Monday, November 21, 2011

Homemade Portuguese Sweet Bread

Bread making can seem intimidating but the truth is it is easy but just takes time.  Nothing makes a holiday meal more special than fresh bread.

Portuguese Sweet Bread is describe a pale yellow, sweet, cake-like bread that is lovely when fresh and delicious when toasted.  The sweetness goes perfect with a turkey dinner and it also makes amazing French Toast.

1 1/2 cup very warm milk
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp salt
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 eggs beaten
5-6 cups flour
wash made of 2 egg yokes beaten and tblsp water
1/4 cup STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a large bowl add yeast, 1tsp sugar and 1/4 cup of the warm milk. Set aside to proof for 5 minutes until yeast foams.

Heat the rest of the milk until tiny bubbles form around edges of pan. Remove from heat. Add butter.
Beat together sugar and eggs. Add salt, milk/butter and yeast mixture. Slowly add the flour. Beat until well mixed. Remove the dough onto a well floured surface.

Knead the dough, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the board. When the dough is smooth and satiny (it should be relatively soft rather than stiff), place it in a bowl oiled with the STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Turn to lightly oil the entire surface of the dough.

Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap (to keep the dough from sticking to it) and a clean towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down and divide into two equal pieces. Shape into two round loaves and place in onto an greased cookie sheet.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap (again greased) and cover with a clean towel. Let the loaves rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350°F for at least 15 minutes. Brush the loaves with the egg yoke and water mixture.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom with a finger. When the bread is done, remove it from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.



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