Portuguese Bolo Ferradura Recipe

Bolo Ferradura is a traditional festive bread from Portugal usually served as a wedding gift to guests by the bride, to bring good luck and prosperity.

But I remember best from the monthly fair at my grandparents village. Once a month a horde of traders would settle their stands on the large square and still pretty much like in the start of the century, people from the village would get to buy items that were not available anywhere else. Every first Sunday of every month, I got up early and tagged along with my grandmother and her vine baskets.

The first stop was the baby chicks. 2 dozens of them, as the family was big at the time and the char-grilled chicken was a frequent fast food for the hungry farm workers.  We would come back later to pick these up. Next up the fruit and the veg, pyjamas, socks, knives and cooking utensils, before my treat of a Bolo Ferradura for me to eat on the way home.

The photo bellow was taken in Mirandela during the summer of 2014 when I toured Portugal for my book, “The Portuguese Travel Cookbook”. The forms to make Bolo Ferradura were still being sold pretty much like the ones my grandmother got almost 30 years ago. It is good to know that some things never change.

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Bellow in the Recipe for Portuguese Bolos Ferradura, made by my friend Luisa from the Rise of the Sourdough Preacher baking blog. Before artificial yeast was invented, all baking recipes were made with sourdough, and as I am a preacher Portuguese Culinary of authenticity myself, it makes all sense that I publish her recipe.

Portuguese Bolo Ferradura Recipe

What a lovely discovery the Bolos Ferradura. When I started my research on Portuguese bread recipes the list of options was quite long, but as soon as I read the ingredients of this traditional breads in the shape of a horseshoe my heart was set on it. Anise and lemon zest how could I possibly resist? Bolo Ferradura is a traditional festive bread (Nelson told me that he used to eat it as a child during country fairs) usually served as a wedding gift to guests by the bride, to bring good luck and prosperity. Bolo Ferradura stands out for its compact crumb, almost similar to a biscuit. Dunk it in milk for a breakfast or an indulging snack. Join me and enjoy this sweet break!

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Portuguese Bolo Ferradura Ingredients

original recipe by Panela Ao Lume blog adapted to the use of sourdough

440 g bread flour
100 g corn flour
140 g water
50 g sourdough, 50% hydration
25 g milk
1 egg
50 g butter, melted
1 pinch of salt
180 g brown sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons anise seeds

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Portuguese Bolo Ferradura Method

Mix all ingredients until you have a homogeneous and compact dough.

Form a ball, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest 60 min.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces of equal weight and shape into quite long and thin sausages.

Arrange on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, giving the sausages the shape of a horseshoe.

Cover with clingfilm and let rise 60 min.

Brush with beaten egg yolk.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C for about 40 min.

Feature image from Jornal Alpiarcense

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