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“FOGAÇA” FROM SANTA MARIA DA FEIRA
(Portuguese gastronomy of the Aveiro and Porto regions)

In 1505 the plague devastated Portugal. According to popular belief, to get rid of this calamity, the people of the lands of Santa Maria (as the region was known back then) made a promise to Saint Sebastian, their saint patron, of an annual celebration in his honour. The “ex-voto” of the promise was a sweet roll, called “fogaça”. The form of this cake got inspiration from the four towers of the castle, and this is the recipe I wish to share with you today. This recipe is very easy but it requires some patience, otherwise the dough will not rise properly.

© Dulce Rodrigues

Fogaça from Santa Maria da Feira

For the yeast
. 200 g of wheat flour
. 120 ml (or a little more) of warm water
. 50 g of fresh baker’s yeast

For the dough
. 600 g of wheat flour
. 160 g of sugar
. 120 g of unsalted butter
. 3 eggs
. 1 coffee spoon of salt
. 1 coffee spoon of ground cinnamon
. lemon zest (+/- half teaspoon)

 

Preparation
1 - Dissolve the yeast in warm water and let it rest for 15 minutes. Then add the flour and mix until the dough is relatively soft, and let rise for about half an hour (depending on the room temperature).
2 - Then add the sugar with the cinnamon, salt, eggs, lemon zest, butter, and enough flour to obtain a dough a little more consistent than bread dough. Let rise again so that you obtain the double of the initial dough volume.
3 - Then take the dough, divide it in half, and shape each part in a long roll like a snake, that is thicker on one side. Roll the dough beginning from the largest side in order to get the form of a pyramid.
4 - As you go rolling, put the pyramids on a tray sprinkled with flour, and let them rise again for about half to an hour. Then brush them with beaten eggs, and cut the top of each pyramid with a scissor so as to form four hits, which will be the “towers of the castle”.
5 - Put the “fogaças” in a hot oven (200º C), and after 15 minutes take the “fogaças” from the oven, and separate the “towers of the castle” with your hands. This will allow the heat to penetrate inside the “fogaças” so that they cook evenly when you return them to the oven to finsh baking. They will be ready when you put a knife inside the dough, and the knife comes out clean and dry.

 
 

Source: Recipe by A Confraria da Fogaça da Feira (Brotherhood).

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