Portuguese Sweet Bread

By Sharon | Recipes

Apr 09

I love this sweet bread recipe.  It makes a moist, soft bread that’s good for regular toast or french toast.  When I cut up my loaves and have the end pieces or extra slices that get a little stale I cut them into cubes and pop them in the freezer.  When I get a nice sized bag of them I make bread pudding.  Of course you can do it with the fresh bread if you can’t wait to get a bag full.I have the large Kitchen Aid stand mixer so I make a recipe that makes 3 loaves.  I’ll post the adjusted recipe for 2 loaves here since the standard mixer will only do that much.  This bread freezes very well in an air-tight container or bag.

When I lived in Hawai’i I made my bread all the time.  Bread there was about $6 a loaf and the choices were limited.  The humidity was great for raising a loaf of bread.  This bread is also called Hawai’ian Sweet Bread.  There’s a bakery on the southern part of the Big Island called Punalu’u Bake Shop that makes the best bread and other bakery items but you can’t get that bread everywhere so this makes a good replacement.

I bake my bread in the Sante Cast Iron bread pans. I get a much better finish on my bread than using the Pyrex bread pans. My bread never sticks and the pans clean up easy.  If you ever have to scrub them just make sure you dry them completely and rub a fresh coat of oil on to keep them seasoned.  I use coconut oil in mine and it works really well.  A good way to dry your cast iron cookware is to put it back in the warm oven or to set it on top of a hot burner on the stove.

I use all organic ingredients in this bread and it really gives it an extra rich flavor.  I find that organic ingredients improves the flavor with all my baked goods.

Portuguese Sweet Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

  • 1 tablespoons active dry yeast – (1 package)
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml warm water – 105 to 110 degrees
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup/180 ml warm milk – 105 to 110 degrees
  • 4 tablespoons/2 oz/57 g butter – melted
  • 3/4 cup/5 oz/148 ml granulated sugar
  • 5 cups/22 oz/625 g bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Combine the yeast, water and a pinch of sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Set aside to form bubbles on top.  About 5 minutes.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine the warm milk and butter in a separate bowl or measuring cup.

To the bubbly yeast mixture add the milk and butter and turn the mixer on low speed.  Add the sugar then the eggs and stir until well blended.

Put the dough hook on the mixer.  Add salt and 4 cups of flour.  Set the mixer speed on 2 until the mixture forms a ball, leaves the sides of the bowl and climbs up the dough hook, adding the remaining cup of flour as the dough and surface become sticky. This should be about 5 to 7 minutes.  The dough will be soft and the surface will be sticky.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Using your hands, form the dough into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to oil all sides.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 3 hours.

Lightly grease two 5 1/2 by 9-inch loaf pans.

Remove the dough from the bowl and invert onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough several times.

Divide the dough into two equal portions.

Tuck and roll so that any seams disappear into the dough and place in the prepared baking pan. Cover with a light tea towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

If desired use your knuckles to flatten the dough into a 9×6″ rectangle.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, leaving about an inch at the end, and roll the dough up like a jelly roll, pinching the ends together as you go along.

Pinch the end of the dough into the roll and place seam side down in the prepared pan.

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.

Cut several slits about 1/2″ deep in the top of each loaf with a sharp knife. Beat an egg, or use milk for a soft crust and gently baste the loaves.

Bake for about 30-45 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a cooling rack.

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