Grandmother’s Portuguese Sweet Bread
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours
Yield: 3 dozen
My Grandmother’s Portuguese Sweet Bread
My grandmother’s Portuguese Sweet Bread recipe. If you love a sweet yeasty bread, than this is for you. Don’t overwork the bread and make sure it’s a tacky consistency for the first rise, not the typical dry dough of other breads.
5 cups bread flour
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups + 1 tablespoon sugar
3 sticks salted butter, room temperature, divided, cut into 1 inch pieces
7 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup warm water
2 packages yeast
1 cup whole milk
Fill sink 2 inches with hot water and place the mixing bowl in the sink to warm it. Have ready thick hand towels for covering the bowl.
Sift the bread flour and 2 cups of the all purpose flour into the bowl in the sink. Add the salt and stir lightly to combine.
In the bowl of a mixer add 1 cup of butter (1 stick) and 2 cups sugar and cream together on low. Add 4 eggs and mix to combine. Add the remaining 3 eggs and mix to combine.
Add the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar to the warm water in a small bowl or glass measure. Cover with a plate and set aside to bloom the yeast. Make a well in the flour in the sink and pour in the yeast mixture. Don’t stir. Cover with the hand towels and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Add the milk to a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Slowly add to the egg and butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add to the flour and yeast mixture and fold the flour into the egg mixture from bottom of the bowl to the top. It should be sticky and not completely mixed. Cover again with the towels and let rest for 10 minutes.
Melt 3/4 cup of the butter and set aside. Sift 1/4 cup of remaining flour over the dough and using a spoon beat in a folding motion to incorporate into the dough. Continue adding 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is too thick to beat with a spoon. Use your hand to grab the dough from the bottom of the bowl, up the side and fold into the middle and punch down lightly. Repeat using more sifted flour and the melted butter until the dough starts to clean off your hands but is still slightly sticky and glossy. Cover with the towels again and place in a warm draft free location until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Grab a lemon sized ball off the side of the doubled dough and form into rolls of choice. Place on a greased cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Cover and place in a warm draft free location and allow to rise for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325º F and bake rolls 1 sheet at a time for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and brush with melted butter and cool.
The higher the fat content in the butter, the better. Tillamook is one of the highest I’ve found.