Portuguese version of English Muffins
This recipe makes 24 Bolos Lêvedos
3 – ¼ ounce packets of active dry yeast (I used Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise)
1-cup lukewarm water
3 heaping cups and 3 Tablespoons of sugar
5 lbs. all-purpose flour
12 eggs (room temperature)
2 cups whole or 2% milk
2 sticks butter (room temperature)
1 Tablespoon salt, dissolved in a Tablespoon of warm water
1 lemon rind, grated
Note: It’s very important to make sure that the butter and eggs be at room temperature, so take them out of the fridge at least a few hours in advance.
Dissolve the yeast packets in lukewarm water (not too warm or it will kill the yeast). Stir in 3 Tablespoons of sugar. Mix well and leave aside, allowing time for the yeast to proof.
In your mixer bowl, add eggs and the 3 cups of sugar. Mix until the color is a light cream and the consistency is just as creamy. Set aside.
In saucepan, add milk and butter, stirring until butter is melted and milk is warmed. Set aside.
In a very large bowl, add flour and create a well in the center. Pour the melted butter and milk into the well and mix with the flour. Add lemon zest and salt, continuing to stir. Add the creamed eggs and sugar and continue to mix well. Don’t be afraid to start using your hands if the mixture is too hard to use the mixing spoon. Then, add the yeast that has proofed. Mix together, and knead the dough for 15 minutes in the large bowl.
Then cover the bowl with a cloth and leave aside until the dough rises. (Hint: To help the dough rise faster, I usually turn on my oven to add a little more warmth to the kitchen, and then place the covered bowl on the counter next to the oven.) It usually takes 2 hours for the dough to rise.
After the dough rises, begin to take pieces of the dough out of the bowl and roll in your hands, forming balls the size of a medium orange. Make sure you dust your hands with flour as you do this since the dough is sticky.
Place the balls of dough on a floured cookie sheet and dust lightly with flour before covering with a cloth and allowing them to rise a second time, usually 4 hours.
After the dough rises, take each ball of dough and pat them down with flour-dusted hands to shape them to the desired size.
Dust a cast iron skill with flour. (Resist the urge to use oil – I know it sounds funny, but trust me!) Set the stovetop temperature to low to medium heat. If it’s any hotter, the flour (and muffins) will burn.
Place the flattened dough on the skillet one at a time and allow it to slowly cook, turning it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn. Use a toothpick to test and see if it is cooked through.
I have also used my electric skillet making this recipe… it’s not traditional, but it’s very easy and you can make more than one at a time.