Portuguese Sweet Bread
Yield: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Two .25-ounce packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup hot scalded milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, well beaten
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (measure, then sift)
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the 2 packages of yeast in the warm water- let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, milk, butter and salt. Stir the mixture until the butter melts. Cool the mixture until it is lukewarm, then beat in the eggs and the yeast mixture. Gradually beat in the flour, blending well until dough is smooth.
3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and sprinkle dough with more flour. Knead the dough for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is very smooth and small blisters appear on the surface. Add more flour to the board if necessary. If you're using a dough hook on a stand mixer, 7 to 8 minutes of kneading should be plenty.
4. Put the dough in a buttered bowl, cover it with a damp towel, and let it rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it doubles in bulk.
5. Punch the dough down and shape it into 2 small round loaves. Flatten the loaves and put them in buttered pie plates. Cover the loaves with clean dishtowels, and let them rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until they are almost double in bulk.
6. Bake loaves at 350 degrees F. for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and test done. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack and let them cool.
*If you prefer, you can bake these loaves in two loaf pans instead.