Saturday, September 5, 2009

Portuguese Sweet Bread

This week I decided to make some Portuguese Sweet Bread.  It is sometimes called Hawaiian bread due to its popularity there.  The recipe for this once again came from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

This bread is somewhat rich from the butter and egg.  It is also a little citrusy.  The bread is good on its own, but makes for some outstanding French toast.

Mise en place for the sponge

This is the mise en place for the sponge for the bread.

Sponge's dry ingredients

First, the dry ingredients go into a bowl and mixed.

Sponge all mixed

The sponge gets water added and mixed together.

The sponge after fermenting

The sponge sits for an hour or two until its extremely bubbly and ready to collapse onto itself.

Mise en place for the dough

This is the mise en place for the dough, minus salt.

Butter, milk, and sugar

The butter, sugar, and dry milk are measured and ready for mixing.

Creamed butter and sugar

Then they all get creamed together.

Dough with the eggs and extracts

The eggs and extracts get mixed into the butter until smooth.

Kneaded dough

Then the bread flour gets kneaded in for about 10 minutes.  It should pass the windowpane test, when the dough can be spread out so that you can see through it.

The fermenting dough

The dough shaped into a ball and set in an oiled bowl.  It then has to ferment for about two hours.

Shaped and proofing

At that point, the dough get “punched down” and reshaped into a ball.  It then gets placed into an oiled pie tin and left on the counter to proof for another two hours.

Close up of the proofing dough

Here is a shot of the dough, with the skin pulled tight.

Dough baking

After the proofing period, it gets brushed with egg wash and baking in the oven for 50 minutes.

Bread after baking

After baking, the crust gets a deep mahogany brown.

Sliced bread

And here is a final shot of the bread in slices.