About this recipe:An authentic recipe for traditional Portuguese sweet bread. A sweet and eggy dough is allowed to prove overnight, before being shaped and baked the following morning. Nothing quite beats the smell of freshly baked bread.
Makes: 2 26cm round loaves
35g compressed fresh yeast
4 tablespoons warm water (45 degrees C)
700g caster sugar
2.5kg plain flour
1 1/4 tablespoons salt
450g unsalted butter, melted
1 litre milk
1 egg, beaten
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In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat 6 eggs and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the dissolved yeast, the egg and sugar mixture and the cooled, melted butter. Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture until the dough is of working consistency. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until the dough is soft and elastic, about 15 minutes. Place into a well greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside to rise overnight.
The next morning, preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Grease two 26cm round cake tins. Divide dough in half, shape into round loaves and place into prepared tins. Brush the tops with beaten egg.
Bake at 200 C / Gas 6 for 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 180 C / Gas 4 and bake for another 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
If you can find a local baker who bakes their bread from scratch, they should be able to give/sell you a block of fresh yeast. If unavailable use 2 tablespoons dry active yeast.