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PORTUGUESE SWEET BREAD (PAO-DOCE)
from "Sheila Lukins All Around the World Cookbook" by Sheila Lukins

There are not too many breads that I think wonderful served at all meals—and I do mean breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner—but this traditional festival bread of Portugal certainly fits the bill. Although the bread is often braided for Easter and studded with candied fruits for Christmas, I prefer it baked as a perfect round loaf with a deep brown lacquer surface encrusted with coarse sugar. I enjoy this sweet bread most served for breakfast with a cup of thick hot chocolate.

Makes 1 round loaf
INGREDIENTS (CLICK TO BUY)

1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1 tablespoon coarse (or raw) sugar

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PREPARATION

1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until warm to the touch, about 110° F. Remove to a small bowl and stir in 1 teaspoon sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let sit to proof, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, 1 egg, and salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon. Beat vigorously for 25 strokes. Beat in the soft butter in 3 additions until completely incorporated. Stir in another 1/2 cup of the flour, kneading with your hands when the dough becomes too stiff to handle with a spoon. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding the remaining flour only as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. It should be smooth and elastic.
3. Form the dough into a ball, place it in a buttered bowl, and turn to coat completely. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a draft-free place until doubled in volume and a finger, lightly pressed into the dough, leaves an indentation, about 1 hour.
4. Butter a 9-inch pie plate. Knead the dough briefly to deflate it and form into a tight ball. Center the dough in the pie plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise again until doubled in volume and the dough does not spring back when lightly pressed, about 1 1/2 hours.
5. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
6. Lightly beat the remaining egg. Use a pastry brush to evenly cover the surface of the bread with the egg wash. Sprinkle the top with coarse sugar.
7. Bake the loaf until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on the rack.



Buy The Ingredients
Product nutrition and information
 Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
  Amish Country Farms Organic Whole Milk - $4.69/ea
 1/2 gallon
 
  Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast - $3.19/ea
 3pk
 
  Gold Medal All Purpose Enriched Bleached Pre-Sifted Flour - $2.29/ea
 2lb
 
You May Already Have
  Domino Granulated White Sugar - $2.49/ea
 2lb box
 
  Nature's Yoke Natural Cage-Free Large White Eggs - $3.79/ea
 1 dozen
 
  Morton's Regular Salt - $0.99/ea
 26oz
 
  Breakstone's All-Natural Unsalted Butter - $2.99/ea
 2 sticks
 
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