Saturday, March 31, 2012

Filhos (Portuguese Doughnuts)

When I was a child, our family took a trip every year to the coast where we would relax in a beach house for a week. This 4 hour car ride was always preceded by a breakfast of store-bought orange juice (Sunny D - blech) and doughnuts. Since I always got motion sickness on the drive, it turned me off of doughnuts for my entire childhood- not a bad thing, health-wise, but quirky.

There was one kind of doughnut that I still loved, however, that tasted nothing like store-bought doughnuts to my young palate - my mom's homemade Portuguese doughnuts, called filhos. Apparently they are a traditional Christmas treat in Portugal, but my mom made them for us whenever the inclination took her, but usually on a lazy Saturday morning.

We made some this weekend and I was amazed all over again at just how many I can stuff down my throat without feeling heavy or weighted down like I do with just one store-bought American doughnut. We make our filhos round by using a cookie dough scooper, and roll them in cinnamon-sugar after frying, but plain white sugar is more traditional I suppose. I understand some versions use pumpkin; ours do not. The only hard part is waiting for them to rise, but we have cheated on that part too and still enjoyed the results. So good, people! So good.


6 cups flour
6 tsp. yeast (I know right? It's a lot, but it's right.)
1/2 c. sugar
8 eggs, beaten, at room temperature
2 c. milk, warmed
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Mix all ingredients together with hands for 5 minutes until dough is smooth.

2. Let rise for 1 hour.

3. Pull off various size pieces and fry in hot oil (we use canola).

4. Drain on paper towels and roll in sugar. Enjoy!


  1. They sound delicious! I didn't know that you had very many lazy Saturday mornings growing up! From what I remember, we didn't have them very often!

  2. Very true, Ashley- it was totally a rare experience. Maybe that's why they were so special and still are. :-)

  3. These look delicious! I bet they taste amazing warm.

  4. They look more like donut holes, but I'm guessing just as good.


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