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Portuguese Sweet Bread (Pao Doce)

I’m a sucker for carbalicious bread, in any form

Tell me you have a loaf of Portuguese Sweet Bread (or as the Portuguese call it: Pao Doce) hot out of the oven and I’m in!

I’ll bring the butter! You get the knife!

Three loaves of Portuguese Sweet Bread cooling on a wire rack This Portuguese bread recipe is not a quick bread.

Quick breads are fast.

You mix ingredients in a bowl, pour into a pan, bake. them BAMMO! hot and delicious bread.

Just like my Zucchini Bread Recipe.

If you haven’t made it – what are you waiting for?

This particular sweet bread recipe is a yeast bread.

When you bake bread using yeast, the dough requires time to rise.

Not only does this recipe require yeast, but it also needs two risings.

WAIT!

Don’t go!

While two risings may seem complicated, it’s not and the time taken is totally worth the effort.

Trust me when I say, you are going to want to make this bread (or have someone make it for you!).

Have you heard of Portuguese Sweet Bread?  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.

LOOK AT IT!!!!

Portuguese Sweet Bread

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

I’m sure you can guess why.

See that top knot of the snail? 

SNAIL BREAD!

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.

How do you like your bread: formed into smaller rolls or larger loaves?

We like the larger loaves (and I’ll tell you why is just a sec), but there are bonuses to the smaller rolls.

You can easily serve the rolls from a basket, while the loaves need to be sliced.

Or, if you are part of a community table, you can always do the tear and serve method.

SOMEONE GRAB THE KNOT!

The major bonus with making the rolls vs loaves, is ever’one gets their own personal knot!

Portuguese Sweet Bread French Toast

THIS.

This is the main reason to make the larger loaves.

Need I say more?

Oh, momma. This bread takes French Toast to a whole ‘nutha lebel!

Slice the loaf thin or thick, depending on your cravings.

Dip the slices into an egg wash and cook in a hot pan with melted butter.

Once cooked, the toast is amazing as is, but if you decide to drizzle warmed maple syrup or dust it with confectioner’s sugar, please be seated before taking the first bite.

Cause you may actually see Jesus.

No lie.

It’s nirvana good (not the band – the transcendent state).

Let the dough rise properly.

The hardest part of the recipe is waiting for the double rise. 

The total time for letting the dough do its thang is about 2.5 hours.

That’s nothing when compared to the joy the finished product will bring you.

Why does this bread dough have to rise twice?

#1: A double rise prevents those huge air holes you can see in homemade bread.

#2: Dough allowed to rise twice has a finer gluten structure, meaning the crumb is finer and lighter.

#3: It’s a test of yer willpower. HANG IN! You can do this!

Don’t be afraid of baking with yeast.

Yeast gets a bad rap with beginner bakers. The word yeast is intimidating – I know!

There’s no reason to be hesitant to make a yeast bread.

Don’t listen to the folks that tell you it’s too hard; it’s not!

The main thing is to proof your yeast BEFORE you start mixing anything else.

That way you know if your yeast is good or not.

How to proof yeast.

First of all, what the heck does “proofing yeast” mean?

Simple.

It’s the process of adding hot water to your yeast to see if it starts to bloom (basically bubble a bit and grow in your bowl).

It will look similar to this:

 

 

Proofed bubbling yeast in a measuring cup

So bubbly!

You proof by adding the hot water to your yeast, add a bit of salt or sugar for it to eat, stir well, and wait for it to bloom.

If you don’t see any difference in the mixture in five minutes, your yeast isn’t good.

The best yeast activation temperature or how to activate yeast:

The temperature of your hot water is key to properly getting yeast to grow.

Water that’s too hot, above 138°F, will kill yeast.

Water that is too cool, below 70°F, will not be warm enough to get the yeast to budge.

The water temp has to be just right.

My method to test water temps has rarely failed me.

#1: Run your tap for hot water.

#2: Place your wrist under the running water.

#3: right before you have to remove your wrist because the water is HOT, that’s the temp that will get yeast to poppin’!

See? Simple!

Once you know your yeast is good, the rest of the recipe is a veritable breeze.

Once you make Portuguese Sweet Bread, you’re hooked for life!

My favorite warm snail bread topping is slow cooker apple butter

Don’t like apples? How about pear 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!

If you prefer a printable recipe, I’ve included one below.

Three loaves of Portuguese Sweet Bread cooling on a wire rack

Portuguese Sweet Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl.

Stir in milk, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 eggs, salt, butter, and 3 cups of flour.

Beat until smooth.

Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

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)

Punch down dough and divide in half.

Roll each half into a rope, then coil each to form a snail shaped.

Place each “snail” in greased round cake pan.

Cover and let rise until double (about 1 hour).

Heat oven to 350°F.

Beat 1 egg and brush over tops of loaves.

Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Bake until loaves are golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.

Notes for sweet bread:

* 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!

* Recipe: Betty Crocker‘s International Cookbook

Portuguese Sweet Bread

Portuguese Sweet Bread

Yield: 3 loaves
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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

Notes

* 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!

* Recipe: Betty Crocker's International Cookbook

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 422Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 84mgCarbohydrates: 83gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 12g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate and depends on size of slices.

Original post: March 10, 2014  ~ Updated post: June 16, 2019

Tired of searching for a popular OMT! recipe?

Rest yer weary fingers.

Except to click on the image.

You still have enough strength for that.

COME ON!

YOU CAN DO IT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Share It!

Sandy

Saturday 7th of April 2018

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

Patti Tucker

Saturday 7th of April 2018

Um, not sure that would work, but at this point you have nothing to lose!

Maui Portuguese Gal

Saturday 7th of November 2015

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?

Patti Tucker

Sunday 8th of November 2015

Hmmm, I've never made it with bread flour. You could definitely try it, just know that bread flour will typically give you a heavier denser loaf.

dana

Saturday 7th of June 2014

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

Mrs. Tucker

Saturday 7th of June 2014

I have never tried it with the quick rise yeast, but a quick look through the vast Internets turned up this answer. Hope that helps.

Linda

Thursday 20th of March 2014

Thanks for the recipe! PINNED. Your friend, Linda

Mrs. Tucker

Thursday 20th of March 2014

Thanks for the share!

Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron

Sunday 16th of March 2014

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

Mrs. Tucker

Sunday 16th of March 2014

A gal after my own carby heart!