Bolo Levedo {Recipe} Portugese Muffins

Image   These are more amazing than any english muffins I’ve ever had. They’re sweeter, more dense and healthier since they don’t contain insane amounts of preservatives and strange additives. I’m hooked and so are my husband and kids. I found the initial recipe from allrecipes.com, but if you know me at all, you know that I’ve heavily altered the directions to suit my needs. I read the reviews and saw that pan frying the bolo levedo left the sides sticky and undercooked. I like to multi-task, so baking them seemed the best option for me. I was right! They turned out beautifully. So, without further ado, here is my adaptation from the original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • pinch of sugar (not necessary, though I do find it feeds the yeast quicker. If omitted, simply let the yeast mixture sit an extra 5 minutes)
  • 6 cups flour (I prefer spelt, an ancient grain)
  • 2/3 cup raw honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
  • 1-1/4 cups milk

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 250º F. Once it pre-heats, turn it off, and turn on oven light. You will use this warm oven in step 4 to allow your dough to rise.
  2. In stand mixer with dough hooks attached, combine yeast, pinch of sugar* and water. Let ferment for about 10 minutes.
  3. Measure and pour all dry ingredients into stand mixer and make a hole in the center of the mixture. Measure and pour milk, honey, butter and eggs into the center of this mixture and knead for ten minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Make sure to scrape sides if some of the flour is not mixing in well.
  4.  Remove bowl from mixer, cover bowl with a clean, damp tea towel and place in oven to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. (I actually allowed mine to rise for nearly 2 hours because we took the dog to the dog park and stayed a long time! It turned out fine!)
  5. Divide dough into 15-20 pieces, roll into balls and flatten out. (Some ladies said they did this with rolling pins. I just covered a large cutting board with flour and pressed my clean hands down on them. Worked great.)
  6. Allow the dough circles to set for an additional 30 minutes.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 325º F. On a lightly greased cookie sheet, place the cookies about an inch apart, baking on the center rack for about 16 minutes or until both sides are golden brown, flipping after 8 minutes to cook both sides evenly.
  8. Cool on a baker’s rack. You can eat them now (they’re completely delicious!) or you can cut them in half and toast them, as you would english muffins. Store any extras in an air-tight container. I like to make huge batches and freeze them. They defrost well.

You can mix in flavors if you want to. I’d like to try a savory batch with some minced garlic, homemade rosemary and basil and some olive oil instead of butter. I’d cut the sugar down to about 1/4 cup and increase the salt to 1-1/2 teaspoons salt if I did that, though. I’d also like to try a batch with some lemon zest and cranberries. How would you make these?

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