The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bolos Lêvedos - Portuguese Sweet Muffins

BobS's picture

Bolos Lêvedos - Portuguese Sweet Muffins

You find these muffins in places with an Azorean Portuguese population, like SE Massachusetts, where I've eaten plenty of them. Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. Sort of a cross between Portuguese Sweet Bread and English Muffins. But better. Great at breakfast or tea-time, with or without butter. These are tarted up a bit with a biga and some lemon peel.


AP Flour      162 g    100%
Water          105 g      65%
Salt                  1 g     0.5%
IDY                0.2g     0.1% (pinch)

Final Dough

AP Flour            506 g        100%
Milk                    101 g          20%
Salt                      10 g            2%
IDY                        5 g            1%
Eggs                  167 g          33%   (3 large eggs)
Sugar                 157 g          31%
Butter, Melted      44 g        8.75%
Lemon Zest           1 g           0.5%
Biga                   268 g           53%    (all of the biga)


  1. Mix biga ingredients, ferment overnight.
  2. Combine all ingredients. Mix until good gluten development, then bulk ferment 1.5 hours, folding once or twice if necessary.
  3. Scale at about 105g, shape into balls, then flatten to maybe 1/2 inch thick. Proof about 45 minutes.
  4. Grill over low-medium heat until browned and cooked all the way through. Do not use too much heat or the middle will not cook properly. It takes me about 15 minutes to grill a batch.




golgi70's picture

Sounds like a good cross. i might have to try these. 

Nice bake


bottleny's picture

Butter, Melted      44 g      0.875% => should be 8.7%

BobS's picture

I've corrected it.

massfoodie's picture

I was wondering how to convert this recipe to the100% hydration sourdough starter I have.

I can think of two different methods to do this:

1. use 100% starter for all of the biga weight, then adjust the flour and water to create the same dough hydration.

2. feed the starter to make it 65% hydration, then proceed with the recipe.

Does it make any difference which way to do that?

Also, since sourdough works so much slower than IDY, would it be possible / better to mix it in the evening the night before then let it rise overnight, to bake the next morning?

BobS's picture

I don't think there would be much difference between the two approaches, as long as you maintain the same dough hydration. 

Only you know how your starter behaves, but what I might do is to mix in the afternoon, then retard the dough in the fridge overnight, then shape and rise again the next morning. That way things won't get out of hand overnight.

massfoodie's picture

1:00PM: First, I have to convert the biga to use my starter. Starter (100g = 50g water + 50g flour)Flour to add: 162g - 50g = 112gWater to add: 105g - 50g = 55g Mixed it together into a very rough mass. I had to work it manually for a better mix. Marked the container and left it on the counter to double. 5:00PM: the starter has doubled, looks good. 60 g golden raisins40 g dried cranberriesWater to soak 44 g Butter100 g milk 500 g AP flour157 g sugar10 g saltZest of 1 lemon 3 eggs 280 g starter Soaked the cranberries and raisins in hot water that was nuked 3 minutes.Put the milk in a Pyrex measuring cup and nuked on high for 30 seconds. I then added the butter and let it melt, cooling a bit.Put flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and salt in a big mixing bowl. Made a well in the center and broke the eggs into the flour mixture. Mixed it by had for a few minutes to bring it together somewhat. Added the butter and milk mixture and mixed into the dough.Added all the starter to the dough and began to work it. Using my hand, I blended it and then started to knead it using a scooping motion underneath then forward, as I saw in a YouTube video. After about 15 minutes, it started to get some elasticity, passing the windowpane test.I then drained the raisins and cranberries and added them to the dough. I further kneaded that in for a few minutes to distribute them. I bought it was a bit too wet with the added liquid from the fruit, so I added a tbsp of flour and kneaded that in. I then used my bowl scraper to pull the dough from underneath over the top as I rotated the bowl.I then transferred it to a ceramic bowl to rise. Put some plastic wrap on the surface. Left on the counter to rise. Tuesday, 12/5/17:9:00AM: the dough fully proofed. I had checked at 3AM, didn't seem to be rising well, but by this morning, looked good. I measured the total dough weight as 1241.5 g. I decided to make 10 bolos so weighed out 124 g pieces of dough. I put it on parchment paper to rise. Put it in the oven, slightly warmed. 11:00AM: they have risen fairly well. Used my cuisinart grill to bake the bolos. The directions for the recipe stated that it should be cooked at a low to medium temp, so the insides bake properly. I chose a griddle temperature of 300 degrees. They were taking forever.  The ones on the main griddle were getting baked a lot faster than the ones on the upper burner. Increased the grill temperature to 325, seems much better for rising. I had checked the internal temp of the bolos with my thermometer and it registered 190 degrees. They look pretty good, very similar to your pics. I'm having trouble posting the pics, so I'll have to tell you how they taste in the AM, with butter and some jam. These are more the size they have in Fall River (my hometown). The bolos using only 105 g would be way too small. I would even go up in size, to make 8 instead, to 155 g each.

BobS's picture

If you are from Fall River, MA, you know what they should taste like. New Bedford is my home town. :)

massfoodie's picture

sorry for the weird formatting... my first post on here.