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Pao Doce


The saffron bread often served at Eastertide in Portugal and the Azores inspired these lightly sweetened golden loaves. Try toasting slices and serving them with jam or cheese.



  1. Make the dough: Steep the saffron in the warm water for 10 minutes in a small bowl.
  2. Combine the yeast, the 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup flour and 2/3 cup of the saffron water in a large bowl. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Coat a large bowl with the butter and set aside.
  4. Stir the yeast-and-flour mixture (the "sponge") down with a wooden spoon and stir in the 1/2 cup sugar, the remaining saffron water, egg yolks, whole egg and remaining flour. Continue to stir until a very sticky dough forms - about 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, form it into a ball, and transfer it to the prepared bowl, turning to coat all sides with butter. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free place until the dough doubles in volume - about 1 hour.
  6. Bake the bread: Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  7. Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Form both halves into loaves and place in two 9x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans. Cover with the damp towel and let rise until doubled in volume - about 20 minutes.
  8. Bake in the lower third of the oven until loaves are golden and sound hollow when tapped - 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Yield: Two 9 x 5-inch loaves (18 servings)

Per Serving: Calories: 186 Total Fat: 4 g Cholesterol: 54.2 mg Sodium: 6.2 mg Carbohydrates: 32.5 g Fiber: 1.3 g Protein: 4.5 g

>> Easter Bread Recipes

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