Folar de Pascoa Portuguese Sweet Easter Bread delicous sweet bread made with flour, yeast, milk, orange, lemon zest and anise seed.
If you are looking for a simple and yet delicious easter bread, then try this Folar da Pascoa. It is a sweet bread scented with lemon, orange zest and anise seed.
I love to take a culinary travel in search of Easter bread from the comfort of my kitchen. Even though I have tried quite a few of easter bread, I my still have a long list to try.
What is Folar de Pascoa: Portuguese sweet easter bread?
Folar de Pascoa is a Portuguese sweet easter bread made in Southern part of the country with or without boiled eggs. This bread symbolizes the nest, and the eggs the generation of a new life, fertility. You wish someone happiness and prosperity when you are offered a snack.
In the north-eastern Portuguese regions of Chaves, easter bread is called folar de Chaves which is stuffed bread with smoked meat like chorizo and ham etc.
Then there is folar de Olhão Portuguese Easter bread from the town of Olhao in the Algarve. It is like cinnamon monkey bread, is a dough rolled with sugar and cinnamon with sticky sauce.
There are many different versions of the bread made in the Christian, Catholic, and Orthodox communities around the world. I have found that they all have the common theme of a cross, or Chris-crossed, shape made on top of the bread with dough to represent the crucifixion of Christ. Eggs baked inside the bread represents rebirth or fertility.
In Medieval times eggs were exchanged to represent seasonal rebirth. As Christianity evolved, the eggs significance changed to represent the rebirth in man as Jesus Christ was reborn on Easter Sunday.
How to make Folar de Pascoa?
You need following ingredients to make this Portuguese sweet easter bread
Flour: I used all-purpose flour as they tend to work well in sweet breads. You can use bread flour too then it will become little chewier.
Sugar: Granulated sugar is used in the recipe
Eggs: this is brioche type bread, so eggs are an important ingredient.
Yeast: I used SAF gold yeast as this bread is sweeter than normal one. If you do not have SAF gold yeast, increase the amount of yeast to ¼ teaspoon more.
Salt: in the bread is to add flavor as well as check on the fermentation.
Citrus zest: Citrus zests like lemon and orange zests adds not only aroma but also adds extra flavor.
Anise seed: Anise has a licorice flavor that is sweet, mildly spicy, and very aromatic adds extra boost to bread
Milk: I have use full fat milk you can use 2% also but full fat milk gives more flavor.
Water: Water is added to the yeast as you need to develop a sponge before adding it into the recipe.
Butter: Since it is a brioche type dough butter is must in the recipe.
Vegetable shortening is used to keep your baked goods soft after baking.
You also need red colored eggs for baking this bread. I used naturally dyed red color eggs using onion skins. You can look at here for the recipe.
How to shape Folar de pascoa?
You can shape them into round or oval loaf with or with out boiled eggs. But it should have cross either scored or made with shaped dough on the top of the bread.
Usually, 2-4 dyed eggs placed in dough. Secured with cross on the top of each eggs or just of all eggs.
First make sponge
Tips to remember while baking Folar de pascoa.
1) Make sure to keep the dyed eggs after the second proof and just before putting into the oven, otherwise there is chance the eggs can sink too much into the bread while baking.
2) Since it is sweet bread, you need to bake at 350 °F and bake about 20 -30 minutes or until it gets golden brown in color or register 185 °F inside.
Otherwise, top will get brown easily and inside will not be done completely. If you see browning, then tend to cover them with aluminum foil and continue to bake until it is done.
Storage of Folar da Pascoa ?
Remove the bread from the oven, and gently transfer it to a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing.
Store for several days at room temperature, well-wrapped; freeze for longer storage.
Enjoy with some butter or as toast Folar da Pascoa Portuguese sweet easter bread is yum.
Are you into Easter bread baking then check these posts.
If you try this recipe, please tag me @nidhinikhil on Instagram or @zestysouthindiankitchen in facebook. I would love to see your creations.
Folar de Pascoa: Portuguese Sweet Easter Bread
- ½ cup 65g all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon 15g Granulated Sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoon 7g Instant Yeast (SAF Gold)
- ½ cup 116g Water
- 3 cup 410g unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoon water
- 2 large egg
- 7 tbsp. 90g Sugar
- ½ cup 127g milk
- ½ teaspoon 3g salt
- 2 tablespoon 25g butter room temperature
- 2 tablespoon 21g Vegetable shortening
- 1 Lemon zest
- 1 Orange zest
- ½ teaspoon anise seed
- 1 egg for egg wash
- 2 naturally dyed eggs
First make the sponge
- To make the sponge, stir together water, sugar , yeast and the flour in a small bowl. Stir until all the ingredients are hydrated and make a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for an hour, or until the sponge gets foamy and seems on the verge of collapse.
Make the dough
- To make the dough, first cream butter, shortening in kitchen-aid stand mixer. Then add sugar, salt, anise seed, cream together with paddle attachment until smooth, then mix in the eggs and lemon and orange zest. Knead by hand (or switch to the dough hook attachment) and mix in the sponge and the flour. Add the water, as needed, to make an incredibly soft dough. The finished dough should be very supple and soft, easy to knead, and not wet or sticky. It will take 10 to 12 minutes with the electric mixer and close to 15 minutes by hand to achieve this consistency. The finished dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 88 degrees F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 670g and 277g pieces. Then divide the 277g pieces into 4 equal sizes. Form large piece into a boule. Shape the rest of 4 pieces into equal sized long rope.
- Set aside for proof at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until the dough looks puffy.
- In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 350 °F/180 ° c
- When you are ready to bake do an egg wash on the boule.
- Make a twisted rope with two long rope you set aside. You will end up with two twisted rope.
- Place two eggs on the sides and place the twisted ropes like cross on the top of the eggs.
- Gently brush the loaves with egg wash.
- And bake the loaf for 30-40minutes. or until it gets golden brown in color or register 185 F inside.
- The bread will soften as it cools, resulting in an incredibly soft, squishy loaf. Allow the bread to cool for at least 90 minutes before slicing or serving.
- This bread will remain room temperature for 2-3 day if you are covered well. For long storage freeze them. You can enjoy as breakfast bread toast or as bread pudding.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.