The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

looking for a recipe for Portugese Bread

audra36274's picture

looking for a recipe for Portugese Bread

My father in law is an old Navy salt and he goes on and on about the Portugese bread he used to get while stationed in New Jersey. I would love to re create the bread for him, but have been unable here in Alabama to find a good recipe. I tried the King Arthur flour recipe but it wasn't quite right.  I am in love with the whole bread making world, and am so happy that I finally found this web site. It has been comforting to find out that others also have this yeast obsession! If anyone from up Jersey way could help I ( and my Pop) would really appreciate it! I just got a hot loaf of Challah out of the oven from the favorite recipes section, and it turned out fantastic! Here in the Deep South, I doubt many people have even heard of Challah! But we will enjoy it anyway! Happy Baking!


pumpkinpapa's picture

Could it be a corn bread he's thinking of? There is a recipe for a Portugese sweet bread in the BBA too.

I have a recipe for Broa, a yeasted Portugese corn bread:

1 1/2 cups fine cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup cornmeal, salt, and boiling water. Stir until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cool mixture to lukewarm. Stir yeast into the cornmeal mixture. Gradually add 1/2 cup cornmeal and flour. Gather the dough into a ball, and place it in a greased bowl. Cover. Proof for 30 minutes, or until it doubles.

Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Turn the dough out into pie pan, and cover. Let it rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes, or until it doubles in bulk again.

Bake in the middle of oven for 40 minutes, or until top is golden.


audra36274's picture

The loaf he described was round, yellow inside and kind of sweet. So right now you probably know more than I do! I'll have to ask him about the corn meal addition. We eat a lot of regular corn bread here in the south, so he should be able to let me know. I'll also try to get more details from him on the where (not just Jersey) I know he was also stationed in Rhode Island when my brother in law was born. Boy, it seems I don't know as much as I thought!

Paddyscake's picture

Portuguese community in Rhode Island. That's where Emeril LaGasse is from.

ejm's picture

Excuse me for replying to this at such a late date but I have been looking for a recipe for Broa for some time. A couple of questions:


Is the cornmeal yellow or white?

Is the resulting bread quite dense and moist?


I don't suppose you have a photo of the  crust and the crumb? Many thanks!



mse1152's picture

I made the recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice once.  It calls for both lemon and orange extracts, and contains eggs.  It's a nice bread and makes good French toast.  If you don't have access to this book, try Google for 'Portuguese sweet bread recipe' and you'll be overwhelmed!


audra36274's picture

Thanks Sue I will. I was just posting the Cook's Country magazines  recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Bread. It turned out very yummy! Check it out if you'd like, my little girl loved it. Well I'm gonna go check out your lead. Many thanks, and happy baking!


Torii's picture

Absolutely Delicious. I love this recipe. The loaves rise so beautiful and the inside is so soft and airy.. GREAT toasting bread. Also wonderful for french toast... YUMMY.. I think I'll make a loaf tomorrow.


2 pkgs. dry yeast

1/2 c. warm water

1 c. milk

1/2 c. butter

2 tsp. salt 7 eggs, (room temperature)

1 c. sugar

8 to 9 c. sifted flour

2 tbsp. melted butter

 Dissolve yeast in large bowl with warm water and a pinch sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Scald milk. Add butter to melt then salt and stir. Let cool to 100 degrees.

In electric mixer beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar and beat 3 minutes. Blend in milk mixture. Stir into yeast mixture in large bowl. Stir in 7 cups flour 1 cup at a time. Dough should be soft and pull away from sides of bowl. Turn dough onto well floured surface and sprinkle with 1 cup flour. Knead about 10 minutes (adding up to 1 more cup flour). Grease large bowl. Add dough turning to coat both sides. Cover and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size (about 2 hours). Punch down dough. Let rest 10 minutes. Now cut dough in half to make two loaves. You can braid one loaf or put in a greased 1 quart casserole dish or cake pan. Cover and let rise once more (about 1 hour). Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake until loaves are golden brown and hollow sounding about 30 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter when done. Also freezes well.

 I hope you enjoy this!


audra36274's picture

Sue from above suggested the Google search, and she was right there was a GA-ZILLION recipes for Portugese Sweet bread! I think I will start with yours since you make this, and know its a hit. Thank you very much! At least you get to "eat your efforts"!


ovguide's picture

How many ounces flour for 8-9 cups?

What size of cake pan do you use? How many loaf can you make with this recipe?

Thank you!

Torii's picture

Needed to mention that I believe the yellowish color is from the amount of eggs used

JERSK's picture

    I've made broa a few times and it is both a little sweet and kind of yellow from the cornmeal. It's nothing like the cornbreads we have in this country and is more of a daily bread. I have a few Portugese friends in Mass. and that's what they eat. The Portugese sweet bread is a lot like Challah.

ejm's picture

Broa, the Portuguese cornbread that we get from the Brazilian bakery is not very sweet at all (although they may use some sugar in the dough) and has quite a white coloured crumb. The holes are very small and the bread is quite moist and a little heavy. The outside crust is quite dark gold and not particularly crisp (although it might be when it comes out of the oven)


This is not the one that is similar to challah. The bakery sells that as well. I'd ask them about their recipe but I do not speak Portuguese, nor do I know anyone who does.


I'm guessing that they use finely ground white cornmeal. Or perhaps they use corn flour?



blueboyrio's picture


The corn bread (Broa de Milho) is made with cornmeal, the yellow one. You can use the coarse one or the fine one. Some brazilian recepies uses a 3:2 combination (3 of white flour for 2 of cornmeal). Some people like it more light so they use 3:1 and some people they like more of the taste of the corn so they use 1:1 and sometimes 2 of cornmeal for 1 of flour.

I like the light one: 3 of white flour, 2 of cornmeal, a bit of wheatgerm, a cup of sugar and a cup of oil, yeast and warm water.

I don't use eggs or milk.

But the secret ingredient is the aniz seed (erva doce). The combination of the cornmeal with the aniz seed that makes this bread lovely. If you use star anizseed, you should cut it in small pieces. The brazilian aniz seed looks like a very small cummin seed. If you have a brazilian shop near to you ask for erva doce and you will see how good the Broa will be.



bobm1's picture

hi, audra. i just made the version found in the BBA last night. it produced two nice boules and was really good and really easy. i didn't have 9in pie pans but i did have 9in cake and they worked fine. i did have to let them proof a full 2 hrs before going in the oven but it was worth the wait. if you need a copy of the receipe i'll sent it.


audra36274's picture

  it is a great book. Did you see the ones Mark Sinclair did in his videos? Those rascals were huge! Looked so soft and inviting. My F A L just loves them.