Thursday, December 4, 2014

Massa Sovada (Portuguese Sweet Bread)

A while ago, I was missing the Azores and some of the food, so I made this homemade Massa Sovada Bread and Canja.  The kids were very excited to come home and find the dough in the kitchen.  In fact, they got into the action of punching it down.  They LOVED doing that, lol.  
You need to plan ahead for this quite a bit, as it takes all day long to rise.  Then, quite a long time to bake, since the loaves are so big. This wasn't quite like the Massa Sovada I had back in the Azores so often, but it was almost as good.  It might have been my fault; maybe I added too much flour or something.  But it was still very, very good.  (My homemade bread is never as light and fluffy as store-bought stuff.)  I've made this once before, but wanted to try another recipe this time.  

Massa Sovada (Portuguese Sweet Bread)
adapted from Azores Gal
I cut recipe in half- makes two round loaves
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
4 teaspoons yeast
2 1/2 pounds flour
6 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze, optional

1.  In a saucepan combine the milk, salt, and lard and bring to a boil. Set aside.  In a small bowl combine the yeast, 1 cup of the flour, and 1/2 cup warm water and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, with a whisk, combine the eggs, and sugar, and mix thoroughly. Add the milk mixture, yeast mixture, and remaining flour and thoroughly combine. (I kneaded here.) Set aside to rise, kneading 6 times every half hour. The bread will take 6 hours to rise.

3.  Prepare 2 round loaf pans with butter or lard. Divide the batter among the pans (pans should be half full). Press the dough evenly in the pan and let it rise again until it reaches the top of the pan.

4.  Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Brush with beaten egg and bake for about 1 hour, until golden brown. (I usually skip egg wash).

Yield: 2 loaves

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