On our first visit to the supermarket – I love to visit supermarkets when away – on São Miguel those round buns that looked like muffins catched my eyes and a bag went into our cart … and so on the other day, and the following…
It was after a few days, that we realized, that we indeed unintentionally grabbed one of the typical Azorean dishes, bolos lêvedos. Precisely they come from São Miguel island, more precisely from the town of Furnas. It’s said that some of the best ones are made by Maria da Gloria Moniz. We cannot say if they’re the best ones, but in any case: they were very very good!
Bolos lêvedos could be compared to English muffins, but then they’re actually uncomparable. Yeasted slightly sweet muffins that are baked in a wood fired oven on iron plates (substituted at home by a cast iron skillet) and that are great toasted in the morning with some melting butter and (f.ex. pineapple) jam, but also are great with salty cheese or sausage, f.ex. on a hiking tour.
They’re also a great alternative to the classic burger buns. Actually a lot of bars on São Miguel serve burgers in this Azorean style. We had an excellent bolos lêvedos burger f.ex. in a small bar in Furnas called “Summer Breeze”.
It was one of these moments when I should have eaten already a while ago and had already turned into a diva (poor him). But I couldn’t bring myself to walk into one of the typical tourist restaurants either. And then around the corner there was “Summerbreeze” and this burger with bolos lêvedos and pineapple inside! Love at first sight! No wonder that I had to copy this at home. I kept it simple apart from the bolos lêvedos and the slice of pineapple, cause they should be the stars in this Fernweh burger.
Bolos lêvedos (4-8 p.)
[I made 8 small ones at about ∅ 8 cm, more like sliders. You can also go bigger. Actually they’re mostly sold in bigger size which is more practical for burgers, too.]
inspired by this recipe
250 g all-purpose flour (+ more for dusting) [I substituted some by whole wheat flour], 60 g butter (room temperature), 60 g sugar, ½ packet active dry yeast, 100 ml milk (lukewarm), 1 egg
In a medium bowl, mix milk, sugar and the yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Add egg and butter. Finally, add the flour. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth. Add more flour if you need. Cover bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
Lightly flour a baking sheet. Turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into 4-8 parts. Roll each one into a ball and place onto the baking sheet with enough space between them for rising. Cover with a kitchen towel and let proof again for 30-40 minutes.
Heat a cast iron skillet over low heat (This is important, I immediately burnt my first batch!). Don’t add any oil. Press down each ball to flatten and set them into the hot pan, leaving again enough space between them for rising. (Work in batches.) Bake for about 5 minutes from each side until golden brown. Let cool out on a wire rack. Those bolos lêvedos keep a few days and are great toasted the other day.