Okay, allow me to let you in on a little secret. Big, snazzy New York
City burger joints are scoring high praise and big dollars with their
burgers that are gently nestled in Portuguese rolls that are shipped in
from my hometown of Fall River, Massachusetts. Of course they're using
good beef, but what is really setting these burgers apart are the
Portuguese sweet muffins. I blogged about it a little while back, you
can find that post here.
people from the South Coast towns of Massachusetts and Rhode Island
have always enjoyed these rolls and they're available in most markets.
We call them Portuguese sweet muffins or Portuguese pancakes, but their
real name is "bolos levedos" (sounds like "bhoulzsh levezsh"). Of the
varieties you get in the market, some are good and some could be
better. The best ones I ever had is when I visited the town of Furnas
on Saint Michael in the Azores. Now those bolos levedos are something.
Larger and more tender than the American variety and just a little more
special. It could of course be the locale, but I'm also betting on the
Portuguese butter and a few other things.
We always have a
supply in my house. We use them for breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers,
fish sandwiches or just toasted with some butter or guava jelly.
Recently, I decided I wanted to make them for myself and set out to do
so. I wanted something closer to what I got in Saint Michael and I'm
certain I was able to do that. I found the recipe I based mine on on a
Portuguese cooking website. With the help of a good friend and her mom
whom are both fluent in Portuguese I was able to translate the
instructions and recipe amounts. I made some pretty big adjustments and
got exactly what I was looking for. So now I can make my own bolos
levedos Acorianos and anyone out there who really wants them can have
the best hamburger buns in the world. These things are addictive,
you've been warned.
Bolos Levedos Acorianos
1/2 cup whole milk (70-80°F)
1/2 cup + 1 TBS sugar
2-1/2 tsp instant yeast
4-1/3 cups unbleached bread flour
2 eggs (beaten)
9 TBS sweet butter (softened)
1/2 tsp zest of lemon (grated then minced fine)
2 TBS vodka (if you can get Portuguese moonshine use that, but I imagine everyone can't get it like we can!)
1/8 tsp salt
A little water as necessary.
Mix the instant yeast into the warm milk and set aside.
Sift the flour and sugar into a large bowl.
a well in the middle of the flour/sugar combination add the milk/yeast
combination and mix it in a little. Add the eggs, butter, lemon zest,
vodka and salt. Mix together until it forms a rough dough ball. If you
need to add a few drops of water to make it gather into a ball, do so
in small increments. Once the ball forms, cover the bowl and let the
dough rest for 15 minutes. This allows the dough to hydrate evenly.
the dough ball out on to a floured surface and knead for 12 minutes. If
you need instruction on kneading, refer to the instructions
in the homemade naan recipe here.
After kneading cover the dough with plastic film and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled container that
will allow it to increase to twice its size. Press the dough down
gently and then cover with the container cover or plastic wrap. Mark
the container with tape where the dough is and allow it to rise to
twice its size (30 minutes to 4 hours).
Turn the dough back out
onto your floured surface and divide in to 9 equal sized pieces. Gently
form each piece into a smooth ball and cover with plastic wrap and let
rest 15 minutes.
Pat each ball into a flat patty. Let rest 15 minutes covered with plastic wrap.
Place a comal or flat griddle over medium-low flame and allow it to heat up.
and expand each piece of dough again. Let rest 15 minutes or more
covered with plastic wrap. You want it to rise a little bit again.
When they are ready, place a patty on the heated comal or griddle.
Cook it SLOWLY on medium-low heat, or the outside will burn before the
inside is cooked properly. Turn over when nicely browned, remove when
evenly browned on both sides and cooked through. It'll take a little
testing at first but is easy once you sort it out. Eventually, if your
comal or griddle are large enough you can cook four at a time.
now make the best hamburger or fish sandwich buns in the world. You can
also use them for breakfast by splitting them, buttering them and
toasting them on a comal or griddle.
Add your favorite jelly. My wife toasts them this way and then makes a
sandwich of fried egg whites, cheese and split sausages. Those things
Bolos Levedoes are very versatile and can be used a number of ways!