Sweet Bread (Portuguese Style)

No ratings yet

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Sweet Bread is universal and one of the most delicious creations in the world. It is fluffy, lightly sweet and incredible with coffee, with plain yogurt on the side (like we do in Bulgaria) or even made as French toast the following day. It is so delicious and incredibly easy to make. Unlike my other sweet bread recipe, this one is not braided and made Portuguese style (Massa Sovada). 

If you want to take a look at my other viral sweet bread recipe, take a look and click here Sweet Easter Bread – The Modern Nonna

Sweet Bread

This recipe is similar to the Portuguese sweet bread called Massa Sovada. Sweet Bread is universal and one of the most delicious creations in the world. It is fluffy, lightly sweet and incredible with coffee, with plain yogurt on the side (like we do in Bulgaria) or even made as French toast the following day.
No ratings yet
Servings: 2 loaves
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients 

Note: make sure the yeast is not expired

  • 1 packet active dry yeast, 8 grams
  • ½ cup warm water, 150 ml
  • 1 teaspoon sugar , 5 grams
  • ½ cup avocado oil, 125 ml
  • zest of a lemon
  • ¾ cup sugar , 160 grams
  • 3 eggs – room temp
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 5 grams
  • ½ cup melted butter, 125 ml
  • 1 cup warm milk, 250 ml
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, 940 grams
  • egg wash is 1 egg + tsp water

Instructions 

  • Add the first three ingredients to your stand mixer bowl and let it activate (takes around 5 min). In the meantime warm the butter and milk on the stove.
  • If the yeast doesn't activate or foam up, start this step all over.
  • Once your yeast mixture is activated you can begin adding one ingredient at a time into your mixer. Whisk your warm butter and milk into it.
  • Add flour gradually until you reach 6 cups more or less but please look at the consistency. Once the dough pulls apart from the bowl, it’s ready.
  • Oil up your hands a little and shape into a ball.
  • Cover it and let it rise at room temp away from drafts for 2 hours. Once risen divide into 2 and shape each one into a ball. Place each sweet bread into baking dishes lined with parchment paper. Mine were 10-inch round but you can use any you have on hand.
  • side note: you can also make one big loaf of bread as well or even small buns (or braids) too. The bake time will depend on the size of the sweet bread.
  • Cover the sweet bread and let it rise again for another hour.
  • Brush each one with egg-wash and sprinkling sugar on top is optional. Bake uncovered in a pre-heated 350F oven for 45 min or until golden.
  • If you are unsure if your loaves are done, you can insert an instant-read thermometer in the center of the loaf. The bread is ready when it is 190F in the interior.
  • If you’re making one large loaf you have to bake for at least an hour. Let it cool completely and enjoy. Do not cut into it right away as the bread can become dense and feel more "wet".

Notes

MAKE SURE THE YEAST IS NOT EXPIRED
If the yeast does not foam up or activate do not proceed to the next step. You need to start that step all over.
Make sure the milk and butter are warm, not hot and not cold. Everything should be lukewarm.
You can absolutely use instant yeast and you do not need to proof it. Instant yeast does not need to be activated, you can just add all of the ingredients to the mixer and begin mixing the recipe. 
You can also use fresh yeast and I would recommend 1 tablespoon of fresh yeast if that’s all you have. Let the dough rise in a warm spot away from drafts. I like putting my bread, covered, in the oven with the door closed. Make sure the oven is off. You are more than welcome to knead everything by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer, as that is the traditional way to make sweet bread.
You may need to add a touch more or less of flour depending on the size of your eggs. Always add the flour in gradually until the dough pulls away from the sides. It shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry. It should be nice and tacky and smooth.
If you want to prepare the dough the night before, cover it well and put it in the refrigerator for the first rise. In the morning take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, braid it and let it rise for 1 hour, then bake. 
You can also freeze the bread once baked and cooled. Be sure to wrap it really well in plastic wrap and place it in a Ziplock bag. Traditionally we always add a red painted egg in our bread but feel free to decorate it any way you enjoy.
Gluten-free flour should work but I have not tried it in this recipe. If you use one be sure to use 1-1 gluten-free baking flour.
If you are unsure if your loaves are done, you can insert an instant-read thermometer in the center of the loaf. The bread is ready when it is 190F in the interior.
Love This Recipe?
Share your pictures or videos of you making my recipes by mentioning #themodernnonna on all socials ❤️

Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

4 Comments

  1. Beautiful color and texture, was disappointed with the flavor, wasn’t bland exactly but weak. I think with 8 cups + of ingredients, the zest of 1 lemon is quite unrealistic. I would say 2 or even 3, especially if they are small or a sprinkle of juice as well.

    1. Hi there,
      Please look at my other sweet bread recipe which may align with you more 🙂

      1. How can I add cooked whole eggs, shell on to this bread. That’s how my mother inlaw made it and I would love to make it for my husband.
        Kind regards
        Patty Medeiros

        1. Hi Pat, I have not made this recipe with a hard-boiled egg baked into the dough. However, a bit of research tells me that you should first hard-boil the eggs; then tuck or braid the boiled eggs into the dough, and then bake the bread. I’m also reading that the addition of whole eggs are meant to be symbolic; I do believe the eggs will be quite overcooked by the end of baking. If you try this variation, please let us know in the comments how it turns out.