There are many different kinds of bread in the world but Bolo do Caco is one of the most interesting ones you may try. Made with mashed sweet potatoes and yeast, these round breads from Madeira are slightly sweet and very tasty. They are not hard to make at home if you follow the tips below!
Why are Bolos do Caco called so
In Portuguese the word “bolo” means cake. The name of the breads comes from their shape and the way they were baked traditionally: on a basalt stone called “Caco”. In the past they were usually prepared in order to make a use of leftover bread dough. It was a bread of the poor people who didn’t have proper ovens. Nowadays Bolos do Caco are very popular in Madeira and are made industrially on heated metal tins.
What ingredients you need
The ingredients for these breads are very simple: cooked and mashed (or pureed) sweet potato, wheat flour, yeast, salt and water. You also need a teaspoon of sugar to activate the yeast. All ingredients are plant-based so these breads are also perfect to diversify a vegan diet.
🥣 Recipe tips
These breads are very easy and straightforward to prepare. The trickiest part, if there s such, is to cook them properly on the hot pan. To do that correctly, the heat needs to be medium, even on the lower side, in order to make sure the breads are evenly baked. If the pan is too hot, their tops may get quickly toasted while the middles are still raw. If you ever baked English muffins, the technology is nearly the same.
Traditionally bolos do caco are served with butter mixed with parsley and garlic. They are really nice that way as the sweet potato taste is wonderfully enhanced by the two spices.
While I recommend you not to miss the butter spread, you may also want to try the bread rolls in different ways: as hamburger buns or just plain, in addition to a soup or a salad.
No matter how you eat them, Bolos do Caco are a great way to enjoy the tasty and healthy sweet potatoes!
I would be very happy if you like this recipe. Let me know in the comments what you think of it. If you made it, please share how it went!
If you liked these breads, you may also like the following baking recipes:
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Sweet Potato Bread Rolls
For the breads:
- 12 oz / 350 g sweet potatoes 1 large
- 4 cups/ 480 g all purpose flour + more for dusting
- 1,5 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 pack/ 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast or 1 block fresh yeast
- 1 cup/ 240 ml lukewarm water approximately
For the garlic butter:
- 1/4 cup/ 60 g butter soft, preferably salty
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/ 200 degrees C. Pinch the sweet potato with a fork in several places and wrap it with aluminium foil. Bake for about 40 minutes or until soft when touched with a fork.
- Let the sweet potato cool and then peel it and puree it in a food processor.
- In a bowl combine sugar, yeast and some of the water. Mix and set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine the sweet potato puree with the yeast mixture, salt and about 2/3 of the flour. Mix very well. Gradually add the rest of the water. Mix with a wooden spoon or with a hand. Make a soft dough that would stick to your hands. Add more flour if necessary but you need to leave some for the end, to coat the rolls.
- Dust the dough with flour and leave it in the bowl, covered with film or parchment paper. Wrap the bowl with tea towels and leave it in a warm place for about an hour. It should double its volume.
- Dust your hands with flour and make 5-6 balls out of the dough. Arrange them on a large baking tin, covered with parchment paper. Cover them and let them stay for another 30 minutes, to increase again their size.
- Heat a large skillet or a non-stick pan. It should be at medium heat as if it is too hot, the breads may burn.
- Bake the breads on the pan, flattening them with a wooden spatula. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Use kitchen tongs to hold the breads and cook them also on the sides.
- When they are still hot, slice them horizontally with a sharp knife and spread the garlic butter on top. Serve immediately.
- In a small bowl mix very well the soft butter with the garlic and parsley.
- These breads keep well in airtight container for 2-3 days. You can reheat them for 5 minutes in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C.
- Bolos do caco are soft and fluffy. They can be served also as regular bread or as sandwich buns.