Portuguese Sweet Bread

I’m a sucker for carbalicious bread, in any form.  Portuguese Sweet Bread.  Ever heard of  it?  Ever had it?  If you answered “yes” then you’re smiling and wishing you had some RIGHT NOW!  If you answered “no” then you’re in for a light, buttery, addictive addition to your baking arsenal of recipes to cherish.

That’s right, cherish.  It’s that good.

Head’s up: in our house we call it Snail Bread.

Portuguese Sweet Bread

See that top knot of the snail?  You gotta be fast, because that’s the part that everyone wants to eat.  It’s crusty sweet on the outside, yet light and almost like eating butter-flavored air on the inside.  These knots have been known to disappear on full, uncut, loaves.

“NOOOOOOO!” Says the too-slow top knot snatcher.

The hardest part of the recipe is waiting for the double rise.  That and you gotta make sure you don’t kill your yeast with water that’s too hot.  Other than that, it’s a veritable breeze.

Portuguese Sweet Bread


  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105-115°)
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 5 1/2-6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in milk, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 eggs, salt, butter, and 3 cups of flour.
  3. Beat until smooth.
  4. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
  5. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  6. Place in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm place until it is double in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (dough is ready if indention of finger remains when poked)
  7. Punch down dough and divide in half.
  8. Roll each half into a rope, then coil each to form a snail shaped.
  9. Place each "snail" in greased round cake pan.
  10. Cover and let rise until double (about 1 hour).
  11. Heat oven to 350°F.
  12. Beat 1 egg and brush over tops of loaves.
  13. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  14. Bake until loaves are golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.


* Instead of forming each half into snails, shape each half into a round, slightly flat loaf. Place each loaf in a greased round cake pan and proceed as directed.

* Preheating the oven is important when baking bread, as the initial heat-burst helps to "lift" the bread.

* Sometimes I make 4 smaller loaves instead of two bigger ones. Decrease bake time if you do this.

* Not sure the bread is done? Knock on the top and if it sounds hollow, it's done!


My favorite warm Snail Bread topping is apple butter.  Decadence squared.

While the bread is a slice O’Heaven right out of the oven, it’s also amazing toasted or at room temp with an actual meal like a civilized person.

One thing I love about this recipe is that if I’m giving it as a gift (Boy loves this bread), there’s always an extra roll for my efforts!  I know, I really need to work on being selfless, but this bread gets in your head, people.  I dare you to make a batch without becoming a Snail Bread hoarder.

Get to baking, my lovelies!




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  1. I am a hard-core carboholic myself, and yet I’ve never tried Portuguese sweet bread! Sounds like I’ve been missing out. Now I can’t wait to make this for myself and to taste that buttery goodness you described. Pinning!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Sounds like you and I love dem carbs! My guess is you’re gonna love this bread. Yum! Thanks for the pin.


  3. Your rolls look wonderful, I would really like to get better at making yeast breads, this looks like a great recipe! I just started a new link-up, Meal Planning Monday Recipe Link-Up and would love to invite you to share your recipe at my linky party. 🙂 aprilshomemaking.com

  4. I want to live in a world where I eat butter flavored air all the time. 😉 These look scrumptious!

  5. Mmmmmm look at that buttery goodness. This looks really yummy! So do you eat this on this own, or do you put anything on it? I bet nutella would be an amazing addition to the bread.

    – Gita

  6. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    I love any form of bread and these look wonderful! I would love it if you would share this on my Tasty Tuesday linky party going on now.

  7. WOW…came over from Penny’s Tasty Tuesday…and this sounds delicious! I love anything made with yeast. Thanks for the recipe.


  8. Oh Yum, thanks for the recipe and Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  9. You’re right! I do wish I had some of this right now. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of making it myself before. Thanks so much for an awesome recipe :D.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      That’s what I’m here for…to point these things out to you!

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      I tried commenting on your post, but failed miserable. Here’s what I would have said: I love your mom! I can hear her in my head and I feel her Jewish guilt! Pinned the recipe. Nom.

  10. I love working with yeast, (I specialized in challahs) and these rolls are looking just wonderful!!

  11. Dare BB try a “made from scratch” bread? I’m thinking with this recipe I just might!! Here from the Grand Social, and you got pinned. BB2U

  12. Does anyone know if I can use rapid yeast in this recipe? Would I just toss it in the mix instead of putting it in warm water? Im new to yeast breads and have made 6 batches (some double) of crusty bread lately. That calls for rapid yeast so thats what I have.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      Here’s what the Pillsbury Baking site advises:

      “To substitute one form of yeast for another, use these equivalents: one envelope of active dry yeast equals 2 1/4 teaspoons of bulk active dry yeast or one third of a 2-ounce cake of compressed fresh yeast.

      To substitute fast-acting yeast for regular yeast, reduce the rise time in the recipe by about half.”

      Hope that helps.

  13. Somehow I managed to unsubscribe instead of subscribe to follow up comments by email so I need to make this post to get notified/subscribed again. sorry!

  14. These sound sooooo goooooood. I was wondering how many pieces you cut the rope into
    or do you just guess and knot each one separately, it says Roll each half into a rope, then coil each to form a snail shaped, wouldn’t this just turn into one huge bun…or am I missing something here.?? Can ya tell
    I don’t do much bread making…


    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      When you divide the dough into two pieces, you then roll each of those peices into a rope, then coil to form snail. OR…you can divide into four pieces and do the same (but don’t bake for the full time, because the smaller the snails, the less time it takes to cook). You’ll either end up with two loaves or four loaves. Each piece is rolled into a rope that forms one snail. I hope that helps. Let me know if I’ve made it worse!

  15. Thank you, now I am good to go, I can hardly wait to make these, I can
    smell them already….you are awesome and I love your website to bits.

    • Mrs. Tucker says:

      #1: So glad I could clarify. #2:Best comment of the night! #3: Thanks for the love, and finally #4: You’re gonna love these!

  16. Wow this is gorgeous! I love as many carbs as I can get haha! Thanks for linking up to SNF!

  17. Thanks for the recipe! PINNED. Your friend, Linda

  18. Can anyone tell me if I can substitute quick rise yeast for the regular yeast? I would love to try this bread.

  19. Maui Portuguese Gal says:

    I grew up eating Portuguese sweet bread, but never made it.
    I have bread flour. Would your recipe work well with bread flour instead of all-purpose flour?

  20. I forgot to put the butter in
    But could I put the butter after its risen for 1-1.5 hours


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