Cook's Hideout: Portuguese Sweet Bread

April 24, 2012

Portuguese Sweet Bread

For day 2 of BM, I made this sweet yeast bread from Peter Reinhart’s Bread Baking Apprentice cookbook. I’ve been meaning to make this bread for a long time and even bought orange and lemon extracts to use. Finally I got to make for this bread baking week.

This bread is rich with the addition of eggs, butter and powdered milk. It smells heavenly while baking and tastes equally amazing. I have one loaf in the freezer that I intend to use very soon.

This recipe starts with a sponge that is fermented for 1-1.5 hours before adding the other ingredients for the bread. If you want to make the bread, read the recipe carefully for the rising times.

For the Sponge:
Unbleached Bread flour – ½ cup
Sugar – 1tbsp
Instant yeast – 2¼tsp
Water (@ room temperature) – ½ cup

For the Dough:
Unbleached Bread flour – 3 cups
Sugar – 6tbsp
Salt – 1tsp
Powdered milk – ¼ cup
Unsalted butter – 2tbsp
Vegetable shortening – 2tbsp (I didn’t have any and used 2tbsp butter instead)
Eggs – 2
Lemon extract – 1tsp
Orange extract – 1tsp
Vanilla extract – 1tsp
Water (@ room temperature) – 6tbsp

For Egg wash: 1 egg, whisked with 1tsp water until frothy 

  • For the Sponge: Mix all the ingredients for the sponge in a small bowl until everything is well incorporated into a smooth batter. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until the sponge gets foamy. 
  • For the dough: Combine sugar, salt, powdered milk, butter and shortening in a mixing bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer). Cream together using a wooden spoon (or the paddle attachment) until smooth and then mix in the eggs and the extracts. 
  • Knead by hand (or switch to the dough hook attachment). Mix in the sponge and the flour. Add water as needed to make soft and supple dough – dough should be very easy to handle and should not be wet or sticky. It will take about 10 to 12 minutes in the stand mixer and 15 minutes by hand to get to this consistency. 
  • Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled bowl; roll it around to coat it with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 2 hours at room temperature or until the dough rises to double its rise.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 2 equal halves. Form each of the half into a boule; coat 2 9” pie pans with cooking spray and gently place the boules seam side down. (I used 8” round cake pans instead of the pie pans). Mist the tops with cooking spray, cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 2-3 hours at room temperature. 
  • The recipe says that the dough should fill the pans fully, doubling in size and overlapping the edges slightly. Neither of my boules reached this stage after 3 hours of proofing. Not sure if this is due to the cold temperatures or something else. I went ahead and baked them anyway and as you can see they came out pretty good.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Gently brush the loaves with egg wash. 
  • Bake the loaves for 50-60 minutes or until they register 190°F in the center. After about 30 minutes, check the loaves and rotate them 180° for even browning. Because of the high amount of sugar in the recipe bread turns brown very fast, but that doesn’t mean that they are baked all the way through. Final color of the bread will be rich mahogany color.
  • Remove the breads from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool. Wait for at least 90 minutes before slicing or serving. 
This bread is excellent with a dab of jam/ jelly and makes a great French toast and even yummy bread pudding.
Let’s check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked up for Day 2 of BM# 15.

Sending this over to Susan's YeastSpotting.


  1. The top crust looks so different from what I am used to..inside looks as spongy as you say..very nice..

  2. So yummy n perfectly baked....

  3. what a lovely color...looks amazing..a lot of work but I am sure it is well worth the effort!

  4. Bread looks very nice, perfectly baked. Beautiful pictures

  5. what a pretty looking looks like a piece of ham...he he

    Grab Anniversary Giveaway

  6. Looks great!! BBA is a fab book!!

  7. Wat a lovely crust..Bread looks prefect,wish to kick start my day with it..

  8. Pavani..this is fantabulous!..wat color man..n then amazing texture on cutting the bread..super..if only u cud give me an eggless version:((..but really v good.:)))))

  9. baked to perfection!!looks superb!!thanks for sharing the recipe.

  10. baked to perfection!!looks superb!!thanks for sharing the recipe.

  11. I have made portuguese bread too. Your crust color has become so dark and I almost thought it was pumpernickle bread. Beautiful.

  12. Loved the color of the crust and the texture,the bread looks fabulous..
    Bookmarked dear...

  13. Colour and the texture of the bread is amazing...

  14. I am not used to seeing that dark crust but the slices are just so perfect. Would be a nice way to start the day with a toast such as this. Love it. Jayanthi (

  15. What a glaze on the bread. Baking done to perfection.

  16. Looks so perfectly made like store bought bread :)


  17. very delicious and soft sweet bread..

  18. Look at that bread! I am amazed by its perfection.

    Hey, my parents and sister live in Edison, NJ. I visit there now and then. I live in CT. Maybe we should meet.

  19. oh wow, that colour is so beautiful... must have been sweet & rich

  20. What a wonderful crust, beautiful bread, I too own this book, but I haven't tried much from it !, the inside looks beautiful.., beautiful clicks dear

  21. The crust looks so different.Nice bread..

  22. wow...hw beautiful d cliks r??.......amazing.perfectly done bread.btw Iam 4m Brasil 2.


Thank you for stopping by my Hideout.

I really appreciate your feedback, so please feel free to leave your comment. I read all the comments you post, but I may not respond to them. Thank you for your time and hope you enjoyed your stay.

Have a Wonderful Day!!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin
Blogging tips