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Massa Sovada (Portuguese Sweet Bread)

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

This is a recipe passed down by my grandmother, who found it to be closest to the recipe my great grandmother had handed down to her from her family in the Azores. It is usually made around Easter or during festas. It takes some time, but it’s totally worth it. Eat it plain, or it’s best to toast it and slather butter on it.

Ingredients

  • 10 cups Flour (more Or Less)
  • 3 packages (7g Packet) Active Dry Yeast
  • 9 whole Large Brown Eggs
  • 1 cup Butter (salted)
  • 2 teaspoons Shortening
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 2-¼ cups Sugar
  • 1 whole Lemon Rind, Grated

Preparation

Leave eggs out of the refrigerator the night before. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of water plus one teaspoon of sugar. The yeast is ready once it has doubled in size.

Beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Add the yeast and mix in just enough flour to make a batter. Cover with a dish cloth and/or blanket until if forms bubbles. While this is set aside, melt the butter and shortening over low heat. When all has melted add milk, pinch of salt, and lemon rind.

When the bread batter has formed bubbles, add the sugar and the butter mixture. Mix well. Add the remaining flour one cup at a time, mixing well each time. Knead the dough on a floured surface once it’s too difficult to mix with a spoon. Knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.

Cover dough with buttered waxed paper and a towel. Let rise until it doubles in size.

Shape loaves of bread into the size you want and place them in buttered loaf pans. Cover with buttered waxed paper and a towel until doubled in size.

Bake for one hour on the low oven rack at 275 degrees. Rub the tops with butter when you remove the loaves from the oven.

Yields 5 loaves.

Note: I usually let the dough rise (in its ball form and bread pan form) for about 4 to 6 hours.

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sliceofsouthern on 2.25.2011

This looks great! Can’t wait to make it! Thanks for the recipe.

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