Grandma's Portuguese Sweet Bread Recipe

 Grandma's Portuguese Sweet Bread Recipe

  From the fragrance of the proofing yeast to the dough rising and then baking into golden brown loaves, this family tradition – above all others – is my favorite. Nothing compares to a slice of sweet bread, still warm from the oven and topped by a pat of real butter.

yield: 20 SERVINGSprep time: 2 HOURS 50 MINUTEScook time: 30 MINUTEStotal time: 3 HOURS 20 MINUTES

Ingredients :

  1. 4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  2. 1/4 cup warm water
  3. 1 cup granulated organic cane sugar
  4. 1 cup milk, scalded and still hot
  5. 1/4 cup butter
  6. 1 tsp. sea salt
  7. 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  8. 6 to 7 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
Grandma's Portuguese Sweet Bread Recipe
Grandma's Portuguese Sweet Bread Recipe

Instructions :

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix sugar, hot milk, butter, and salt together in a large bowl, stirring until butter melts. When cooled to lukewarm, beat in eggs and yeast mixture. Gradually beat 5 cups of flour into liquid to make a smooth dough.
  2. If you have a stand mixer that will handle this amount of dough, you can use that to shorten the process. Simply complete above steps in your mixer bowl and let your dough hook do the kneading for you.
  3. To knead by hand, heavily flour a board with a portion of the remaining flour. Turn dough out onto board and sprinkle with remaining flour. Knead until very smooth, adding flour to eliminate stickiness as necessary. You should see small "blisters" of air on the surface of the dough. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Consider it your workout for the day.
  4. Place dough in a large buttered bowl. Cover loosely with a towel and put in a warm place until doubled in size (about two hours).
  5. Punch down dough (it will collapse). Using buttered hands, form dough into desired loaves. You can divide dough into two large loaves or try them as smaller rolls. Or you can try the pie pan method you see used by the historical society.
  6. Place your formed loaves on a buttered cookie sheet or in a buttered pie pan. Cover loaves and set in a warm place to rise again for about an hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Baking time will vary a bit depending upon loaf size.
  7. Optional: Use a pastry brush to baste milk over the loaves just as they start to brown. This will give them a beautiful shiny glow.

TO MAKE PORTUGUESE SWEET BREAD ROLLS:

  1. Turn dough onto floured surface. Divide dough in two. Form each half loosely into a two-inch log. Cut log into two-inch lengths. 
  2. Roll dough into balls. Place onto a buttered cookie sheet or in a buttered pie pan, not quite touching. 
  3. Cover rolls and set in a warm place to rise again for about an hour. 
  4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. 

HOW TO MAKE A ROUND LOAF :

  • Form each half of the dough into a ball, working to put the "loose" ends on the bottom so that the top is nice and smooth. Place each dough on a cookie sheet and set aside to rise.

HOW TO MAKE A BRAIDED LOAF OF BREAD :

  1. Divide each half of the bread dough into three equal pieces.
  2. Roll each into a rope, about 1-2 inches in diameter.
  3. Press the ends of the ropes together and braid. When you reach the end, tuck ends under slightly and place bread on a cookie sheet for the second rise. 

NUTRITION INFORMATION:

 YIELD: 20 SERVING SIZE: 1 grams

Amount Per Serving: 

CALORIES: 80TOTAL FAT: 3gSATURATED FAT: 1gUNSATURATED FAT: 0gCHOLESTEROL: 35mgSODIUM: 132mgCARBOHYDRATES: 11gSUGAR: 10gPROTEIN: 1g

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