Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Fat Tuesday....Portuguese Style.

It's no secret that I'm Portuguese. In our culture Fat Tuesday is the day we make Malasadas.
Here's a little history of the delicious little treats
"In Madeira they eat Malasadas mainly on Terça-feira Gorda (Fat Tuesday in English) which is also the last day of the Carnival of Madeira, the reason for making malasadas was to use up all the lard and sugar in the house, in preparation for Lent (much in the same way the tradition of Pancake Day in the UK originated on Shrove Tuesday), Malasadas are sold along side the Carnival of Madeira today. This tradition was taken to Hawaii, where Shrove Tuesday is known as Malasada Day, which dates back to the days of the sugar plantations of the 19th century, the resident Catholic Portuguese (mostly from Madeira and the Azores) workers used up butter and sugar prior to Lent by making large batches of malasadas. The dough is formed and then ripped off the ball of dough and stretched out to fry on both sides.
In the United States, malasadas are cooked in many Portuguese or Portuguese descendant homes on Fat Tuesday. It is a tradition where the older children take the warm doughnuts and roll them in the sugar while the eldest woman—mother or grandmother—cooks them. Many people prefer to eat them hot. They can be reheated in the microwave, but then they will have absorbed the sugar, providing a slightly different flavor and texture."

I can remember both of my grandmother's making these. it was a long process, but now that i myself bake and cook, i see why they did it. The look on people's faces when they take their first bite is so worth it. So here's a recipe if would like to give them a whirl! :)


1 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry active yeast
1/4 c. lukewarm water
2 eggs, slightly beaten
5 c. flour

Scald milk, add sugar, salt and butter; set aside. Sprinkle yeast into lukewarm water, let stand 5 minutes. Stir until yeast is completely dissolved. Add yeast mixture to milk, which should be lukewarm. Add slightly beaten eggs. Gradually add flour, beating with wooden spoon until too stiff to beat. Remove dough to lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic. Form into ball.

Lightly oil a bowl and place dough in it. Turn ball so oiled portion is on top. Cover. Place in warm area to rise until double (about 2 or 3 hours). Break, do not cut, a handful of dough at a time, stretch it with fingers. Drop by bits into hot oil. Fry until brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Serve warm.

1 comment:

Accountant By Day said...

A local Portuguese bakery makes these on the weekend and they are so yummy!!