About this recipe:This traditional Portuguese sweet bread is divine. The recipe is pretty large and makes 6 loaves, you can either wrap the baked loaves in cling film and freeze them or divide the recipe in half.
Makes: 6 loaves
225g unsalted butter
1kg caster sugar
3 (7g) sachets dried active baking yeast
125ml cup warm water (45 degrees C)
12 eggs, beaten
2kg plain flour
2 tablespoons water
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Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles. Mix in the butter and margarine; stir until melted. Place sugar in a very large bowl, pour milk over sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, stir yeast into warm water.
Stir 12 eggs and yeast mixture into milk and sugar; beat well. Pour all of the flour into the milk/eggs/sugar mixture; stir well to combine. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic; about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Deflate dough and let rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into six equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into lightly greased 23x13 or similar sized loaf tins. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3.
In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg and 2 tablespoons water and brush on the risen loaves. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bottom of loaves sound hollow when tapped.