Sweet Portuguese Bread: Massa Sovada – Bread Baking Babes

Sweet Portuguese Bread

It is time for this month’s Bread Baking Babes bread but first I have to tell you about the changes we have gone through. To be honest, I’m a bit late because I should have done that last month but I backed out of that challenge for various reasons so I’m doing it now. First of all we have decided on a fixed date, the 16th each month, when we will post about the month’s bread challenge, then we have four new Babes too, Susan from Wild Yeast, Astrid from Paulchens FoodBlog, Pat from Feeding My Enthusiasms and Elizabeth from blog from OUR kitchen – a nice addition of 4 lovely ladies who are enthusiastic bakers.

Sweet Portuguese Bread

So now you are updated on the news and I can get on with this bread that our Big Babe Tanna choose for us. Tanna is one of the most generous people I have met during these years I have spent here on my blog and I am sure that all of those who have come into contact with her agree with me. And this bread is generous too, just like she is! It is a nice, soft and moist sweet bread that is easy to bake, it is pretty obedient as well and I can tell you that the Babes loved that after last month’s tricky but interesting bread! Check out what my fellow Babes did with the bread, list is found here and if you want to be a Bread Baking Buddy (who doesn’t?), check out Tanna’s blog when she wakes up over There.

Sweet Portuguese Bread

Sweet Portuguese Bread: Massa Sovada
adapted from A Baker’s Odyssey by Gregg Patent

over night sponge:
72 grams bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons osmotolerant yeast I USED ABOUT 12 G FRESH YEAST
114 milliliters potato water, or whey or water (potato water or whey really make it extra tender & soft)

6 tablespoons butter, room temp.
30 to 100 grams brown sugar
lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temp
120 milliliters milk, room temp
2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground

Mix together the sponge the night before baking the bread. Leave sitting at room temp 8 to 12 hours.

Beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add zest and salt and beat. Beat in each egg separately and completely; mix will appear curdled. Stir in milk and sponge. Stir in 2 1/2 cups flour and beat vigorously (in a stand mixer it would clear the sides of the bowl, by hand lifting the spoon up should stretch the dough about a foot.)

Add remaining flour to make stiff dough. Knead 5 minutes or more to incorporate all the flour, dough should be smooth, soft and very supple with a slight stickiness. Looks a little like very thick cake batter or a brioche dough.

Shape into ball, oil bowl and dough ball. Cover and allow to rise about 2 hours, should almost or triple in size.

Divide into loaves, shaped into balls. Allow to rest 20 to 30 minutes before final shaping with rolling pin. Press the handle of a rolling pin or something similar four times into each loaf, thus shaping a multiple cross which divides the loaves into wedges. See photos.

Shape and place into well oiled cake pans seam side down. I PUT THEM AS THEY WERE ON A BAKING SHEET. Allow to rise an hour to 2 hours; more than double in size.

Brush with egg wash if you want that beautiful glossy finish. Brush with melted butter when hot from the oven.

Bake 350°
50 minutes as two loaves
35 minutes as four loaves

Sweet Portuguese Bread