Portuguese Sweet Bread (Pao Doce)

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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: 422 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 25mg Sodium: 84mg Carbohydrates: 83g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 4g Protein: 12g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate and depends on size of slices.

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

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Except to click on the image.

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COME ON!

YOU CAN DO IT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  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.

  2. UGH I LOVE THIS STUFF SO MUCH.

  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
    mimiandchichi.com

  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.
    thecomfortsofhome.blogspot.com

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

    Jan

  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. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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…

    Thxs

    • 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!

  14. 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!

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

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

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

  18. 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?

  19. 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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