Portuguese Sweet Bread
 
recipe courtesy of peter reinhart's the bread baker's apprentice 
 
  sponge
1/2 cup  unbleached bread flour
1 Tbsp  granulated sugar
2-1/4 tsp  instant yeast
1/2   water, at room temperature
  dough
6 Tbsp  granulated sugar
1 tsp  salt
1/4 cup  powdered milk
2 Tbsp  unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tbsp  vegetable shortening
2 large  eggs
1 tsp  lemon extract
1 tsp  orange extract
1 tsp  vanilla extract
3 cup  unbleached bread flour
  about 6 tablespoons water, at room temperature
 
 
to make the sponge, stir together the flour, sugar, and yeast in a 
small bowl. add the water and stir until all the ingredients are 
hydrated and make a smooth batter. cover the bowl with plastic wrap 
and ferment at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the 
sponge gets foamy and seems on the verge of collapse. 
to make the dough, combine the sugar, salt, powdered milk, butter, 
and shortening in a 4-quart mixing bowl (or the bowl of an electric 
mixer). cream together with a sturdy spoon (or the paddle attachment) 
until smooth, then mix in the eggs and the extracts. knead by hand 
(or switch to the dough hook attachment) and mix in the sponge and 
the flour. add the water, as needed, to make a very soft dough. the 
finished dough should be very supple and soft, easy to knead, and not 
wet or sticky. it will take 10 to 12 minutes with the electric mixer 
and close to 15 minutes by hand to achieve this consistency. (dough 
with high amounts of fat and sugar usually take longer to knead 
because the gluten requires more time to set up.) the finished dough 
should pass the windowpane test (see note below) and register 77 to 
88 degrees f. lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the 
bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. cover the bowl with 
plastic wrap. 
 
ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the 
dough doubles in size. 
remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into two equal pieces. 
form each of the pieces into a boule. lightly oil two 9-inch pie pans 
and place 1 boule, seam side down, in each pan. mist the dough with 
spray oil and loosely cover the pans with plastic wrap. 
proof at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or until the dough fills 
the pans fully, doubling in size and overlapping the edges slightly. 
(if you only want to bake one loaf, you may retard the second in the 
fridge for 1 day, although it will take 4 to 5 hours to proof after 
it comes out of the refrigerator.) 
very gently brush the loaves with egg wash. preheat the oven to 350 
degrees f with the oven rack on the middle shelf. 
 
bake the loaves for 50 to 60 minutes, or until they register 190 f in 
the center. after 30 minutes, check the loaves and rotate 180 
degrees, if necessary, for even baking. because of the high amount of 
sugar, the dough will brown very quickly, but don't be fooled into 
thinking it is done. it will get darker as the center gradually 
catches up with the outside, but it will not burn. the final color 
will be a rich mahogany brown. 
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 at least 90 minutes before slicing 
or serving. 
 
 
 
 
-- 
(ID: 6958) Mirror: rec.food.recipes: Thu, Jul 15, 2004


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