24 April 2011

Easter in Portugal

 Easter in Portugal and the days leading to it are filled with joyous celebrations of the Resurrection of Christ, be it through colorful processions, masses, theatrical plays, street faires and the church bells reminding everyone to celebrate Life, in all its forms.

As a child growing up in Portugal, I knew a few things would happen at Easter, for sure... I would eat lots of chocolate and our family would gather together for a true banquet. One of the Easter specialties I remember well is the Folar da Páscoa, a sweet bread traditionally flavored with anise oil or seeds. Along with the majority of Portugal's sweet traditions, the Folar originated in the convents and monasteries of the 1700's. As I share this tradition with my children, I thought I would share it with you, too...


400g Flour (about 3 cups)
15g Fresh Yeast or packet yeast – (fresh yeast is best) (1/2 oz)
45g Caster Sugar (or Icing Sugar if you don't have caster sugar) (about 1/3 cup)
90g Butter (about 1/2 cup)
1 Egg
300ml Milk ( about 1 1/4 cups)
1 tspn powdered Aniseed
1 tspn Cinnamon
pinch of sea Salt
To decorate:
1 or 2 hard-boiled eggs (leave in their shells)
1 beaten egg for brushing


In a bowl combine the yeast, 1/4 of the flour, a 1/3 of the milk (warmed but not hot) and half the sugar.
Mix together to form a dough, cover and leave in a warm place for 1/2 hour
Whisk the eggs with the salt and spices and remaining milk and sugar.
Kneed in the flour and egg mix to the dough gradually then kneed in the butter.
Cover the dough and leave it to rise for about three hours in a warm place.
Break the dough into two (or leave whole) and plant the eggs on top. Make a cross with two rolled lengths of dough to put on the top, holding the egg in place.
Brush the bread with the beaten egg.
Cook at 425F/Gas 7 until golden brown.



  1. Great pictures!! That would be such a moving experience in Portugal and I love the bread with the egg in it, what a great treat for the kids to find! Happy Easter to you..Lisa

  2. So lovely for you to share your holiday traditions with the world!

  3. Thanks for sharing these traditions. Hugs! Florence

  4. This is awesome! I agree I think it would be such an amazing and moving experience to be there!! Thanks so much for sharing this. I have hit a milestone on my blog and am having an all natural organic giveaway. Would love for you to enter.

  5. Love this thank you Isabel! I'll never forget my Easter in Romania...we still color all our eggs red ;)


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