“Folare da Pascoa” – “Easter Bread” is a symbolic bread made for Easter celebrations.
There are many different versions of the bread made in the Christian, Catholic, and Orthodox communities around the world.
They all have the common theme of a cross, or Chris-crossed, shape made on top of the bread with dough to represent the crucifixion of Christ.
Sometimes eggs are baked inside the bread to represent rebirth or fertility.
In Medieval times eggs were exchanged to represent seasonal rebirth. When Christianity evolved, the eggs significance changed to represent the rebirth in man as Jesus Christ was reborn on Easter Sunday.
Chef Luisa Fernandes Executive chef at Robert Restaurant/MOD Museum of Art & Design made these Easter Breads. I was so happy that she gave me her recipe to share with you.
Watch the chef in a recent interview on Portuguese TV:
Recipe Folar de Pascoa by Chef Luisa Fernandes.
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups flour to begin starter dough
3/4 cup margarine
2 packages dry east
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp Anise seed
1 tsp salt
2 cups warm milk
crated rind of 2 lemons
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in a 1/4 cup of warm water. Add the 1 1/2 cups flour, knead well and set aside.
Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a mixing bowl with a dough hook, mix eggs and warm milk, margarine, then add dry ingredients and the prepared dough.
Continue mixing until the dough feels like soft bread dough. Place dough into a large bowl that has been coated with flour, cover with saran wrap and a warm towel. Let the dough rise for about 3 hours in a warm area.
Meanwhile boil the 4 eggs in onion peels (yellow onions for golden eggs, red onion peels for red eggs) for about 10-12 minutes which will make them get a golden color. Set them aside. (This step is optional, you can leave out the eggs.)
When your dough has risen remove from bowl and place on a floured surface.
Divide the dough in half or quarters depending on how big you want to make each bread. Form into round loaves then place 1 or two eggs in the center.
Make a cross with at strip of the dough and place over the eggs.
Brush the bread with egg wash. Cook at 375 degrees for about 1 hour or until the bread is golden brown.
Watch Chef Luisa on Chopped