I LOVE THIS BREAD. I LOVE THIS BREAD. Did you hear me? I absolutely LOVE this Portuguese Sweet Bread! As one of the few Germans (if not the only one; Daniel, do yo consider yourself German because you live here?) among the BBA Challenge bakers, I didn’t know at all what to expect. Peter Reinhart was talking about Hawaiian bread, other BBA bakers referred to some weird orange and brown wrappers – still, I had NO clue what this bread would be like!
This bread is a 1-day bread. First, you make a sponge and let it ferment for 60-90 minutes. Then you combine the sugar, salt, powdered milk (with the BBA Challenge I’m learning something new almost every day – I didn’t know that there was something like powdered milk in Germany, but there definitely is – I chose full-fat powdered milk), butter and shortening (I replaced the shortening with butter, though). You cream everything together, then you add the eggs and extracts (vanilla, orange and lemon – yes, my mail order has finally arrived). You mix in the sponge and the flour and add water to make a very soft dough. Oh yes, it was VERY soft!
I proofed the dough for 2 hours and then divided it into 2 pieces. One of the pieces I formed into a boule and placed in a 9-inch pan. But it looked really weird. Too weird! How was that little piece of dough supposed to fill the whole pan after 2 hours? This would NEVER EVER happen. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the tiny boule in the giant pan ;-(. I was uncertain. What if the dough would flatten? I didn’t want to have a really flat bread that would be all dry and crunchy. So I removed it from the 9-inch pan and placed it in a 6-inch pan. That looked MUCH better.
The second piece of dough was divided into 10 equal tiny pieces, formed into rolls (my kids love rolls) and placed in my muffin pan. I proofed everything for 3 hours, brushed the boule and the rolls with egg wah and baked them – the rolls for about 20 minutes, the boule for 50 minutes.
This bread was absolutely AWESOME. A beautiful shiny crust, a soft and moist crumb, sweet and a tiny hint of what I later identified as the citrus extracts. Toasted, it was even better! Yummy – scrumptious – delicious – tasty – mouth-watering (these are all English expressions I could think of, are there more?)! So, get your baking utensils and get started! Ready, set, go!