Portuguese Sweet Bread (Pao Doce)

This is truly a melt-in-your-mouth bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, 3/4 cup sugar, the salt, 3 eggs, the butter and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  2. Punch down dough; divide into halves. Shape each half into a round, slightly flat loaf. Place each loaf in greased 9-inch round layer pan. Cover; let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Beat 1 egg slightly; brush over loaves. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake until loaves are golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes.

Snail Loaves (Caracois)

After dividing dough into halves, roll each half into a rope about 25 x 1 1/2 inches. Coil each to form a snail shape in greased 9-inch round layer pan. Continue as directed.