Saturday, 21 February 2015

Bolos lêvedos de São Miguel

This is more like an English muffin than an American muffin


In the great, wide world of breakfast breads, the English muffin is a well-known favourite. On sandwiches, under Eggs Benedict, or on their own, English muffins are a classic choice for breakfasts on the hop as well as leisurely Sunday brunches. English muffins may have cornered the breakfast market,but they're not the only "European muffin" out there, and they may not be the best either. The Portuguese muffin can one-up and out-do its English counterpart any morning of the week.
For those who aren't familiar with the Portuguese muffin, it is slightly sweeter and slightly larger than an English muffin. You don't pull it apart like you would an English muffin -- instead, you cut it in half with a knife, as you would a bagel. The cross-section is smoother, with fewer "nooks and crannies" than an English muffin.
The dough for Portuguese muffins consists of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, whole milk, yeast and water.
 Also known as Portuguese sweet muffins, Portuguese sweet bread, Portuguese pancakes, or Bolo Levedo, these muffins are sturdier than English muffins and don't crumble as easily, which makes them great for sandwiches, toasties or instead of burger buns.
I could quite happily eat these muffins for breakfast and again for lunch, and I have no shame.My favourite employment of Bolo levedos is for eggs Benedict (above).
So when I saw a recipe for these online I decided to experiment with making them in my own kitchen. I have never even thought that bread could be baked bread in a dry frying pan.We were beyond excited when they came out just like the picture that had inspired me. Its almost magical watching the frying pan as these squashed dough balls slowly transform themselves into the sort of muffin we all know and enjoy
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Bolos lêvedos de São Miguel                                                              Makes 8 or 9 muffins
500-550 g all purpose flour
125 g butter (preferably Azorean!) softened
125 g Sugar 

20 g of baker's yeast
200ml milk
Zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs

In a bowl, pour in the warm milk, then the sugar and the crumbled yeast. Add the beaten eggs and then the softened butter. Add the lemon zest. Finally, sift in 500 g of flour.Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Watch the kneading, it is likely you will have to add a little more flour, but do so using a tablespoon at a time testing the mass little by little (I added about 50g more, ie about 4 tablespoons).
Cover dough with a cloth and set aside to rise until doubled in bulk, about 11/2 hours.
Divide dough into about 8 or 9 pieces, and shape them into flat round cakes about 1/2 inch thick. 
In a dry ungreased nonstick frying pan, cook the flattened dough balls on a low heat, one side and then the other. Caution: keep the flame low.Set aside to cool on a wire rack.


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