We all know that home made bread tastes better and in general is better for us, but do you know what flour to look for in Portugal?
Most breads in Portugal are white or 'integral', it is difficult to buy multi-grain breads, so how about making your own. Bread makers are readily available and if not you will find many bread recipes on the internet, including videos about how to make bread. So your only excuse for not making bread is that you do not know what flour to buy. Good Point !
This is where we are going to fill the gap. Below you will find a list of all the popular flours, their Portuguese translations and some ideas where to buy them. Specialist grains and flours should be available at most health food stores. If you are reading this and know other places to buy then please email us so we can update this article.
Wheat Flour (Farinha de Trigo) - the most common types in Portugal are Type 55 (Tipo 55) which is General Purpose white flour; and Type 65 (Tipo 65) with is a Strong white flour - this is the one to use for bread baking. Type 65 can be bought at E.Leclerc and some Intermarche supermarkets in 5kg bags.
If you are buying at the German supermarkets (Lidl and Aldi) you want type 550, which is strong/high protein bread flour.
Wholewheat Flour (Farinha Integral de Trigo) - Portugal tipo 80, German Type 1200 This will be the whole grain and in Portugal should be stone ground (miodo na pedra), it has a shorter shelf life that white flour due to the higher wheatgerm content, so buy this as you need to use it for best results.
Cornflour/Cornstarch - In the UK we call it cornflour but in the US it's more acurately called cornstarch, in Portugal it is Amido de Milho
It is often confused with Farinha de Milho which is Corn Flour.
Other grains and flours;
Rye - Centeio (brand 'Nacional' in major supermarkets)
Wheatgerm - Germe de trigo
Oats - Floco de aveia (all supermarkets)
Oatmeal - Aveia
Barley - Cevada
Buckwheat - Trigo Sarraceno
Millet - Millet
Wheat Bran - Farelo de trigo (Continente health food section)
Corn - Milho
Corn Flour - Farinha de Milho (yellow)
Cornstarch - Amido de Milho (white)
There are many types of bread loaves and rolls in Portugal, including many regional ones, and too many to mention here. Some are quite bland in flavour, some are made specially for adding to soups like corn bread (Pao de milho) you need to try out whatever you get in your area. Most integral rolls and loaves are made from part wholemeal and part white flour, so they are not 'wholemeal bread 'as we know it.
Many of the bigger supermarkets now stock European breads but they are generally quite expensive, 2 euros or more for a 500g loaf is common, and you will see English style tin loaves (pao de forma) in some bakeries.
It is quite easy to make bread, even for the beginner so why not experiment with some of the flours and grains I have mentioned above. Fresh yeast is available in supermarkets or from your local baker (paderia), or why not start a sourdour starter (no yeast needed).
Great sourdough starter and recipes at TheKitchen.com
Paul Hollywood Bread recipes and more from BBC Food
A great white bread recipe and lots more at Allrecipes.co.uk