Bolo do Caco

  • Serves

    makes 8 Loaves

  • Cook

    5 hours 10 minutes


This fluffy Madeiran flatbread is something between a pita and and English muffin. The addition of sweet potato gives the dough a bit of chew and a generous shmear of garlic and herb butter before serving elevates them to a stand-alone appetizer.

Featured in: Wild Landscapes and Wilder Wines on the Island of Madeira

What You Will Need


For the garlic butter:

  • 8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 medium garlic cloves (¾ oz.), peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. parsley, finely chopped
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt

For the bread:

  • 1 small sweet potato (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. (¾ oz.) fresh yeast
  • 3 14 cups (16 oz.) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Canola oil for greasing


Step 1

In a medium bowl, use a rubber spatula to combine the butter, garlic, and parsley. Season with kosher salt, mix well, and set aside.

Step 2

Preheat an oven to 375°. Wash the sweet potato and bake until it is very soft, 50–60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and set aside until cool enough to touch. Remove the peel, mash, and measure ¼ cup; save the rest for another use.

Step 3

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 1 cup cold water and the yeast. Add the flour followed by the salt and mix on low speed until combined, but still shaggy, about 1 minute. Add the mashed sweet potato, increase to second speed and continue mixing until smooth, 4–5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until nearly doubled and very gassy, 60–70 minutes.

Step 4

Lightly flour a work surface, turn the dough out onto it and divide into eight 2½-ounce pieces. Shape each piece into a rough ball, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and set aside to relax for an additional 10–15 minutes. Flatten and stretch each ball into a disk about 6½ inches across, cover, and set aside to puff up until they are about 1–1½ inches thick, 35 minutes.

Step 5

Heat a large cast iron skillet or griddle over high heat. When the pan is hot, slap one of the loaves onto the dry pan. Cook until golden brown, slightly charred in places, and cooked through, 2–3 minutes per side. Continue cooking the rest of the loaves in this manner, cover with a dry towel, and cool to room temperature.

Step 6

When the bread is cool, use a serrated knife to split the loaves in half like English muffins. Reheat the skillet to medium and slather the inside of each loaf with 2 tablespoons of the garlic butter. Close the loaves back up, and rewarm slightly in the skillet, about 2 minutes more per side. Cut the hot bread into strips, and serve warm.

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