Sweet bread recipe hails from Hawaii

  • By Judyrae Kruse
  • Tuesday, April 15, 2008 3:45pm
  • Life

As we are learning, in addition to a wonderful, goes-with-everything white bread, the Portuguese also make a majorly popular, people-pleasing sweet yeast bread.

Pao doce is actually its true name, but it’s apparently most commonly called Portuguese sweet bread. Makes sense, huh? Now, to broaden our possibilities for this ethnic specialty, we hear from Margie Alfieri: “I found this recipe in a 1959 Kauai cookbook prepared by the Kekaha PTA. I hope it’s helpful!” Forum cooks will notice this particular recipe makes a whopping 10 loaves.

If just two loaves is a much better fit for you, then you’ll want to try the identical version sent along by both Jo Gunnerson of Edmonds and Eldora Sundin of Arlington.

“Although I’ve made all my own bread for years,” Jo says, “I’ve never tried this recipe from the 1980 edition of ‘Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook.’ I think it might be the one Terry Fournier is looking for.

“Now, if I were baking this, I’d make a couple of variations, using 1 1/4 cups warm water and 1/2 cup powdered milk. I always use about 1/4 cup high-gluten flour in my breadmaking. It makes for a more tender and moist loaf.”

Eldora’s recipe comes from the same Betty Crocker cookbook, but also includes directions for turning the dough into snail loaves (caracois). Her recipe notes the loaves (or snails) go well with coffee or tea, and can also stand in as a substitute for dinner rolls at a buffet. “Maybe this is the one Terry Fournier is looking for,” she says.

So, pao doce today, big batch or small:

Hawaii cookbook Portuguese sweet bread

10pounds flour

5pounds plus 5 teaspoons sugar, divided

2teaspoons salt

1/4cup butter, softened

1/2cup shortening

5cakes yeast

1cup lukewarm water

21/2dozen eggs, slightly beaten

1can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

6cups lukewarm water


Sift flour, sugar and salt into a very large bowl; add butter and shortening. In a large bowl, add yeast and the 5 teaspoons sugar to the 1 cup lukewarm water. Do not stir until ready to pour into first mixture in the very large bowl. Let yeast rise.

Add the slightly beaten eggs, evaporated milk and the remaining 6 cups lukewarm water to the risen yeast. Stir and pour yeast mixture into the flour and butter mixture. Knead until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. Cover and let rise until double in bulk.

Punch dough down, divide into 10 equal pieces, shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans. Let rise until dough is even with the top of the pan. Beat remaining 2 eggs, brush on tops of loaves and then bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Watch carefully as loaves brown easily.

Makes 10 loaves.

Pao doce (Portuguese sweet bread)

2packages dry yeast

1/4cup warm water

1cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)

3/4cup sugar

1teaspoon salt


1/2cup margarine or butter, softened

51/2-6 cups all-purpose flour, divided


1teaspoon sugar

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, the 3/4 cup sugar, salt, 3 eggs, margarine or butter and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise until double, 11/2 to 2 hours. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)

Punch down dough; divide into halves, shaping each half into a round, slighly flat loaf. Place each loaf in a greased, round, 9-inch layer cake pan. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat remaining egg slightly and brush over loaves. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake until loaves are golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.

For snail loaves (caracois): After dividing dough into halves, roll each half into a rope about 11/2 by 25 inches. Coil each rope to form a snail shape in a greased, round, 9-inch layer cake pan. Continue as directed in bread recipe.

Makes 2 caracois.

The next Forum will appear in Friday’s Time Out section.

More in Life

‘Last Jedi’ is the best ‘Star Wars’ movie since the first one

This instant-classic popcorn movie makes clever references to the past while embracing the new.

‘The Shape of Water’: 1950s creature feature meets 2017 allegory

Director Guillermo del Toro’s allegory bears his fetishes for monsters and surrealistic environments.

‘Ferdinand’ a modern take on the beloved children’s story

The lovable bull is back in an enjoyable but spotty animated film from the makers of “Ice Age.”

Art mimicks reality in engrosing ‘On the Beach at Night Alone’

The Korean film tells the story of an actress recovering from an affair with a married director.

Everett’s Michael ‘Scooby’ Silva is the leader of the (dog) pack

Since 2012, he’s built a thriving business walking dogs while their owners are at work.

Student winners to perform concertos with Mukilteo orchestra

This annual show is a partnership with the Snohomish County Music Teachers Association.

Seattle Men’s Chorus brings sassy brassy good time to Everett

The annual show, this year at the Historic Everett Theatre, has warmth of brass and pinch of sass.

This harp concert is worth the journey to Everett

Annual holiday show by Bronn and Katherine Journey is Wednesday at Everett Performing Arts Center.

Still looking for that one special recipe for the holidays?

Columnist Jan Roberts-Dominguez shares her traditional recipes for cheese soup and chocolate sauce.

Most Read