Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Portuguese Sweet Bread

I have a dilemma. There are so many kinds of breads that I have been wanting to bake. The list is pretty long. My problem is my kids like only sweet breads. My husband likes spicy breads. No one except me wants to eat rustic breads like ciabbatta or baguettes or sandwich breads. So, I am trying to bake sweet breads to shorten the list whenever I can.
I had instantly fallen in love with this bread when I saw the pictures on many blogs. The group 'Bread Baking Babes' had baked this bread some months back. I finally baked it today. Taste was awesome, so I was told. You decide for yourself how good it is.
Portuguese Sweet Bread

One Year back - Iyengar Bakery Toast / Indian Bruschetta
Adapted from 'BBA by Peter Reinhart' via Breadbasketcase
For the sponge:
All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 TBSP
Warm Water - 1/2 cup
Instant yeast - 2 1/4 tsp

For the dough:
All of the sponge
All purpose flour - 3 - 3 1/4 cups (Use 3 cups and add the remaining only if needed)
Sugar - 6 TBSP
Warm water - 6 TBSP
Egg - 2 large (Could substitute with thick yogurt or sourcream or blended soft tofu for an eggless version)
Salt - 1 tsp
Butter - 4 TBSP
Powdered milk - 1/4 cup (See Notes)
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Lemon extract - 1 tsp
Orange extract - 1 tsp

Egg Wash:
1 Large egg mixed with couple of splashes of milk or water (Or you could use equal amounts of milk, oil and a bit of sugar)
Portuguese Sweet Bread

Combine all the ingredients mentioned in the 'For the sponge' section. Let it sit till bubbly. It took about 45 minutes for me since I used warm water. If you use the room temperature water, it might take up to an hour and a half to do the same. If you are going to make this bread by the mixer, check out the source link for the details.

Dough using bread machine:
Add butter chopped into small bits, sugar, dry milk, 2 eggs, salt and water to the bread machine. Top it off with the sponge and add the flour (only 3 cups in the beginning). Turn the machine on the dough setting. Check after 10 minutes to see if you need to add some of the reserved flour to adjust the consistency. The kneaded dough should be soft and almost satiny and not sticky at all. If you have worked with brioche dough before, it almost feels the same. When the dough cycle completes, remove the dough on to the lightly floured surface. Divide it into two parts. Grease two 9 " cake pans or pie plates generously with butter. Shape the dough into round and form a boule. Place on the prepared pan seam side down. Cover with an oiled plastic wrap and let it rise till it doubles and fills the pan. It can take from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the loaves with egg wash. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes. They brown very fast, but don't be tempted to take them out. Rotate the pan half way to make sure they bake and brown evenly. When you take the loaf out, brush with butter if desired. Color of this baked bread is very rich mahagony color. It is not burnt or over baked. Cool on the wire rack and slice only after it has cooled completely. This makes the best breakfast bread, good for french toast and to make bread pudding.  It might look as if it is a hard bread, but is not. It is a very soft and tender bread.
Portuguese Sweet Bread

If you don't have dry milk powder, just use milk instead of water in the dough part. Do not use imitation extracts in this bread. If you don't have pure lemon, orange extracts, skip it or use about a TBSP of zest. I tried to use the rolling pin to make indentations so that they bake up like flowers. But, My indentation was not strong enough and when in the oven, bread rose above that leaving just a line as a pattern.

This bread goes to Susan's Yeastspotting.

Enjoy. Pin It


  1. So perfectly baked and looks so yummy !!

  2. Lovely recipe and drooling over your pics.. Just yummy..

  3. looks wonderful delicious sweet bread

  4. Mmmm. Looks so yummy. Perfect with some butter and jam. My son would love this.

  5. A lovely bread!!! I can't wait to try this :)

  6. Mind Blowing portuguese bread... ! It has come out really perfect, soft like a cake, too gud and keep it up. I always look forward to ur great recipes... !

  7. It reminds me of sweet bread we get in bakerys in Bangalore...thanks for sharing..

  8. Lovely recipe..would like to make this for my daughter.

  9. The bread looks so soft and fluffy.Will I get such texture if I knead it by hand.

  10. Thanks all.
    Yes. Just knead it for about 10 - 12 minutes. You will be fine.

  11. Bread looks super fluffy and soft..

  12. me too loves hard crusted breads....sweet breads come next...this one looks very good!...lovely persentation too!
    Smitha's Spicy Flavors

  13. I have a problem too and I have to tell u about ! I want to bake all breads on ur blog and I want to eat all of them too (am very greedy I told u!)without piling on more pounds! Help!!!

    The bread looks just awesome! Now u have just made my list longer with the addition of yet another bread! Sigh!!

  14. What a lovely color for the crust! beautiful texture.

  15. What a lovely color for the crust! beautiful texture.

  16. This bread looks soo sooo nice! Just loved it... seeing the pics over and over :)

  17. They look really fluffy! Their texture look like panettone...very appetizing

  18. I really love this bread from inside....I know I'm gonna like it but me too have a similar kind of story.....lil one totally think she only need raw food & candies to survive well pizza & ice cream is exception,older one thinks only good bread is one which she likes that is Italian bread, other breads sometime even don't come under the category of bread....hubby dear don't have any problem eating bread infact he loves all type of breads but b'coz of all the white flour goes in HE TELLS ME TO NOT GIVE IT TO HIM(b'coz he can't control himself) & among all this sometime I think it's better not to think what I want, though wanted to tell U I love all the rustic breads....I not only love the taste but I love how they look....

    Also wanted to wish your lil one "Belated Happy B'day"....cupcakes were good but I hope U r making her dream cake....My almost 9 yr. old has given me the blue print of her b'day cake for this year asking me not much BUT ONLY 5 FAIRIES on top of it....may be I should send her to live with U.....

    C this is what happen when I stay away from Computers from so many days.....so big comments...

  19. Spice,
    That is neat. You can send her to live with me. No problems. I was planning on making that cake but then my older one got sick and I had to cancel the gathering of few families.
    I usually don't make the models myself. I suck big time at it. Use the dolls and the cake will be simple to make.

  20. Wow this bread looks just perfect !

  21. The bread looks delicious...love the shape of the bread

  22. My list of breads I wanted to bake is very long, too. And the Portuguese Sweet Bread moved now on the top of the list because your bread looks so delicious!

  23. wow pictures are so awesome! I love the set up..well if you can bake them for me, I won't mind enjoying myself..

  24. anybody know any good ways to eat sweet bread for dessert? i was thinking maybe just drizzle honey over some fruit and serve it over the bread, but i wasn't sure... Help! im have guest over tonight!

  25. i really need some help! I and having people come over for dinner tonight and i have a loaf of Portuguese Sweet Bread. I want to make a dessert with it. but i can't find a reciepe online anywhere for a dessert, other than french toast and bread putting. I was thinking to toss some fruit and honey together and serve it on the bread.... Please help!

  26. Crystal,
    This portuguese bread is pretty sweet and is almost like cake. You can definitely toast it a bit and serve with some fruit, ice cream or whipped cream. Drizzle with honey if using just fruit. Good luck. You could grill it too since this is almost like a pound cake. But do it lightly.

  27. Hi Champa,
    This recipe is really tempting.. how do we replace eggs with sourcream? i have light sourcream in hand, would like to finish it up.. so what would be the measurements? And all your recipes and kitchen tips rock!!


  28. Madhu,
    Thanks. Use 1/4 cup of sour cream per egg. Measure in the dry measuring cup. You might have to adjust the flour by one or two TBSP since sourcream has water content which is not present in egg. But I have baked like that many times and they come out just fine.


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