Portuguese Easter Bread (Folar de Páscoa)
This is a traditional sweet Easter bread which is hugely popular around Easter in Portugal. Similar to the Italian Easter egg cookies, it incorporates boiled eggs as the bread symbolizes a nest with the eggs representing fertility and the birth of a new generation.
Enjoy this traditional Portuguese Easter bread recipe!
Folar de pascoa (Portuguese Easter Bread)
- 700 g plain flour
- 250 ml warm milk
- 60 g butter at room temperature, coarsely chopped
- 3 boiled eggs
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 100 g sugar
- 1 tsp fennel powder
- 6 boiled eggs
- 1 lemon zested
- 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 1 pinch salt
- oil to brush
- 1 tbsp cinnamon power optional
- Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 5-10 minutes or until frothy.
- Combine the flour, fennel seeds, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, butter, and remaining milk and sugar.
- Lightly whisk 3 eggs and add to the mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir until combined. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Brush a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in a bowl and turn to coat it with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
- Meanwhile, bring 3 eggs (brown or white), salt, and the peel of 2 yellow onions to a boil in a medium saucepan (the onion skin acts as a natural coloring to make the white eggs brown or enhance the color of brown eggs).
- Once boiling, turn off the heat and allow the eggs to sit for about 10 minutes. Remove from the water and put aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (392°F). Lightly brush a round 22 cm (base measurement) spring-form cake pan with oil. Reserve 1/2 cup of dough. Lightly knead the remaining dough and place in the prepared pan. Gently press the eggs into the dough.
- Divide the reserved dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin 12 cm-long rope. Use the ropes to form a cross over each egg. Brush the dough with extra egg. Set aside for 10 minutes to prove slightly.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Set aside to cool slightly.