A Childhood Memory | Folar de Chavas
Growing up, my best friend was Portuguese. Half the time, her house was my house. At the time, almost anything her parents made was much too far from my comfort zone. I’ll never forget the smell of cod boiling with potatoes, something I love now, but used to make my stomach turn. Even simple things like oil and vinegar in a metal table cart for salad dressing was strange. I was much more accustomed to the Newman’s Own bottled variety. It’s funny how things change, simple oil and vinegar is now my dressing of choice.
Today, I can only dream of being immersed in another culture like I was as a child. Now, looking back, there are so many things I wish I’d have appreciated then. Folar de Chavas was the one thing her mom made that used to get me excited. It’s literally bread stuffed with meats… what’s not to love?
How to: Folar de Chavas without Yeast
In Portugal, Folar de Chavas is typically served for Easter. Celi, Diana, and I couldn’t wait, so decided to make it to accompany our grilled fruit salad. We cracked open a few bottles of rose before we got down to business. Of course, we forgot a main ingredient: yeast. Instead of running back to the store, we decided to improvise. We ended up making an biscuit-like dough that didn’t need any yeast.
Often times, the traditional dough has a lot of egg, but our non-yeast dough is also egg free. Although, much different from the original, this version was equally delicious. Traditional meats can include: pork, ham, cured bacon, chorizo and linguiça (Portuguese smoke cured pork sausage). Our stuffing consisted of ham, bacon, and Italian dried salami. In the future, we will try to make the traditional version. It’s just too yummy!
Quick and Easy
If making bread seems daunting, no reason to fear! This recipe is super easy. First, make the dough, roll it out, then top it with your meats. Finally, roll it like a burrito and bake.
- 3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for sheet pan
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ cups water
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ⅓ cup of ham, diced
- ½ cup of dried Italian salami, sliced thin
- Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Mix wet ingredients.
- Slowly incorporate wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
- Stir until dry ingredients are dissolved.
- Dough should be moist, but not sticky. If need be, add more water.
- Roll dough out with oiled rolling pin.
- Spread the meats evenly over the dough then roll dough into a loaf.
- Sprinkle loaf with sea salt.
- Bake for 40 minutes on floured sheet pan.
- Serve in thick slices.