Portuguese food

The food of Portugal is rich, & has a depth of intensity just like its people.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter - Folar de Pascoa (Sweet Easter Bread)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. It's been a while since I've celebrated Easter, but since my 5 year old nephew has come to live with my husband & I several months ago we seem to celebrate all those holidays that kids love.
When you see easter from a childs perspective it's a time of wonder & magic, a time full of chocolate, as an adult you forget how these days felt.
I awoke on Easter morning to find my nephew eating a chocolate bunny, a smile on his face, as well as chocolate.
I wanted to reprimande him as he's not allowed to eat junk food on a regular basis, but then I thought hey it's easter, if he can't eat chocolate on this day then when, so I left him to it.
My husband & sister in law are happy they tell me, since I started this blog, because they get to taste all their childhood favorites, they devoured this folar.
To be honest I've never made a folar which is a sweet bread, my mum makes them every year, I decided that since easter was here that I had to road test Portugals famous Easter bread, & report back.
Folar is to the Portuguese what hot cross buns are to Australians.
Folar is made differently from region to region, in the north it's made with yeast, like a sweet bread & in the south it's made more like a cake, the similarity are that they all have boiled eggs in them.
Traditionally their made with aniseed but I'm not a fan of this spice so I substituted it for nutmeg.
Because of easter I made the sweet one but there are many types of folar that have different types of meat. I hope to bring you this version in a future post. 


520g plain flour
15g yeast
50g sugar
90g butter
2 eggs
200ml milk, tepid
2 tea cinnamon
2 tea nutmeg whole or ground
1/2 tea salt
4 boiled eggs

1. Warm  the milk till just tepid. In a bowl add the milk, yeast & sugar, leave in awarm place until the yeast bubbles & grows, about 10 minutes.

2. Measure out the flour, cinnamon,nutmeg,salt & combine all together in a bowl.
When the yeast mixture has doubled in size, mix in the eggs.

  3. Combine the eggy yeast mixture to the flour. Combine all together, till a ball forms.

4. Once the dough is combined, knead for 3 min.

5. Put a tea bowl on top of the bowl & leave to rest in a warm place, till it's doubled in size.

6. Once the dough has doubled in size punch it down & knead again for 3 min. Then cut a small piece
of dough, roll 2 rope size pieces.

7. Entwine the 2 pieces together, to make this pattern. Then repeat the process. You will meed 4 of these.
8. Line a cake pan with baking paper, then put the rest of the dough into the pan. With the patterned dough line around the base dough, then add the other two on top to form a cross.
Then place the boiled eggs in the spaces left & brush the top with an egg. Leave for 5 minutes until the dough rises.
Bake at 190 degrees for 40 min.

I've included a photo of my mums version. As my mum gives us one of hers each year I decided to make a folar from the north. My husband & sister in law appreciated this as their parents come from the north.
It was great to have their opinion on my one.

  • The milk should be warm, if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast.
  • You dont have to knead the dough as much as you would normal bread dough
  • If you dont like eggs you can put apples or pears through the dough mix


Simon Leong said...

hey those eggs still have the shell on them ;-o i've never seen that before. very interesting although i'm not sure if i'd like to eat cooked eggs with cake. it would be a shame to not let kids eat chocolate on easter so i'm glad you let him continue :-)

Portuguese kitchen said...

Hi Simon, the eggs need the shell to protect themselves from the heat of the oven. Otherwise they would burn & become rubbery, yuck.
I agree I'm not grazy about the eggs but it's traditional to have then in.To make it more modern you could add some apples or pears to the mix.
I'm glad I let him continue too, he ate a lot of chocolate & I think it's fine for this time of year.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Oooh I absolutely love this! It's new to me but I'd love to make this next year :D I love how you've plaited it and put the eggs in it! Hope you had a wonderful Easter! :D

Digital Media Learning said...

I really love this. Looks wonderful.
It's so different.I'll be making this when I can.Dont think I want to wait.

Portuguese kitchen said...

Hi Lorraine.
I'm glad you like this recipes. The eggs are something that's traditional for many Christian/Orthodox religions, a sybolism of fertility & spring.
It's a bit similar to the Greek tsoureki, who put boiled dyed eggs in theirs, which I really like.
I had a wonderful Easter thanks.

Portuguese kitchen said...

Hi Belnboo, thank you for you comments. I hope you do make it, it's different. It was nice to have this as well as hot cross buns, a mixture of cultures, which is what I love about Australia.

Kitty said...

Found your recipe when searching for Easter baking projects. Very glad you could share it!

Unknown said...

Hi, thank you so much for this recipe, I will surely try it for the Easter! I just really don't understand the eggs :D ... what do you do with them, how do you serve them? Do you eat the cooked eggs (without the shell of course :))...) with the bread / cake?
Thank you! :)