Portuguese Sweets, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes

Bolo da missa (Regueifa / Sweet bread)

I grew up in a catholic family. Even though I don’t follow a particular religion now, religion in my village, and in Portugal in general is a big thing, and it does really bring people together. One of the really good things about going to Sunday mass and school was ‘bolo da missa’ that was available there to get for very little money. Is so simple and yet so delicious. This is an easy recipe to make at home. Tip: after a few days this is lovely toasted with a bit of vegetable butter!

Time: 3h approx.

Type: cake

Difficulty: 1.5 pans

Makes: 1 loaf

What you need

For the dough:

300g all-purpose flour

70g caster sugar

3 tbsp vegetable spread (slightly melted)

1/2 sachet dry yeast (4g)

100ml lukewarm plant milk (soya or oat)

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed to 2 tbsp water)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground fennel/ Chinese 5 spice (or if you’re in Portugal, 1 tsp of ‘erva doce’)

zest of 1 lemon

A little soya milk and maple syrup to brush on top

Utensils:

Measuring jug/ scales

2 bowls and mixing spoons

Baking brush

Baking tray

Directions:

Mix warm milk with yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar (save the rest for the dough) and let it sit for a few minutes until it forms foam on top (this means the yeast is activated);

Pour flour, spices and lemon zest into a big mixing bowl and open a well in the middle and pour yeast mixture (once ready) and flax egg- mix all well;

Add soft vegetable spread and mix all with your hands until all is incorporated in a firm dough, not sticking in your hands (if necessary, add more flour);

Leave the dough to rise for about 2h in a warm(ish) area with a fabric cloth on top (I put mine in the oven, switched off, off course!);

Once risen, form the dough into a big horseshoe shape, and lay it into a floured baking tray

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200֯C for about 30/40min until golden;

Mix about 1 tbsp of maple syrup and 1 of soya milk and spread on top using a baking brush- bake for another 10-20 min until baked through.

Enjoy hot or cold, with or without butter/jam! It’ll last for up to a week in a sealed container.

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