Making this flat bread took me back to my family’s hometown. Travassos, is a small village in Tras os Montes, Portugal near the city of Montalegre.
The bread for whole village was made in a communal oven shared by all. One local man, was in charge of preparing the wood fired oven twice a week. On those days, each family including our own, would bring their dough to bake their bread early in the morning.
The bread, called a “Bica” was simply made with flour, water, yeast and salt, sifted and mixed with the old traditional, wooden Peneira (flour sifter), and Maceira (dough mixer).
The next time you pass by a Panera Bread restaurant, you’ll know how it got it’s name. Panera is a flour sifter…Peneira in Portuguese!
This recipe uses garlic and rosemary, but you can adapt it by adding your favorite toppings such as pesto, sun dried tomatoes, olives, etc.
5 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 package of yeast
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Place yeast warm water, salt & sugar in a small bowl. Stir well and let sit for about 10 minutes until bubbles form.
Place flour n a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, and the yeast mixture in the center of the flour and mix with dough hooks.
Mix until a round ball forms. * You may need to add a few sprinkles of flour if the dough is too sticky.
Remove from bowl and knead for 5-10 minutes until a smooth ball forms. Place in floured bowl, cover with plastic and a towel and set in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled.
Mix the olive and garlic in a small bowl and set aside until the dough has risen.
When your dough is ready, brush a large baking sheet with some of the olive oil from the small bowl with garlic. (use olive oil only)
Spread the dough on the sheets. Use your fingers to spread the dough and make indentations to form crevasses.
Set the dough aside in a warm place for about 1 hour until it has doubled.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
When the dough has risen the second time, brush with the remaining olive oil and garlic, add rosemary and sea salt.* Add more or less to your desired taste. * At this point you can add sun dried tomatoes, pesto, olives, etc.
Cook for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.
Serve hot or cool and store for the next day!
Great for your Sardine cook outs this summer !