Portuguese Sweet Bread

Total Time:
1 hr 16 min
10 min
6 min
1 hr

5 to 7 loaves

  • 3 yeast cakes
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm, nonfat milk (or scalded whole milk slightly cooled)
  • 5 pounds flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dozen fresh eggs, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

Dissolve 3 yeast cakes in 1/2 cup warm water, (not hot). Add 2 cups warm, nonfat milk (or scalded whole milk slightly cooled) and 3 cups flour, and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk together and set aside to proof yeast.

In a separate bowl, add 1dozen fresh eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Beat well and then add melted butter.

Add yeast mixture, the remaining flour and 2 tablespoons of salt. Mix well and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes.

Continue mixing until dough begins to pull away from bowl or knead with greased hands until dough pulls away from your hands. This takes a while and the dough is sticky unlike bread dough. Place in greased bowl and cover to let rise to double, about 1 to 3 hours.

Punch down, turn over, and let rise to double a second time.

Carefully break away about 2/3 pound of dough at a time, rolling dough into a nice loaf shape and place into greased loaf pans. This should make about 5 to 7 nice loafs. Let rise until double in the pans for a third rising.

Make two to three 1/4-inch slits on the top of each loaf and then brush tops with 1 beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of water.

Bake at 325 degrees F for about 10 minutes and then reduce heat to about 300 degrees F for another 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove loaves from the oven and lay them on their side on a rack for a couple of minutes before removing from the pan.

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

With this recipe we also make braids and sometimes add dried fruit and glaze the tops lightly with icing.

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this recipe is very good however, I added some cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg. my friends loved it. Thank you to the person that provided this recipe. Olga item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was exactly the taste I was looking for. The texture was also perfect. I did try to go a bit too fancy, braiding 6 and 7 strands and that was my fault. But no worries, next time it will be perfect. The quantity was a tad too much for my small family --just 2 of us. This recipe is perfect to share your creation with others. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have never baked bread before, then one day decided to teach myself how to bake bread and this was the recipe that I used. The bread came out wonderful!! Everyone raved about it and I have received some request for bread. Its a great recipe and the bread freeze beautifully. If I can do this bread anyone can!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
is there any way to break down this recipe to 1 or 2 loaves of bread? If so please send it to me. thanks item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is one of the best recipes for sweet bread that I've found. It was easy to make and tastes just like my grandmother's. The recipe made about 8 1 lb loaves and everyone that I've given it to has raved about it. I did have to bake it a bit longer than the recipe stated but the loaves rose beautifully and looked and tasted great. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray