The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Portuguese Sweet Bread: BBA Recipe

Obsessive Ingredient Weigher's picture
Obsessive Ingre...

Portuguese Sweet Bread: BBA Recipe

My first pass at the Portuguese Sweet Bread turned out pretty well.  I followed the BBA recipe exactly, and I found that I only needed 24g of water per loaf of the 42g maximum Reinhart allotted.

And now that is has cooled, the crumb shot . . .


audra36274's picture

   That is if you have not eaten it all!


SylviaH's picture

Very Pretty Boule of PSB! 


jannrn's picture

That is AMAZINGLY beautiful!!!! WOW!!! Now how about sharing the recipe!?!?!

Obsessive Ingredient Weigher's picture
Obsessive Ingre...


- Makes 2 loaves
--from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart


1/2 cup (2.25 ounces or 64g) unbleached bread flour
1 T. (.5 ounce or 14.18g) granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp. (.25 ounce or 7.08g) instant yeast
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 114g) water, at room temperature

6 T. (3 ounces or 83g) granulated sugar
1 tsp. (.25 ounce or 7.08g) salt
1/4 cup (1.25 ounces or 35.44g) powdered milk
2 T. (1 ounce or 28g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 T. (1 ounce or 28g) vegetable shortening
2 large (or 94g) eggs
1 tsp. (.17 ounce or 5g or 5ml) lemon extract
1 tsp. (.17 ounce or 5g or 5ml) orange extract
1 tsp. (.17 ounceor 5g or 5ml) vanilla extract
3 cups (13.5 ounces or 382g) unbleached bread flour
Up to 6 T. (3 ounces or 84g) water, at room temp.

Egg Wash
1 egg, whisked with 1 tsp. water until frothy.

1. Make the sponge. Stir together the flour, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Add the water and stir until mixed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 60-90 minutes, or until the sponge gets foamy. (NOTE: I found it took about 70 mins. at 71 degrees)

2. Make the dough. Combine the sugar, salt, powdered milk, butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix with paddle attachment until smooth (NOTE: It will take a couple minutes and will at first seem too dry to become smooth - but it will get there), then add eggs and extracts. Switch to dough hook attachment and mix in sponge and flour. Add water as neeed to make a very soft dough (NOTE: I found that I only needed 24g of water per loaf -- so 48g if you're doing the full 2 loaf recipe here). The finished dough should be soft and supple...not wet or sticky. It will take at least 10-12 minutes in a stand mixer, maybe more, to reach the right consistency (NOTE: turn the mixer off every 2-3 minutes and scrape the sides/bottom of the bowl, to make sure all material is being worked). Oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Mist with spray oil and cover with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for about 1 hour, fold/degas the dough on the counter and return to bowl for 1 more hour.

4. Remove dough from bowl and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Form each piece into a boule. Place boule, seam side down, into an oiled pie pan. Mist tops with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

5. Proof at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or until dough fills the pans fully, doubling in size. (NOTE: It took me 3 hours at 71 degrees, and the boule did not fully fill the pan . . . and looking at Reinharts photos, it doesn't appear his do either, as there are no markings on the loaves where they would have contacted the pan...which wouldn't be attractive anyway!)

6. Gently brush the loaves with the egg wash. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

7. Bake the loaves for 50 to 60 minutes (NOTE: Mine were done at exactly 50). After 25 of those minutes, rotate 180 degrees. Because of the high amount of sugar, the dough will brown very quickly, but it will not be done. The final color will be a rich/dark mahogany brown.

8. Immediately remove the bread from the pie pans and place on a rack to cool. The bread will soften as it cools, resulting in a very soft, squishy loaf. Allow the bread to cool for 2 hours before slicing or serving.

jannrn's picture

I too made this bread by the book and to me, the loaves turned out really small. They rose, but it took FOREVER(I retarded them in the refridgerator overnight and let them rest all day on the counter with plastic wrap on top) and there was virtually NO oven spring...I am waiting for them to cool now to see how the crumb turned out. From the size of them, I think next time I will make 1 loaf out of the dough instead of the 2 small ones. I will ATTEMPT to post pictures as soon as they cool and can be cut. I haven't had much luck with posting pics. I get an error message telling me they are too big to post even though it says they are smaller than required. Oh well, here's hoping the taste is worth all the work and waiting!!