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What is Bolo Do Caco?

It’s a flat, circular bread, shaped like a cake.  From there the name, Bolo Do Caco.

What is the origin of the Madeiran Bolo Do Caco?

It is believed to go back to the 15th century when the first Guanches, Moroccan and African slaves, arrived in Madeira.  There are many similarities today. For instance, flatbreads with little or no yeast, such as the kesra from Algeria or the harcha from Morocco and a few North African bread.

Cereals were not always available on the island of Madeira. Subsequently, they compensated by adding the pulp of a tuber root.

How is it prepared? 

Traditionally, on a Caco which is a flat basalt stone slab, at high temperature, and directly on hot embers. Today, the basalt stones are mostly replaced by concrete slabs.

That said and done, in the modern household cast iron plates or non-stick heavy -bottom pans replaced the heavy flat basalt or concrete slabs.


A touch of Portugal!

Bolo do Caco Portuguese Cuisine Portugal World Recipes How to make Bolo do Caco Travel and Home

This staple food of Madeira is very popular with almost every meal.

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Madeiran, Portuguese

Servings: 6 Persons

 Submitted By: Linda de Abreu



What you need to make Bolo Do Caco

  • 1 kg Wheat flour
  • 40 gm Baker’s ferment
  • 1 tsp Salt (Or to taste.)
  • Water (Enough to form the dough.)


  • Knead all the ingredients until it becomes very soft.
  • Sprinkle a little extra flour over the dough and cover with a cloth.
  • Leave to rise for about an hour.
  • Divide the dough into little balls.
  • Press the balls into a round shape and about 3 cm in height.
  • Cook the balls on an iron sheet, or in a clay frying pan. If you have none of these, you can also place them on a regular grill to cook over open flames.
  • Turn the balls several times to toast well. You want the bread to have a thin, crispy, and slightly burnt crust.
  • Serve warm with garlic butter.

There is a controversy about who should take credit for the invention of Bolo Do Caco

Porto Santo is a small island in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. The island is known for its warm waters and magnificent landscapes. Porto Santo is also known for its Bolo Do Caco, but with a slight difference. They let the dough rise three times.

How is it served?

Serve with garlic butter, or eat as a sandwich with octopus, espetada, milho frito. You can also eat it as a prego sandwich.

A similar use of sweet potato in other cuisines

  • In Ireland, you’ll find the boxty, which is a potato pancake with mashed sweet potato.
  • Malawi is known for its Mbatata, which is a sweet potato cookie.