Portuguese Sweet Bread - Modernist Cuisine

Portuguese Sweet Bread

Recipe • March 29, 2018

Like the Portuguese themselves, this sweet bread has traveled the globe; it has taken hold where larger populations of Portuguese immigrants settled, including Hawaii and New England. And when we say “sweet bread,” we mean sweet! These rolls include much more sugar than many enriched doughs. In Portuguese, this bread is called folar, and it is made during Easter. There is a savory variation called folar de Chaves, which is stuffed with ham, linguiça, and salpicão. This bread is best enjoyed within one day or can be frozen for up to two months.

– Adapted from Modernist Bread


Tips & Substitutions

  • This recipe has a large quantity of yeast, mostly because there is a high percentage of sugar. Sugar slows down fermentation due to the osmotic pressure it puts on the yeast when it absorbs water from the dough.
  • The salt percentage in the net contents table is lower than for other enriched breads. You can increase it to 2% if you feel like the recipe needs more salt, but your proof time will increase. Because the only way to deter­mine whether the dough needs more salt is by tasting the baked bread, you’ll have to make any adjustment the next time you bake it.
  • You can use this dough to make Portuguese doughnuts called malasadas. Divide the dough into 75 g pieces after it has bulk fermented. Flatten each piece with your hands to resemble a pancake; the shape doesn’t have to be perfectly round (these are organically shaped doughnuts). Proof the dough on a sheet pan lined with lightly greased parchment paper. Fry the malasadas in 175 °C/ 350 °F fryer oil until a golden brown color, about 45 s on each side. Remove them from the oil, drain on paper towels, and coat them with cinnamon sugar.
  • Consume within 1 day, or freeze for up to 2 months.
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