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Sweet Loaf

April 18, 2010

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You won’t want to skimp on the eggs with this bread recipe. It’s perfectly rich, courtesy of our Austin baker man. He modified the variation he learned from his grandmother to continue the sweet tradition.

Portuguese sweet bread

sweet bread

sweet bread

4-5 loaves

(half-batch)

2.5 lbs flour

(That’s the starting point, though you’ll probably need another one or two pounds to get consistency right.)

2 cups sugar

1 dozen eggs

1/8 lb butter (half stick)

1/8 lb Crisco shortening

3 pkgs yeast

1 small can (5 oz) evaporated milk

Pinch of salt

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup+ warm water (1/4 is probably not quite enough for 3 packs of yeast). It should be left to set for long enough to get frothy.

Scald milk in frying pan (heat it until it just starts to boil).

In LARGE container, add shortening, butter & sugar in mixer, preferably when soft, and mix for creamy consistency.

Add eggs, scalded-evaporated milk, and dissolved yeast.

Knead in flour and salt.

(Add flour as required to reach a consistency of not sticking to fingers, too dry is not good – keep a little gooey.)

Cover container with plastic wrap and keep in warm place to rise (4-8 hours). Ideally, the dough should double in volume.

Knead down and place in separate greased tins to rise (cover with towels) for 4-8 hours.

Bake at 250° for approximately an hour or an hour and ten minutes. Some tricks I’ve seen are to put an intact boiled egg on top of the loaf and put a braided pattern of dough over so the colored eggs show through the dough. (That’s fun for Easter.) It’s also common to draw a cross with a knife on the top of a loaf right before baking. Vavoa also would sometimes write our name or initials on the top. After baking the writing expands as the loaf rises. Kids like seeing their names on the bread.

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