Festa Food – Filhos da Festa – Portuguese Fried Dough

Festa food recipes continue this month with these Filhos da Festa. This popular dessert is a favorite at every festa. Some people call them “Malasadas” some call them “Filhos”. Call them any name you want. Enjoy the recipe.


9 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 and ½ teaspoon salt

6 eggs

1 stick butter or margarine (8 tbsp)

1 teaspoon lemon or orange extract

2 cups milk

¼ cup fresh orange juice

oil for frying (corn oil or vegetable oil works best)

granulated sugar

cinnamon for dusting (optional)

 Ingredients to make the starter yeast:

3 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon sugar

2 packages of dry yeast or 1 small cube yeast (0.6 oz, 17g)

½ cup warm water

 First step:

Mix the ingredients in the starter yeast and set aside until bubbles form.

Second step:

Put the milk and butter in a pan on low until butter is melted

In a large bowl, mix eggs, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and orange juice. Beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes.

Add the milk and butter and mix for 30 seconds. Add yeast mix and flour and knead well until the dough is elastic and smooth.

Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.


Punch down the dough, cover and let it rise until doubled.


Your dough will look light, airy and elasticy .

bread dough

In a deep fryer heat the oil to 375 degrees. Using your hands lightly greased with olive oil, stretch pieces of the dough into thin strips of desired sizes of about 3 by 4 inches.


Fry until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels. Dust with granulated sugar while still warm. Note: You can also dust with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

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