Every year, in Chaves, mothers and grandmothers gather around the “kneading machine”masseira”. For those who don’t know, the masseira is a kind of giant wooden tray where bread and folares are made.
In older houses, the wood oven was always mandatory. In a small storage room, modest and side by side with what was harvested from the earth, there was the oven and the trough. It was here that the women of the house gathered and knowledge flowed from generation to generation.
The folar de Chaves is one of those traditions. Almost every family has its own recipe: more or less eggs, one or two different meats. But the base is always there: quality smoked meat, homemade eggs and good olive oil from Trás-os-Montes.
The rest is pure dedication. Making a folar is an act of love. The people of Chaves offer folares to their friends as a gesture of thanks, for example. And mothers offer folares to their children who live in the big city so that they can take a taste of home. The folar de Chaves is just like that: it has the incredible gift of being able to kill nostalgia.
Few understand how important it is to maintain traditions and preserve the knowledge of our mothers and grandmothers. The knowledge they have accumulated is not just a set of knowledge. It’s culture, it’s identity. And it is above all love and affection.
If you’ve read this far… thank you very much. This humble Flaviense who writes to you hopes you like the recipe for folar de Chaves made by his mother. 🙂
- 2.2 lbs of unbleached flour
- 0.27 lb of butter
- 10 eggs (12 if they are small)
- 0.09 lb of baker's yeast
- 5 oz of olive oil (1 medium-sized cup)
- 1 tablespoon of salt dissolved in ½ cup of warm water
- Cut the meat into pieces and set aside.
- Start by beating the eggs with a wooden spoon.
- Place the flour in a corner of the bowl and pour the eggs into the remaining space.
- Add the yeast (which was dissolved in warm water) and half of the salt dissolved in hot water.
- Add the melted butter (but not too hot).
- Keep adding the ingredients, always taking care not to cook the eggs with the hot ingredients.
- Taste the dough when you have finished integrating the liquid ingredients into the flour. If it's bland, add a little more salt.
- At this point, if you feel the dough is too soft, add a little more flour.
- Beat the dough well until you can form a ball that does not stick to the bowl.
- Dust a tray with flour (or the bowl where you made the dough).
- Place the dough on the board, sprinkle it with flour as well and cover it with a linen cloth, followed by a blanket.
- Let it rise for an hour.
- An hour later, the dough will increase in volume and begin to open (ie, it will have small cracks on the surface).
- With hands greased with margarine, roll out the dough on a smooth surface.
- Place the meats, tamping them down gently. Roll up (do not form too many layers: one and a half turns is enough).
- Leave to rise for another hour.
- Take it to the preheated oven at 360ºF for 1 hour if it is a large cake, 35 to 45 minutes if it is a small one.
- If it starts to get dark before the end of baking, place aluminum foil on top.
- The true folar of Chaves is made only with pork and sausages from the Trás-os-Montes region. Any version you find on the internet where chicken meat is mentioned, for example, is a lie and a lack of respect for the original recipe.
- The quality of the folar depends mainly on the ingredients used: we recommend homemade eggs, extra virgin olive oil and homemade smoked meat, typically from Trás-os-Montes.
- In Chaves, some people make folar without fatty meat. If you don't like this type of meat, you can just use the lean parts. However, know that fatty meat is the one that gives the most flavor to folar.
- The amount of eggs in the recipe can vary. It depends a lot on the size and also on the personal taste of who makes the folar.
- If you use a wood oven to cook the folar, choose pine wood: it heats up faster and leaves no smell.
- Again the wood oven: to find out if it has the ideal temperature to bake the folares, sprinkle the bottom with a little flour. If the flour does not burn, the oven is ready to receive the folar de Chaves.