Portuguese Rolls (Pau)


About this Recipe

There’s nothing better than a hot Portuguese roll, with some fresh butter. Portuguese rolls are also a classic companion to Maputo Clams and soups. Make your own with our simple pau recipe.

Originally by Jonathan Taylor
Portuguese Rolls (Pau)


  • 5 cups (1.25 L) white bread flour
  • 1 tea spoon salt
  • 15g sachet dry yeast
  • ½ tea spoon sugar
  • 1/8 cup (30 ml) butter
  • 2 cup (500 ml) tepid water
  • ¾ table spoon olive oil

Step by Step Instructions

In a 12 cup (125 ml) of tepid water, dissolve the dried yeast and sugar; set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to grow. (To stimulate yeast activity, I place the bowl in a sink of warm water.)

Leave the yeast mixture for 45 minutes after adding 12 cups (125 ml) of flour. Bubbles will start to shape in the dough.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining flour, salt, oil, butter, and 12 (375 mL) cups water. Stir to combine, then knead into a soft dough. The dough must be pliable and not sticky to the touch.

Leave the dough covered with a kitchen towel in a warm place for 1 hour. Knock the dough back and quickly knead into a fat roll, which will be about 10 cm or so in diameter. Cut the roll into ½ and then ½ portions into ½ again. Push the flat-ish and cut each piece into 3 pieces. This will give you the starting size for your rolls. Prepare the rolls into small balls first, and then flatten to resemble hamburger patties. Flour your baking trays, leaving space for rolls to “grow”. Make a divot through the center of each patty and lay face down in the flour. Leave to rest for 30 minutes while you heat the oven.

The oven needs to be very hot. Before you are ready to place rolls in the oven have a water mister ready (water assists in forming the crust). Quickly place rolls in the oven and give 6 or 7 healthy sprays of water into the oven. When cooked remove from oven and dust with flour and cool

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