Portuguese Sweet Bread, Massa Sovada, doesn’t require a lot of active time but will require patience when waiting for it to proof. Trust me when I say the wait is worth it! This bread is delicious!
Portuguese Sweet Bread Massa Sovada
- 2½ cups milk 610g
- 4 packets active dry yeast 21g
- ½ cup butter 113g
- ½ cup shortening 113g
- 2 cups sugar 400g
- 8 eggs 456g
- 11 cups flour 1320g
- 1 tbsp salt 18g
- 2 lemons for zest
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- Remove ½ cup of milk from the total 2½ cups milk. In a small bowl or coffee mug, heat the ½ cup of milk to warm, ideally between 105-115°F. Add in a pinch of sugar and all of the yeast.
- In a pot over medium heat, add the remaining 2 cups of milk, the butter and the shortening. Heat stirring occasionally until the ingredients have melted. Once the ingredients are melted, allow the mixture to cool to the point where it is warm to the touch but not hot, below 120°F. If it is too hot, you risk killing the yeast.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt. Stir until the salt is fully incorporated. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until homogenous. Slowly fold the dry ingredients into the sugar and egg mixture. Stir in the yeast. Add in the zest of two lemons. Add the warmed milk and butter mixture into the bowl. Stir until combined.
- Knead the dough in the stand mixture on low for 5 minutes, or by hand in the mixing bowl for about 10 minutes. The dough will still be wet and sticky after kneading.
- Cover the bowl and allow the dough to proof until it has doubled in size. This can take from 3-5 hours, but greatly depends on the temperature of your house. If you house is cold, turn on the oven for about 1 minute allowing it to warm up. After 1 minute turn off the oven and place the dough inside so it has a warm environment to proof in.
- After the bread has proofed, liberally butter your baking pans. Punch down the bread and knead for another 5 minutes. Place the bread into the baking pan filling the pan only halfway. Let the pan proof for a second time in the baking pan covered with a dish towel or plastic wrap. It should double in size, about 2 hours, and nearly fill the pan.
- Prepare the egg wash by mixing together the egg and water. Lightly brush the egg wash on top of each bread.
- In a oven preheated to 325°F bake the dough for 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches between 185-190°F. The cooking time will depend on the size of the loaf, for large loaves plan to increase the cook time. Bread should be golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.