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PORTUGUESE SWEET BREADportuguese sweet bread

Servings: Provides 2 loaves or 36 slices/servings

• 2 packages active dry yeast
• 1 1/4 cups warm water (105° - 115°F)
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
• 5 1/2 to 6 cups bread flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3 large eggs, beaten
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
• 1/4 cup dried currents, optional
• 1 large egg for wash

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of the water. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the sugar on top; let stand for 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining water, sugar, dry milk and 2 ½ cups of the flour; beat 2 minutes. Add salt, 3 eggs and butter; blend well. Add remaining flour a little at a time until a soft dough forms. Knead 10 to 12 minutes by hand or with dough hook. Place in greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover, let rise until double. Punch dough down; divide dough in half. Cover, let rest 10 minutes.

Snail Loaf: Grease a 9 x 1 ½ -inch round baking pan. Roll half of the dough into a 25 x 1 ½ -inch rope. Starting in the center of pan, twist the rope of dough while coiling it into a snail shape. Tuck end under; pinch with fingertips to seal.

Braided Loaf: Knead currants into half of the dough; cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Divide dough into three equal parts; roll into 14-inch ropes. Lay ropes side-by-side on greased baking sheet. Starting in middle, braid the dough. Pinch ends; turn under and pinch to seal. Cover and let rise until doubled. Using a pastry brush, cover entire surface with egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon water beaten together).

Bake in pre-heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until tested done.

Note: This bread browns quickly. Loosely cover loaves with aluminum foil the last 10 to 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.

One slice provides approximately: 135 calories, 4 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g fat (2 g saturated), 25 mg cholesterol, 47 mcg folate, 1 mg iron and 103 mg sodium.

Recipe courtesy of the Wheat Foods Council

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