Portuguese Sweet Bread

To say that these last few weeks have been busy is an understatement. I’ve been running all around the northeast between gymnastics and music, and school stuff is getting more and more stressful. It’s like I could use a second spring break already…and it’s only been one week!
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A few months ago, my mom made a delicious New England Anadama bread, and this reminds me of it very much. It’s slight sweetness makes it delicious to eat on it’s own, and the crust on top was golden brown and perfect. Toasted and spread with Vermont churned butter…it made waking up at 6:30 something to look forward to.

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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces milk
  • 2 ounces butter, cut into pats
  • 2 3/8 ounces sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 13 3/4 ounces all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • grated peel (zest) of 1 medium lemon
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, white reserved
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)

Directions

1) Combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a microwave-safe cup, or in a saucepan. Heat to lukewarm, stirring to soften the butter. Set aside.
2) In a mixing bowl, the bowl of your stand mixer, or the bucket of your bread machine, combine the flour, yeast, and lemon zest; stir to combine.
3) Add the milk mixture, stirring first to make sure the sugar and salt aren’t left in the bottom of the cup or pan.
4) Add the eggs, yolk, and vanilla. Mix and knead until the dough is cohesive and smooth; it’ll be very sticky at first. If you’re using a stand mixer, beat with the flat beater for about 3 minutes at medium-high speed; then scrape the dough into the center of the bowl, switch to the dough hook, and knead for about 5 minutes at medium speed. It will have formed a ball somewhat, but will probably still be sticking to the bottom of the bowl. If you’re using a bread machine, simply let it go through its entire cycle, and skip to step 6.
5) Lightly grease the mixing bowl or a large (8-cup) measure, round the dough into a ball, and place it in the bowl or measure. Cover, and let rise until very puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If you’re using a bread machine and the dough hasn’t doubled in size when the cycle is complete, simply let it rest in the machine for another 30 to 60 minutes.
6) Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan.
7) Gently deflate the dough, and round it into a ball. Place the ball in the prepared pan, and tent the dough gently with lightly greased plastic wrap.
8) Let the dough rise in the pan for about 2 hours, until it’s nicely puffy. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
9) Mix the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon cold water, and brush some onto the surface of the loaf; this will give it a satiny, mahogany-brown crust.
10) Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then tent it lightly with aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until it’s a medium golden brown and its internal temperature registers 190°F on a digital thermometer.
11) Remove the bread from the oven, and gently transfer it to a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store at room temperature, well-wrapped, for several days’ freeze for longer storage.

Courtesy: King Arthur Flour

What’s not to love?

-Rayna 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Portuguese Sweet Bread

    • raynatakesthecake April 25, 2013 / 11:02 am

      Thank you! Or the brand new roasted flax seed almond butter I bought 🙂

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