Whole Wheat Papo Secos – Portuguese Rolls for #BreadBakers

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Last Updated on April 1, 2019 by Chef Mireille

Whole Wheat Papo Secos - Portuguese Rolls for #BreadBakersThese soft and crusty bread rolls are the foundation of a good Cuban sandwich. This homemade version is way beyond the NYC deli variety!

Soft and crusty Portuguese rolls are common fare here in NYC, with its Latin population. From the local deli and supermarkets to Cuban sandwiches in Spanish restaurants, they are easy to come by. But everything tasted better when made at home right! I decided to make my own Papo Secos as they are called in Portugal and Brazil when I updated this vintage post of a Filipino Meatball Sandwich a few months ago. When Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories posted the theme for this month’s Bread Bakers of any bread made with sponge, biga, levain or poolish, I already had this recipe all done that fit the bill!

Once you make these yourself, you will never buy a store bought version at the local deli again!

Before we get to today’s recipe, here are some other great bread rolls for making sandwiches you might also like to try!


Sponge -edit

dough -edit

rolls -edit

portuguese rolls -edit

My Filipino Meatball Sandwich was great on these soft and crusty Portuguese Rolls!

sandwich -edit

Other October Bread Bakers


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected].

Whole Wheat Papo Secos – Portuguese Rolls for #BreadBakers

Number of servings: 8

Per Serving 494 calories

Fat 8 g

Carbs 89 g

Protein 15 g



  • Sponge Ingredients:
  • ½ cup warm water (115 – 120 F)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • Dough Ingredients:
  • Sponge
  • 6 cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups warm water (115 – 120 F)


  1. Let’s first make the sponge. In a shallow bowl, combine water and sugar. Whisk to combine.
  2. Sprinkle yeast on top. Let it rest for 5 minutes until foamy.
  3. In a large bowl, combine yeast mixture with flour and mix until thoroughly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and leave to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. To make the dough, combine 4 cups of the whole wheat bread flour with the shortening, butter and salt. Add sponge. Add warm water and mix.
  5. Add remaining flour ½ cup at a time as necessary, and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  6. Cover with a plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  7. Divide dough into 8 equal sized pieces. Roll into smooth balls.
  8. Place parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets.
  9. Roll each ball into a circle about 6”. With the side of your hand, make an indent in the middle. Fold over and twist the ends. Place seam side down on the cookie sheets. Leave to rise until doubled in size, 30 – 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  11. Flip rolls over so that they are seam side up. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until golden brown.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Hi how do you keep the dough from sticking to the parchment? I tried to flip them after the last rise but they were partially mangled in the process

    • Parchment does not usually stick. However, if this is an issue you can spray the parchment with a little non stick spray or you can sprinkle a little cornmeal on top and it will prevent the dough from sticking to the paper.

  2. I am visiting on Long Island (we are from Kansas) and my father in-law introduced me to whole wheat Portuguese rolls. I fell in love and began to search for recipes. I found yours and can’t wait to try it! I will report back after I bake them, upon our returning from our travels. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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