As I mentioned in my previous post, Portuguese food is quite common in South Africa and this bread, simply known here as Portuguese bread, is pretty easy to come across.
Having searched high and low for a recipe to no avail, I finally tracked one down to Olive magazine where it was masquerading under the Portuguese name of bolo do caco. This recipe uses sweet potato. I have no idea whether sweet potato features in the Portuguese bread I eat here in Johannesburg but it tastes exactly the same.
This is the staple bread I make for braais/BBQs as it’s a great tear-and-share bread and good for mopping up marinades and meaty juices. One of these flat loaves will serve about 4 hungry people.
Portuguese bread (adapted from Olive magazine)
- 1 small sweet potato (about 100-150g)
- 225g plain flour
- 3g fast action yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp polenta (optional)
1. Peel and dice the sweet potato and boil till tender. Mash (for best results, pass through a sieve so it is very fine) and leave to cool.
2. Mix the sweet potato with the flour, yeast, salt and 125ml warm water to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes then place in an oiled bowl. Cover and leave for an hour or until doubled in size.
3. Pat the dough into a flat round about 20cm across. Place on an oiled plate, cover with greased clingfilm and leave for a further 30 minutes.
4. Scatter a large frying pan with polenta (this helps to stop the bread sticking). Flip the dough into the pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes a side until golden brown. If the bread is already golden before the cooking time is up, you can finish the process in the oven. Ten minutes in a preheated oven at 180C/160C fan will see that the bread is cooked through.