This type of bread was a favorite of mine as I grew up, but back in Brazil it goes only by “sweet bread” (pao doce) and is sold as a very small roll. When I came to the US for the first time, I saw bags of “Hawaiian bread” that looked similar to the “pao doce” from my childhood. Only a few years later I learned that indeed those are all the same, brought both to Hawaii and New England by Portuguese immigrants. So, here we have a bread that ties Portugal (the birth country of my grandparents), Brazil, and the United States (and for sure other countries influenced by the Portuguese culture). Of course, I was more than excited to make this bread!
His version of Portuguese sweet bread calls for a sponge made with a large amount of yeast, that ferments for two hours and is then incorporated in the dough.
Even though I work with microorganisms on a daily basis, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly they go to work once food is around… Water, flour, sugar, and yeast, 90 minutes together…
The dough does not rise that much, after 3 hours it had barely doubled in size, but it seemed light and almost airy. Into the oven it went…
The bread did not have much oven spring, but tasted very good, had a moist, soft crumb, a gentle hint of citrus, not too sweet, just right.
Verdict: a nice, simple bread, not exactly like that of my childhood, but it’s ok, some memories are impossible to match… 😉
Check the Portuguese breads from my fellow bakers:
Txfarmer made a very cute version, shaping them as doves…. click here
Emily from Ready to Wait…. click here
Next on the list: Potato Rosemary Bread…… Stay tuned….