Portuguese Sweet Bread– A sticky affair

Couple weeks ago I saw an Apricot Strudel recipe in my daily Küchengötter newsletter and I was tempted to try it out.  My baker other-half shook his head and said, “in order for you to make a strudel, you will have to make sweet bread first.” I figure, what is so special about sweet bread?  Well, I have seen it today. 

I am not a big fan of sweet bread; bread supposed to be savory and not sweet in my perception.  This recipe turns out decent.  It has a faint and not overpowering sweetness.  It reminds me of a brioche, so if that fits your flavor profile,  it is a wonderfully fluffy and rich bread.

Portuguese Sweet Bread


  1. 2 Tbsp dry yeast
  2. 1/4 C warm water
  3. 6 C flour
  4. 1tsp salt
  5. 5 eggs
  6. 1 C warm milk
  7. 6 Tsp melted butter
  8. 1 C sugar


  1. Combine yeast and water with a pinch of sugar.  Set aside to let yeast dissolve.   (Since the recipe asks for 2 Tbsp of yeast, it will not completely dissolve in 1/4 C of water.)
  2. While the yeast is dissolving, measure out all the dry ingredients and combine them together.  Set it aside.
  3. Beat 4 eggs and set it aside.
  4. Combine warm milk, sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl.  
  5. Add eggs and mixture from step 4 into the yeast mixture.  
  6. Slowly add in flour, a little bit at a time.

Step 5-6:  Combining all liquid and some flour together

 7.  When the dough somewhat forms (will still be very sticky!), place it on a floured surface and knead in the rest of the flour.

After adding about four-cup of flour in, still sticky!  

 8.  When the dough becomes tacky and smooth, but not sticky, then it is ready for proofing.

Finally a dough!  Right before first resting  

After first proofing.  Still tacky, but not sticky

 9.  The dough should become double in size after resting.  Shape the dough into desired form and let it rest again.


 10.  Preheat the over to 350˚F (approximately 180˚C).  Beat one egg and wash loaves or rolls generously with it.

Washing the loaves with egg

 11.  For the loaf, bake it for 10 minutes or until it becomes golden.  Rolls will take about 5-7 minutes, or until it browns.

Sweet bread loaf

Sweet rolls baking in the oven

Sweet bread rolls

6 thoughts on “Portuguese Sweet Bread– A sticky affair

  1. 1. As long as the liquid is at the same temperature as the yeast, it will be okay. Since I store the yeast in the refrigerator, I should be able to use cold milk, but just to be on the safe side, I leave the milk out for an hour or two.
    2. the direction says 15 minutes, but I wind up knead for 25. The goal is to knead until the dough is “responsive”. The test is you flip the dough over to the side that touches the surface and poke it. If the dough bounces back within 2 seconds, then it is ready for rest.
    3. Resting period varies. A well-rested dough should be double in size. I will give about an hour or so.
    4. Parchment paper does not burn in the oven because the heating source is indirect and because the treatment it has gone through during manufacturing. Don't use wax paper; it will burn in the oven.


  2. Brown sugar and granulated sugar do not substitute; it will throw the ratio and the recipe off. I have altered the amount of the sugar suggested by the recipe, but I believe 3/4 C should be fine.


  3. Questions:
    1. To warm the milk, do you let it sit outside the refrigerator or can you warm it in the microwave?

    2. How intensive is the kneading required?

    3. About how long are the resting periods?

    4. Why don't parchment paper burn in the oven? Why?!


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