Sunday, October 25, 2009

Homemade Massa Sovada

I mentioned Massa Sovada, or Portuguese Sweet bread, back in this post. It makes wonderful french toast. Since moving over here, I've tried this bread from many different bakeries and grocery stores, but was wanting to try making it at home. I found an easy-looking recipe a year ago, but didn't get around to actually trying it out until a few days ago. It was so easy; I should have done it before.

This recipe makes 2 loaves, and they are very large loaves, so our family was only able to go through one loaf; we stuck the other one in the freezer. In the future, I would cut this recipe in half. I made this in my Kitchenaid (I have a 4.5 quart) and it was almost too much dough for the Kitchenaid to handle; it made a ton of dough, and it's a very thick dough. My poor KA motor was getting a little bit hot.

This bread is a little bit like Challah, in that it's eggy and sweet. This is even sweeter than many challah recipes. I found that this bread browned very quickly. I would cover it with foil next time about half-way through baking to hopefully help with that. It's always hard for me to tell when a loaf of bread is done, and this was no exception. If you bake bread more than I do, hopefully you have a better idea of how to tell (I bake a lot of rolls instead of actual loaves of bread).

I added just a touch of cinnamon to the dough instead of 2 tsp; I don't notice a strong cinnamon flavor with the massa sovada I've had here, and I wanted this to taste just like that. I'm happy to report it does taste exactly like the bread I've had here! I'm very happy with the outcome. I love the flavor of massa sovada. It's so yummy toasted and spread with (local) butter, or made into french toast the next day.

Massa Sovada (Portuguese Sweet Bread)
adapted from Recipe Source
2 packages of dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup water, lukewarm
1 cup milk, scalded
1 cup sugar
1 dash cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
6+ cups flour
4 eggs

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water (I used a liquid measuring cup). Place sugar, butter, and salt in a large mixing bowl (if using a Kitchenaid- place these ingredients into your KA bowl). Scald milk and add to sugar, butter and salt; stir until butter is melted. Add a dash of cinnamon. Add 1/2 the flour to the milk/sugar/butter/salt, and mix until smooth.

2. Beat 3 eggs and add them and the yeast to the mixture. Continue to add remaining flour to make soft dough. Remove it from the bowl and place on floured board. Knead until smooth and satiny (about 15 minutes). Shape into a ball and place in buttered bowl. Cover and let rise until double in size (2-1/2 to 3 hours).

3. Punch risen dough down and divide it in half. Place in two greased pans (8 inches round). Let rise in warm place until double in size (1-1/2 to 2 hours). Brush tops of dough with remaining egg (beaten). Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

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Linda said...

What a beautifully textured bread! I'm glad you were able to clone the bread you love so much. I've had trouble knowing when my bread is done too--I keep meaning to get a thermometer and do it like the pros. ;)

What A Dish! said...

Thanks, Linda! I did end up using my thermometer, but it seemed to take forever to be done. I want to try making rolls with this dough, because rolls are so much easier for me.