Friday, August 27, 2010

BBB bakes Sweet Portuguese Bread

Host kitchen for the BBB this month was Tanna at My Kitchen in Half Cups, and she chose a wonderful sweet loaf to make.  Can I just say once again how much I love working with a dough as silky soft and supple as this one was?  And it bakes off so tender too!  The crumb is absolutely pillowy soft.  (Even when you leave it in a few minutes too long.)  I used instant yeast instead of the osmotolerant and it was still very happy dough.  The range for the brown sugar was 30 - 100 grams and I used a mix of brown and granulated coconut sugars.  The granulated form of coconut sugar has a caramely flavor to it that I thought would be nice in a sweet bread.  And since I didn't have any spuds on hand for potato water, I added a teaspoon of potato starch to give an approximate effect.  It seemed to work; like I said, the dough was heavenly to work with.  Oh, my two loaves were done in about 35-40 minutes.  Much faster than specified, but my oven tends to run hot even when I turn it down.  Next time I'll take them out earlier and probably bake in a cake pan.  I'd also skip the egg wash and brush with melted butter after baking.  This bread made fabulous french toast; my daughter went bonkers over it and had it for both breakfast and lunch the next day.  And what regular toast it makes too.  Mmmm, mmm!  Give it a try, I'm sure you won't be disappointed!  And from what I've seen of the other posts, this one has been baked repeatedly this month.  ☺

Sweet Portuguese Bread
(Massa Sovada)

Over night sponge:
72 grams bread flour
2 ¼ teaspoons osmotolerant yeast (Instant Yeast worked just as well too)
114 milliliters potato water, or whey or water (potato water or whey really make it extra tender & soft)

Mix together the sponge ingredients the night before baking the bread.  Leave sitting at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours (overnight).

6 tablespoons butter, room temp.
30 to 100 grams brown sugar
lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temp.
120 milliliters milk, room temp.
460 grams bread flour (you can use part whole wheat if you like)
2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground

Beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add zest and salt and beat. Beat in each egg separately and completely; mix will appear curdled. Stir in milk and sponge. Stir in 2 ½ cups flour and beat vigorously (in a stand mixer it would clear the sides of the bowl, by hand lifting the spoon up should stretch the dough about a foot.)  Add remaining flour to make stiff dough. Knead 5 minutes or more to incorporate all the flour. Dough should be smooth, soft and very supple with a slight stickiness. Looks a little like very thick cake batter or a brioche dough.

Shape into ball, oil bowl and dough ball. Cover and allow to rise about 2 hours, should almost or triple in size. Divide into loaves, shaped into balls. Allow to rest 20 to 30 minutes before final shaping with rolling pin.

Press in a cross and then an X with a narrow rolling pin. For best demarcation of indents be careful to dust dough ball well with flour.  (I used a wok chopstick to indent my dough.)

Shape and place into well oiled cake pans seam side down. Allow to rise an hour to 2 hours; more than double in size. Brush with egg wash if you want that beautiful glossy finish. Bake 350°F: 50 minutes as two loaves, 35 minutes as four loaves.  (Or until done in your oven!)

I think this would make a fabulous braid too!  May try that next...


  1. You tickle me with your joy baking this bread! I'm so delighted you enjoyed it.

  2. Your loaves are just beautiful. I really love Portuguese sweet bread. We used to vacation just outside Provincetown and became acquainted with it there. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. your loafes turned out wonderful! thanks for baking with us!

  4. Gorgeous colour and crumb! You got perfect texture. Well done!
    Thanks so much for baking with us again!

  5. Bravissima! I don't think it looks overdone at all. It's gorgeous. And the crumb looks perfect too. No wonder your daughter went bonkers.

  6. Ciao ! I love your shapes the indents really stayed there!! Your blog has a wonderful name !!

  7. They are beautiful!! I love the even coloring on them and the gloss, like lovely golden pumpkins.....Awesome!

  8. This looks wonderful. I lived in Hawaii for years, and this is a very, very popular bread there.

  9. This bread looks perfect, and I'm sure that this makes the best French toast!


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