These aren’t exactly the 5 minutes of the usual Breakfast Cereal Challenge recipes, but they’re fast enough for a weekday morning. We had this batch for breakfast this morning before work. Like everything made of sourdough, the time is not in the doing but in the waiting. It only takes about 20 minutes to make a batch, but the 20 minutes has to be the night before, and you have to start by feeding the starter the morning before. So you really have to start dreaming of bolo levedo for breakfast a full day in advance. The upside is that you can wake up knowing that you are minutes away from sweet Portuguese muffins for breakfast.
I have (as usual) taken huge liberties with the traditional recipe – real Portuguese cooks should turn away now. The traditional version is made with yeast (though presumably the real traditional ones were sourdough), and if you don’t have a sourdough culture going, you can make them with a yeast dough. The traditional ones have more sugar too, and no blueberries.
Blueberries are just coming into season and they are hugely healthy – any food with that purple colouring seems to be loaded with antioxidants. The eggs and cottage cheese add a bit of protein to it too, so it fits the Witches Kitchen definition of healthy well enough to be a regular breakfast rather than a special treat.
To make 8 English muffin sized bolos.
You need a cup of fed sourdough starter for this recipe, so I start the morning before – take my sourdough culture out of the fridge and feed it a cup of bakers flour mixed with a cup of water. In cool weather, I would pour a cupful into a bowl and leave it covered on my benchtop for the day, and put the rest back in the fridge. But in these warm summer days I leave it in the fridge for the day and only take the cupful I need out when I get home.
The Evening Before:
- 2 eggs
- a good dessertspoon of raw sugar
- a good dessertspoon of skim milk powder
- half a teaspoon of salt
Stir in a cup of bakers flour and tip another cup on the bench top. Knead the dough for a few minutes – enough to incorporate the second cupful, or most of it, and to get a smooth non-sticky dough.
Divide the dough into 8 balls and use a rolling pin to roll each ball out to the size of a saucer.
Place the balls of dough, joins side down, on well oiled plates, cover with a clean tea towel, and leave them to prove overnight. By the morning they should look like this – spread and flattened but nice and plump and risen to twice the size.
In the Morning
This is the traditional way to cook them. Heat a heavy lightly oiled frypan. Slide the bolo off their plates into the pan and cook over a fairly low heat for about 7 to 8 minutes each side until they are golden.
You can also bake the bolo, but then they wouldn’t be bolo. They’re good that way too though. Just put them on an oiled baking tray (instead of the plates). I have an antique gas (not fan forced oven), and in my oven I put them in a cold oven turned up high and bake for 20 minutes till golden. I put a blueberry decoratively in the middle of each of these and brushed the top lightly with milk before baking.