Easter celebrations

painted eggs in a basket

Portugal is a largely Catholic country and therefore Easter is a major celebration.

Most of the festivities this year will be muted of course; all the colourful traditional processions will not take place and enjoying Easter fayre with family and friends may well not be possible either.

Portuguese Easter treats abound and if you can’t get your hands on them you could try making some at home.

One treat common across the country is the folar, a sweet or savoury bread-like “cake”. Folar can be small with meat in the middle such as chicken, sausage or pork or sweet big ones that are flavoured with cinnamon, lemon or fennel and even be baked with whole boiled eggs inside!

The traditional Portuguese Easter cake, folar de Páscoa, is said to represent the breaking of bread at the last supper and the crucifixion of Christ. 

Being a sweet yeast bread with hard-boiled eggs (in their shells) under a cross made of dough, it can be enjoyed for breakfast, elevenses or for tea.

We thought that you might like to have a go at making it so have chosen a simple-to-follow recipe for you to try.

Send pictures of your finished cake to our Facebook page, we look forward to seeing how you got on.

Folar de Páscoa

A typical Portuguese Easter cake – Folar de Páscoa

1kg flour
250g softened margarine
100g sugar
3 hard-boiled eggs + 3 beaten eggs
3dl warm milk
11g dry baker’s yeast
1tsp salt
1tsp fennel seeds
1tsp cinnamon
Beaten egg for glazing
Flour for covering dough whilst proving

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Place the flour on the table, make a hollow and add the salt, fennel, cinnamon, sugar, margarine, beaten eggs and the yeast mixture. 

Carefully mix well and knead the dough until it comes away easily from the table and your hands. 

Make a ball with the dough, place it in a bowl and sprinkled with flour. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until it triples in volume.

Once this is done, place the dough back on the table. Remove and set aside approximately 300g of dough. Shape the remaining dough into a ball, flatten it slightly and place on a greased baking tray, place the hard-boiled eggs on top and press down a little. 

Using the 300g of dough previously put aside, shape long “sausages” and cover the eggs, as shown in the above image. Cover with a cloth and let it rise for another 30 minutes.

Brush all over with a little beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Once cooked allow to cool and serve, or enjoy warm with butter spread on it.

Chef’s note – you can divide the pastry into three and make smaller “cakes” putting a boiled egg in each one. You can even darken the eggs’ shells by boiling the eggs in water with some onion peel.

Image courtesy of Anncapictures | Pixabay

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