I hope you're having a nice Easter. Last year I shared a recipe from "Pantagruel" for a traditional Portuguese Easter bread, but I completely failed its presentation. So this year I decided to try a new recipe and this time from "Cozinha Tradicional Portuguesa". And I'm glad I decided to give it a try because I actually prefer this version.
The egg in the middle is completely optional. I've never in my life ate the boiled egg. And there's something about the cross on top of Easter buns. I'm not sure what it represents, but I've seen it all over the internet this week and the Portuguese version is no exception.
- 500g flour (or 4 1/4 cups)
- 100g butter (or 1/2 cup)
- 15g fresh yeast (or 0.5oz)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 small eggs
- 2,5dl milk (plus a little more to dissolve the yeast) (or 1 cup and 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds chopped or powdered
- 2 boiled eggs (optional)
Start by dissolving the yeast in a bit of warm milk. Add 100g (1 cup) of flour (out of the total weight) and 1 tablespoon of sugar (also out of the total amount of sugar). Leave the dough to rise covered for 20 minutes in a warm place.
In a big bowl, mix the flour, the eggs, the sugar and the milk. Work the dough for a few minutes.
Add the melted butter, the salt, the cinnamon, the fennel and the yeast dough. Mix well until the dough no longer sticks to your hands nor to the bowl.
Let it rise covered for 2-5hours depending on the place you leave it (my kitchen was warm and it took about 3h30). Once is has doubled in size, divide the dough in two parts. Leave a bit of dough from each part to later make the cross. Form round loaves and place them in a floured baking tray.
Flatten their surface a little and place the boiled eggs on top (optional). Form four strips with the remaining dough and place them on top of the eggs. Brush the loaves with a egg wash and bake in a preheated oven to 210ºC (410ºF) (fan off) until the loaves are golden (about 20 minutes). Let it cool down before serving.