Portuguese Sweet Bread

Yeast bread dough, ready for proving

Image via Wikipedia

I first saw this stuff in the James Beard’s book Beard on Bread. Herself was making it back when. As in the old back-breaking way. When she expressed a desire to have it again I told her that I’d look into it… and update to a more bakerly approach. I don’t have any patience with that old feel your way through school of thought. Precision! That way you can bang it through with little hassle and get consistently repeatable results.

You will notice that this is a lot like kulich or brioche. In fact – most of these sweet butter and egg yeast breads look a good bit alike and are handled in similar fashion. There are, however, differences in taste and texture which make each unique and delightful.

725    g bread flour (4-3/4 cups)
230    g sugar (1 cup)
1    stick unsalted soft butter
125    g water (1/2 cup)
125    g milk (1/2 cup)
3     eggs
18    g salt (1 Tbs)
2    pkg yeast
1     egg, well-beaten, for brushing

Weigh everything except the last egg into the bowl and mix 3 minutes on 1st speed and then 3 minutes on 2nd speed. You will have a rather wet and sticky dough, but don’t worry – this is correct. Into a buttered bowl to rise. Cover with plastic wrap.

Bulk rise for 1 hour, then fold. Divide in half. The choice of shape is yours. The traditional loaf is the standard round loaf. If that is what you want then lube up a couple of 9” pie pans and set the rounded loaves in them. This dough is wet enough that it will spread out too far if it is not supported at first. There other way to do it is to use standard 8.5” x 4.5” x 2.5” standard loaf pans well lubed.

Whichever shape you use cover with plastic and let it rise. This is SLOW rising stuff, so don’t freak out when it doesn’t jump up like normal dough. In fact, it will benefit from a couple of hours rise, then retarding overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out the next morning and let it come up to room temp. You only want this to rise up to 75% or so of the pan height. It will really balloon out when it hits the oven.

Oven temp 350°F. Brush the tops with the last egg, well-beaten. Oven time will be 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on shape. This is not a good thump test bread, the best way to tell when it is done is a thermometer, which will be at 205°F when it is just right. The top will usually be a dark brown from the egg wash.

Dump onto a cooling rack and let it cool before cutting.

{{Herself Sez: As long as I’m posting this for Himself, I’ll add a comment or two. His version here is delicious. I do prefer the round loaf, though, and Himself will make it that way next time. If you look at the Brioche and Kuliche recipes (if not posted, then to be posted shortly), you will be able to see the similarities. But there are differences, and each of these breads tastes somewhat different from the other two, and each has a different texture. Thank you, dear, for editing this recipe so I can make it – should it become necessary.}}


2 Responses to “Portuguese Sweet Bread”

  1. freedomunlocks.blog.fc2.com Says:

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    • mtriggs Says:

      Thanks for the comment. Messing with the layout is more than I can do at the moment!
      The Ol’ Curmudgeon

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