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Monday, 6 April 2015

Bola de Caco - Traditional Bread from Madeira


I've recently return from a holiday (vacation) on the beautiful island of Madeira.  After the first day of rain and mist, the sun shone and we really enjoyed the island and, of course, the food.  As it is an island there was a lot of fish which we love, but today I am sharing with you a recipe for the local bread, Bola de Caco.  We were served this little round loaf as garlic bread on several occasions, but I also saw it sold from a stall as a sandwich snack.

Bola de Caco Garlic Bread served with fresh cheese and olives, eaten in a restaurant overlooking the Marina at Funchal. 
On our return, I did a little research and found that one of the ingredients in Bola de Caco is sweet potato, although I think their sweet potato must be less orange as the bread was not as coloured as mine.  Some recipes suggested a sour dough, but I didn't have time to wait, so my version is a fast action yeast version.  I have kept faithful to the method of baking which is in a pan, so it's a bit like a cross between a tattie scone and a giant English Muffin.

Bola de Caco

Ingredients:
500g plain flour (not strong bread flour)
7g sachet Fast Action Yeast
200 grams sweet potatoes, (about 2)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
350ml warm water

Method:


  • Bake the sweet potatoes, either in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or in the microwave for 8-10 minutes (timings depend on size of sweet potatoes). Once cooked until soft, scoop out the flesh and mash until smooth.
  • Combine the sweet potatoes with the other ingredients and enough warm water to make a very soft, wet dough. Using one hand, bring all the ingredients together and mix thoroughly for 5-10 minutes or until dough becomes elastic.
  • Cover dough loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. Oil your hands, so they don't stick to the dough, shape into flattened rounds and set aside to prove for another 30 minutes, covered with a damp towel.
  • Melt a little butter in a small, high sided pan (or whatever kind of pan you have) and cook each round over a low heat for 8-10 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through.
  • Repeat process with remaining bread, keeping the cooked Bola soft by covering with a clean tea towel on a cooling rack.

1. baking the Bola de Caco in the pan (a smaller high sided pan is recommended but I don't have one)
2. The dough on it's second rise
3. Texture of the bread which is slightly chewy on the outside but soft and light inside.
4. The bread rounds cooling.

I was surprised how easy it was to make the Bola de Caco and pleased that they cooked all the way through.  As you can see above, this little bread also makes a great bacon butty!


I'm entering the Bola de Caco for the new Bread based linky "Bready Steady Go" the brainchild of Jen from Jen's Food and Michelle from Utterly Scrummy Food for Families

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17 Comments:

At 6 April 2015 at 20:39 , Anonymous Donna B said...

I had a feeling Maderian recipes would feature Janice! Sounds scrummy while being easy to make šŸ‘

 
At 7 April 2015 at 10:31 , Blogger Karen S Booth said...

What an interesting recipe Janice, and I must say it is very similar to Toutons in a way! Karen

 
At 7 April 2015 at 15:37 , Blogger belleau kitchen said...

oh god I love different local breads, this looks sensational. You can get white sweet potatoes and sweet potato flour too. Anyway, this look amazing!

 
At 7 April 2015 at 18:58 , Blogger Sylvia F. said...

Never heard of this kind of bread but it looks fantastic! x

 
At 7 April 2015 at 19:14 , Blogger Jen Price said...

The best part about going on holiday is trying new foods, even better when you find something that is easy to recreate at home. I need to get some sweet potatoes in and try this. Thanks for joining in with Bready, Steady Go! :)

 
At 7 April 2015 at 19:17 , Blogger fiona maclean said...

Looks fab! A lot of the fruit and veg in madeira is unique for regulatory reasons - those tiny bananas you may have found are not allowed to be sold anywhere else as bananas!

 
At 7 April 2015 at 20:36 , Blogger Janice Pattie said...

More coming soon!

 
At 7 April 2015 at 20:36 , Blogger Janice Pattie said...

I cannot read that word without laughing, Karen. I must go back and check out the recipe from Faerie Land ;-)

 
At 7 April 2015 at 20:37 , Blogger Janice Pattie said...

Thanks Dom, I did think you must be able to get white sweet potatoes, but I've never seen them.

 
At 7 April 2015 at 20:38 , Blogger Janice Pattie said...

Neither had I Sylvia, love finding new things.

 
At 7 April 2015 at 20:40 , Blogger Janice Pattie said...

I agree Jen, I love to try new food. Thanks for the push to actually make this bread, as I suspect I might have let it pass me by after my initial enthusiasm!

 
At 7 April 2015 at 20:42 , Blogger Janice Pattie said...

Ah yes, I have many photos of bananas growing on the terraces. We also got nabbed in the Farmers Market and tried a whole lot of different types of fruit, then the guy tried to sell us one of each. I managed to get away with only four fruits!

 
At 7 April 2015 at 21:25 , Blogger Anita-Clare Field said...

This looks fabulous Janice. We've got all the ingredients so there's no stopping us.

 
At 7 April 2015 at 21:29 , Blogger Anne Szadorska said...

Ah your holiday looks lovely, am so jealous I need sun! The bread looks lovely and I love easy pan breads like this! I love sweet potato too so definitely snagging this!

 
At 7 April 2015 at 23:30 , Blogger Camilla Hawkins said...

Ooh this sounds really tasty bread with the addition of sweet potatoes - my daughter would love this too as we are big fans of the sweet potato:-)

 
At 8 April 2015 at 08:14 , Blogger Bintu Hardy said...

I like the addition of sweet potato. Yes please.

 
At 8 April 2015 at 21:01 , Blogger tinkertink2010 said...

Yummy! Another way to use my favourite sweet potato!

 

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I love to read your comments and try to reply when I can. I have had to enable comment moderation due to high levels of spam, so it may take a little time before your comment is visible. Please let me know if you make one of my recipes or if you have any questions I will try to answer them. Janice

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