Pão de Deus (Portuguese bread for God – Pão por deus)

Pão de Deus (Portuguese bread for God - Pao de deus)

Pão-por-Deus  "Bread for God") is the   tradition of celebrated all over Portugal, named for the  given to the poor on All Saints Day, typically by children and youth. Names for the custom vary through different regions of the country, for instance, around Leiria it is known as "Dia do Bolinho" 
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Course Dessert
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 10


  • ¾ cup warm milk ideally between 105 and 115°F about 44°C
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • tsp yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • cups flour 450g
  • ¼ cup soft butter 40g
  • 1 tsp salt

coconut crust

  • 2 cups grated coconut sweetened 150g
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

egg wash

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tbsp water


Rehydrate Yeast:

  • In a small bowl add 3/4 cup of warm milk. (ideally at a temperature between 105 and 115°F) stirring 2 tablespoons of sugar and the dry yeast. Allowed to rehydrate for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Dough continued

  • Zest 1 lemon.Add the flour, 2 eggs, salt, lemon zest, 1/4 cup of sugar, vanilla, dark rum to a mixing bowl. Then add the warm milk yeast mixture. Then mix with a dough hook for about 2 minutes.
  • While medium speed with the dough Hook add a quarter cup of soft butter – a little bit out of time. After you finish adding the butter continue mixing at medium speed for 6 to 10 minutes. The dough should be a little wet slightly tacky to the touch.
  • Bulk proof the dough. For about1.5 hours if the ambient temperature is 80 - 85°F3 hours if the ambient temperature is 70- 75°F 5 hours if the ambient temperature is 60- 65° F
  • After bulk proofing. Place the dough on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 10 portions about 90 g each (a little bigger than a golf ball but smaller than a tennis ball)Shape the portions into a ball.
  • After shaping the portions of dough, allow the Dow to proof for a second time:If the ambient temperature is about 85° proof for 30 minutes.If the ambient temperature is about 75° proof for an hour

Coconut topping:

  • Place 2 cups of grated sweetened coconut in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and one egg. Combine with a spoon until mixed well together.
  • Make an egg wash: in a small bowl add one whole egg and 1 tablespoon of water. Whisk together.
  • After the portioned pieces of dough finished their second proofing, bush each portion with the egg wash.
  • Put about 1-2 tablespoons of the coconut mixture in the palm of your hand and with the back of a spoon press it into the palm of your hand to form a dome shaped. Place the coconut dome on each piece of dough.
    coconut 2
  • Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 20 to 25 minutes. If using an Instant read digital thermometer the interior temperature should be between 190 and 200°F


bread making
Keyword Pão-por-Deus, portuguese desserts
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Hello, I'm Michael!

I aspire to share recipes that you and your family can enjoy while also learning about cooking fundamentals along the way. I attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, CA and now enjoy cooking as a hobby.

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