Portuguese Rolls or Pops

Portuguese Rolls

These Portuguese Rolls or crusty buns are more accurately called Papo Secos … And sometimes called pops. Add linguica, vinha d’alhos or Portuguese meatballs, greens and a side of beans, and you have a wonderful meal. These are easy to make. The recipe makes 16 five-six inch rolls … not a large recipe … easily handled while putting other dishes together in a busy kitchen.

I’m serving these for Super Bowl Sunday along with meatballs and linguica for those that want a meaty sandwich.

These are great right from the oven with just butter, too.


Bake at 450 degrees F in a preheated oven.

Use the top rack, a must, and place a pan of water on the bottom rack, not a must. These buns were at one time cooked in brick ovens. The added water helps produce a similar product as one baked in a brick oven, crusty.

2 Teaspoons sugar
2 Cups water-lukewarm
1 Package of dry yeast
5 Cups flour and more for kneading
1 Teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon butter
2 Teaspoons shortening

Dissolve the sugar in 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water. Sprinkle the yeast into this mixture and stir slightly. Set aside for 10 minutes.






Measure the flour into a large bowl. Add the slightly softened butter. Mixing the butter into the flour is not necessary at this point. Once kneading takes place the butter will be well incorporated. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and stir. I use a hand held bread hook. A fork can be used. Gradually add the remainder of the water, 1 and 1/2 cups, and stir. The dough will become sticky. Turn this out onto a floured surface for kneading.







Have extra flour close by for your hands and the surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Add bits of flour to hands and board as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Add the salt at this time or add after the first rise. After the kneading form the dough in a smooth ball. Grease a bowl large enough for the dough to double in size. Grease hands with the shortening and rub gently over the dough surface. Place dough into the bowl and cover with a dish towel. Place in a draft free area. If you kitchen is cool like mine in the winter place the covered bowl inside the oven with the interior light on only … no additional heat. Let rise for 1 and 1/2 hours or until double in size.







The dough has doubled and now has been punched down. Add salt now if you haven’t. Gently knead to incorporate salt if needed. Form the dough into a round flat disk and cut like a pie into 16 pieces. Roll each of the 16 pieces into a ball and then flatten to approximately 3 inches in diameter.







For each pop form a 3 inch diameter disk. Use the side of your hand to make an impression down the center.







Fold the pop in half and pinch the edges together. You can have the seam along the side as I do here or the seam can be right down the center of the top. Pinch the ends to a slight point. Place these formed pops about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise 50 minutes in a draft free area. I used parchment paper. At 450 degrees F the parchment paper could burn, and is not recommended.







These are ready to bake. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. The top rack is recommended to avoid burning the bottom of the pop.







Spread with butter and dig in!

Portuguese rolls


  1. Serena Alves Franks
    Posted September 27, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Your recipe is closest to the true Azoren Portuguese meatballs. The pops as well. Pretty close to my Vo’vo’s job well done. Everytime I make these, their is never enough for leftovers.

    • Posted September 27, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      What a nice surprise to find your comment about these recipes! I have an enormous passion for Portuguese food. Thank you. Thank you!

  2. Sam
    Posted December 17, 2014 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I love the papo secos my avo would get from the bakery by her house. I’ve been baking bread for quuuite a while now, but I haven’t made papo secos yet. You should do them with the little balls on the ends and the cut down the middle! Try baking some chopped chourico or linguica into the bread, too. My other avo used to make pao da avo with chopped chourico, and it’s amazing.

    I shall have to try this recipe some time. :]

    • Posted December 17, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Sam, thank you for your comment. Yes, I will try a different look. And we need little excuse to add linguica to anything. I can do that! This just brings back such wonderful memories of my grandmother who could make bread like no other. I enjoyed hearing about your family experiences.

  3. patchara
    Posted February 21, 2015 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    what kind of flour would you recommend, AP or Braad flour? Thanks.

    • Posted February 21, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      For this recipe I used all purpose flour. I haven’t tried it with bread flour. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

      • patchara
        Posted February 21, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        I used bread flour. Judging from how my husband devoured the rolls, I guess bread flour is fine too. ;)))

  4. Waketta
    Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    What type of yeast did or do you use?

    • Posted March 27, 2016 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      I use Fleischmann’s always whether it is active dry or rapid rise. Here I used active dry.

  5. Vergil
    Posted April 10, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    “One package of yeast” is not a helpful measurement

    • Posted April 10, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      I agree. Here is what I use … Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast … I purchase the three pack. Each of the three is either called a packet, package, or envelope and each measures 1/4 oz each. I use one 1/4 ounce package. I hope this helps.

      • Lora
        Posted April 17, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Anita, I am surprised that you only buy the 3-pk yeast considering the amount of baked goods you seem to make. I only make bread 1-2 times a week but I buy Fleischmann yeast in the 113 g jar. I usually pay approx. $4.59 = 3.9 cents per/gram. I figure the 3-pk (24 g) at about $1.88 works out to about 7.8 cents per/gram. Quite a difference. The jar is so much more economical and often easier to deal with. For example, the Italian Bread I make calls for 2.5 tsp yeast. One yeast packet is only 2.25 tsp. I would need to open a second packet for the extra .25 tsp and I would end up wasting the remainder of the second packet.

        Now, after having tossed in my ‘2 cents worth’, I want to thank you for the ‘pops’ recipe. I made them (used my bread machine, AP flour) and they turned out Great! TYVM

        • Posted April 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          Lora, I appreciate your comments about yeast being available in more economical sizes. And I have in the past purchased yeast in larger quantity containers. It absolutely makes sense! Now that family is smaller and my bread baking is not weekly I find the yeast date expiring before I’ve used it all. The idea of freezing to extend life doesn’t seem idyllic. You know how disappointing it would be to work thru a recipe and find the yeast is just not acting the way it should.

          It was good of you to take the time to bring this to our readers’ attention. Very pleased your rolls turned out well. I have another Portuguese Bread recipe I will be posting this week, Portuguese Meat Bread. It’s amazing! I can see it baked without meat as well. It has the texture of Portuguese Sweet Bread due to the 6 eggs but the sweetness is minimal because it has no added sugar. It’s a meal in itself.

          • Frederick Souza
            Posted July 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

            Even more economical is buying the yeast in a big box store like BJ’s Wholesale Club. You can buy two pounds for about 7 dollars. I keep mine in the crisper drawer of my refrigerator and even if I don’t get to the freshness date in a year or more, it is still cheaper than those little packets.

          • Posted July 30, 2017 at 1:38 am | Permalink

            Thank you for stopping by and giving us a great idea on savings.

  6. Lora
    Posted April 19, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    So sorry, I had the impression you baked more often. Just me and the hubby but he loves my Italian bread (needs a sandwich a day) and I try making other items that I find interesting (i.e. Portuguese rolls). It seems I am always putting yeast on my shopping list.

    I have visited your blog on many occasions and thank you for your recipes and tips.

    • Posted April 19, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Your suggestion was well taken and certainly makes sense for anyone making yeast breads regularly. I bet your husband knows he’s very lucky to have a bread maker in you. Thank you for your input. And thank you for visiting!

  7. Susan Dunn
    Posted July 21, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    After making my own pimenta moida I’m making a pot of cacoila, expecting it to be closer to home than my previous attempt using dry pepper flakes. It was good, but I think it will be fantastic this time!

    Anyway, I have been serving my cacoila on hamburger or hot dog buns. Tonight I’ll serve your pap recipe! OMG I can’t wait to eat dinner!

    Thank you!

    • Posted July 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Goodness, sounds so good to me right now. I often have a hard time starving off a taste of my recipes so I can get a good photograph first. Most of the bites missing in my photos were from my taste tests. 🙂 So I get it! Thank you so much for stopping by.

  8. Maureen
    Posted October 7, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Best buns I’ve ever made. I did add 1/2 tsp more salt . Eveyone’s asking me for the recipe. I’ve been searching for Portuguese Bun recipe for years & now I’ve found one – rather late in life, but worth it. Thanks

    • Posted October 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful! Pleased to hear the buns are a favorite. I’m not surprised about the salt. I tend to be light handed with salt … so my children have hinted. Good to know. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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