Genuine Portuguese Sweet Bread Recipe

real Portuguese Sweet bread

Genuine Portuguese Sweet Bread Recipe

Straight from the city that boasts the largest population of Portuguese people in the United States. You don’t have to be Portuguese to enjoy their sweet bread though. I’m am not, but my husband’s grandmother was born in the Azores, so he has a bit in him.

I rank a lightly toasted and buttered slab of real, genuine Portuguese sweet bread at the top of my list of favorite breakfasts all year long.

Before I tell you the recipe, let me just say this.  There are a few ways to mess up this recipe, and as long as you don’t do those things, you can’t fail at this one.

 Here’s what you want to be sure to do and what to avoid:

  1. Do not attempt to substitute flour types in this bread
  2. Be sure to allow the bread loaves to rise.  Don’t rush them!  You can, but you will get a heavier, denser bread.
  3. Don’t skip the proofing process on the yeast.
  4. And don’t forget the egg wash!

genuine Portuguese Sweet Bread

 

The Ingredients (for 6 loaves or 3 large round loaves.  You can halve the recipe.):

  • 3 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1 cup of 105 – 110 degree water
  • 1 & 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar (you can reduce this slightly if you prefer a less sweet bread.)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/8 cup coconut oil (or 1/2 cup shortening for the original recipe. I have tried both successfully.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 cups flour
  • 7 eggs (6 for the bread plus one more for the egg wash)

Directions:
-Dissolve the yeast in the water and set it aside.  Insure that it proofs (doubles in size.  See the photo. It’s almost as thick as pudding.)
– In a small saucepan, scald the milk then turn off the heat.  Add butter and coconut oil or shortening. Allow the butter and shortening to melt.  Allow mixture to cool to lukewarm so it doesn’t kill the yeast when you add it to the four mix.
– Beat eggs and sugar together
– Mix flour and salt together in a very large bowl.
– Mix all ingredients together and knead until dough is silky and lifts off the bowl.  Cover and allow to rise at least 3 hours.  Don’t skimp there.   If it rises too much for the bowl, just keep pushing it down.
–Punch down.  For into 6 loaves or 3 large round loaves.  (You can also braid or make little breads too).
–Put breads in greased/floured pans.  If you are using the big round loaf pans, make sure the dough only fills half.  Overfilling creates dense bread that has to cook a very long time.
— Allow loaves to rise to double the size.
— Brush tops with egg wash (Egg beaten with a tablespoon water.)
— Bake at 325 degrees until a dark, caramel brown.   Adjust time for the size of your loaves.  A standard loaf is about 30-40 minutes.

genuine Portuguese Sweet Bread

Portuguese Sweet Bread


Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 5 hours
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 cup water 105-110 degrees
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/8 cup coconut oil or 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 10 cups flour (white, all-purpose)
  • 7 eggs 6 for bread, plus one for egg wash

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and set it aside. Insure that it proofs (doubles in size. See the photo. It’s almost as thick as pudding.)

  2. In a small saucepan, scald the milk then turn off the heat. Add butter and coconut oil or shortening. Allow the butter and shortening to melt. Allow mixture to cool to lukewarm so it doesn’t kill the yeast when you add it to the four mix.

  3. Beat eggs and sugar together
  4. Mix flour and salt together in a very large bowl.
  5. Mix all ingredients together and knead until dough is silky and lifts off the bowl. Cover and allow to rise at least 3 hours. Don’t skimp there. If it rises too much for the bowl, just keep pushing it down.
  6. Punch down. For into 6 loaves or 3 large round loaves. (You can also braid or make little breads too).
  7. Put breads in greased/floured pans. If you are using the big round loaf pans, make sure the dough only fills half. Overfilling creates dense bread that has to cook a very long time.

Recipe Notes

* You may reduce the amount of sugar if you want a less sweet bread.

 

You might also like:  Grandma’s Pumpkin Bread recipe 

 


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6 Comments

  1. Thank you for this recipe. My husband was born on Flores, in the Azores and came to this country when he was 5 years old. His mother and aunt used to make sweet bread all the time and they also made felores (sp?), like donuts with this dough that they fried. Unfortunately, they would not share any of their recipes and took them to the grave with them. I am looking forward to surprising my husband with sweet bread that hopefully, will taste like his mom’s.

  2. Thank you for this recipe and all the other things you post! I’m a faithful reader and am trying to “do the housewife thing” better finally at 54 years old. Never too late to better yourself, right?
    A question about this recipe. Do you use All Purpose Flour?

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