3 eggs (11 more eggs later!)
1 1/4 cups milk
½ cup butter (1 teaspoon more later)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 ½ tablespoons yeast
½ teaspoon aniseed
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract or lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
5 cups flour
no stick spray
1 tablespoon butter
10 eggs (1 more egg later)
2 mixing bowls
2 cookie sheets or pie plates
Beat 3 eggs with whisk. Heat milk on medium-high heat until milk is about to boil. Stir constantly. Add hot milk to first large bowl. Add butter and sugar. Stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Add yeast. Wait for 10 minutes or until yeast starts to bubble. Add 3 beaten eggs. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add aniseed, lemon extract nutmeg, and salt. Mix with whisk.
Fold in flour one cup at a time. The dough should be soft. Knead dough by hand for 15-to-20 minutes or until dough is smooth. Coat second large bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Place dough in second large bowl. Make sure dough is coated on both sides with butter. (This keeps dough from drying out. Cover bowl and leave out for 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.
Press dough down and divide into 11 round pieces about 1″ high . Spray both cookies sheets with no-stick spray. Put 5 pieces onto each cookie sheet. (The 11th piece will be used soon.) Use spoon to make a depression in the middle of each piece. Gently place an egg on its side in each depression for a total of 10 eggs. Let dough rise again until it doubles in size. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Divide 11th piece of dough into 20 strings, each one as long as an egg. Please two strings of dough over each egg so that they make a cross. (This helps keep the egg in place.) Beat last egg in small bowl with whisk. Use brush to coat all the dough pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until bread is golden brown. Watch to prevent burning. Remove from oven.
While bread bakes, melt 1 tablespoon butter. When ready, brush the 10 baked breads with melted butter. Note: the eggs can be eaten liked hard-eggs. The eggs in this dish symbolize rebirth and the bread cross represents the cross of Jesus.
1) Every June 10th, Portugal celebrates the death of its great author, Luís Vaz de Camões. Luís wrote an epic poem celebrating Portugal.
2) Epic means long. Long poem means lots of hours of reading for students assigned his book.
3) Perhaps that’s why Portuguese students and everyone else celebrates his death and not his birth.
4) I did read his magnum opus and I am still alive. However, I’ve forgotten its title.
5) A coping mechanism? Perhaps.
6) You have to admire loquacious Luís dedication to his craft. Legend has him saving his manuscript from a shipwreck and swimming to shore one-handed while holding his work above water with the other.
7) An olympics sport to go along with synchronized swimming?
8) Synchronized one-armed novel swimming I like it.
9) I just remembered the name of his renowned book. It’s Os Lusíadas or The Lusiads in English.
10) Rubber bands were never mentioned in The Lusiads. Probably because they had yet to be invented.
11) But now, rubber bands are critical to Portugal’s economy. Indeed, rubber bands account for a whopping 3.7% of all Portuguese exports to Slovenia.
12) Pause and reflect.
13) Half the world’s cork comes from Portugal.
14) If Luís Vaz de Camões were writing today, his epic story of Portugal would certainly include many references to rubber bands and cork.
15) Or do you think he would write reality shows for Portuguese T.V.?
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.