you have a shiny, soft dough.

  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust the parchment paper with flour. Dip a small ice cream scoop or spoon in flour, scoop up a rounded tablespoon of dough, and place it on the floured parchment. (For very uniform rolls, you can pipe the dough out using a pastry bag and a wide round tip, like this method for making cream puffs). Repeat with remaining dough, placing the balls of dough at least 1-2 inches apart on the baking sheet.

  6. Dust the tops of the rolls generously with flour, and place them in the oven.

  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until rolls are very puffed and golden brown. Rolls should sound hollow when tapped. Remove rolls from the oven. Like popovers, these rolls may deflate a bit as they cool, so enjoy them right away - they are best when still warm.

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