Portuguese Rolls (Papo Secos)

Photo Courtesy of Anita Willitts at KitchenGetaway.com

Papo Secos are the quintessential Portuguese bread rolls. These rolls have a nice crusty outside with a perfectly light and soft inside. They are the perfect accompaniment for just about any meal, you can dip them in any flavorful soup or sauce to absorb the delicious flavor. Perfect for eating along with some delicious Portuguese cheese from S. Jorge.

*Makes 10 to 12 Bread Rolls*
5 cups flour
1 package dry active yeast
1 pinch of salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon shortening like crisco
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon flour to cover

1) Dissolve the yeast in a bowl with the 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water and 2 teaspoons sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
2) Add 1 cup flour to the bowl and mix well. Cover with a cloth and let it sit for about an hour until it has doubled in size.
3) Once ready, remove the cloth and add in your remaining ingredients. Mix well.
4) Flour the surface of a pan and knead the dough on top until it reaches a smooth and even consistency.
5) Place in a bowl to let rise for about an hour.
6) Once done, break off 10 to 12 portions of dough.
7) On a floured surface, roll each portion into a smooth ball. Press down on the dough pieces with your hands and twist the opposite ends of each side of the rolls in order to maintain their shape.
8) Sprinkle them with tablespoon of flour.
9) Cover the pieces of dough and let them sit in a warm, dry place for about 45 minutes to completely finish rising.
10) Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees fahrenheit.
11) Place the rolls crease up on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet.
12) Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the bread rolls are golden brown.
13) Once done, remove from the oven and let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
14) Serve while hot or place them in a plastic bag to save for later.


  1. Danie Erasmus

    I like Portuguese food

  2. Jolene

    What do you do with the dough you remove from the bowl in step 3? Do you mean remove the cloth?

  3. Barbara Delph

    What type and brand of flour do you recommend? I have never tied to bake bread but this may be my first try!

  4. Mariana

    The package of yeast used is how many grams?

  5. Len

    About 7 grams

  6. Gisela Tietz-Santos

    Can I use instant yeast?

    • Pbicudo1

      Hi Gisela! “Active dry yeast and instant yeast can generally be used interchangeably, one-for-one (although active dry yeast may be slower to rise). So if a recipe calls for instant yeast and active dry yeast is used instead, you may want to consider adding an extra 10 to 15 minutes for the rise time.” From thekitchn.com. Cheers!

  7. Mary

    Can’t wait to try these, my husband and I lived on Terceira for 2 1/2 years when we first got married and he joined the Air Force, the van would come down the street every morning selling these, they were still warm!! Friday was extra special when they had the triangle shaped coconut sweet bread

    • Pbicudo1

      That’s awesome! Being both Portuguese & American myself the Lajes base in Terceira has always been a fond reference point! Let me know how the recipe works out for you. Also, the coconut sweet bread rolls are my absolute favorite sweet treat. If you’re interested here’s our Coconut Sweet Bread Rolls recipe. If that’s not the one your thinking of, I can continue looking into it for you.

  8. Michelle Baptiste

    I am looking forward to trying these. My dad brought them home often from Fall River, MA, his home town and the home town of Emeril Legasse. I will be serving them with the spicy Portuguese pulled pork, Cacoila. This will be a meal pulled straight from my memories!

  9. Zakeera

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It came out perfect. My new favourite recipe.

  10. Denise

    I totally screwed this recipe up but in a good way. I wasn’t really paying attention and when adding the last cup of water I added two, not thinking that I already used one in the beginning (3 cups total). The dough never pulled away from the bowl, super high hydration. That’s when the light went on as to what I did. I almost tossed it but decided to spray a Pyrex pan, 9X13. Dumped it in, spread it out and let it rise for about 20 min. Preheated the oven to 425F, baked for 25 min. It was so light and crumb was perfect. I’ve been making it this way since. Sometimes screw-ups pay off! I still need to make it as written…I know it’ll be wonderful. =)

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