|Preparation time||25 min|
|Cooking Time||40 min|
|Ready In||1 h 5 min|
|Level of Difficulty||Easy|
Portuguese Easter Sweet Bread, also known as "Folar de Pascoa," is a traditional Easter bread in Portugal. It is a sweet and fluffy bread that is typically made with eggs, sugar, flour, and yeast.
The bread is often flavored with cinnamon, lemon zest, and sometimes anise. It may also include other ingredients such as almonds, raisins, or candied fruits. The dough is often shaped into a round loaf or a wreath, and a hard-boiled egg is placed on top before baking.
In Portugal, it is a popular tradition to give and receive Folar de Pascoa as a gift during Easter, and families often enjoy it as a special treat during the holiday season.
Overall, Portuguese Easter Sweet Bread is a delicious and festive treat that is enjoyed by many people in Portugal and around the world.
Makes 1 large bread, or 2 medium
- In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water, and lightly sprinkle 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast over the mixture and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, and cubed butter.
- Mix on low speed to combine and add in the eggs, sugar, remaining 3/4 cup warm water, lemon extract, and yeast mixture.
- Switch to a dough hook and mix on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes (you may need to add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time during mixing if the dough feels too wet).
- You want to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic and tacky but not sticky.
- Coat a large bowl with vegetable oil.
- Shape dough into a ball, put into the bowl and turn to coat with the oil.
- Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draught free area (I put into my oven with light turned on), for about 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, bring 4 eggs (brown or white), salt, and peel of 2 yellow onions to a boil in a medium saucepan (the onion skin acts as a natural way to colour the white eggs brown, or enhance a brown egg).
- Once boiling turn off heat and allow eggs to sit for about 10 minutes.
- Remove eggs from water, and put aside.
- Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.
- Reserve a small amount of dough, about 1/2 cup, to make cross decoration.
- Knead the remaining dough a few times to get the air out.
- Shape into one or two (medium) round loaves and gently press the unpeeled hardboiled eggs into the dough.
- Create 2 or 4 long long flat pieces of dough to place over the eggs.
- Place the dough strips over the eggs and press the ends into the round dough to create a cross.
- Brush the entire top of the dough with the egg wash.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and there is a hollow sound when tapped.
- Set aside to cool.
Storage: 3 days wrapped at room temperature, or wrap tightly and freeze for up to 1 month.