Portuguese Sweet Bread

Makes 7 small 4x6" loaves, 1 large 9x5" loaf + enough extra dough for Malasadas


  • 5 lbs all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15 eggs, beaten
  • ½ lb melted butter
  • 3 cups milk, scalded & cooled to lukewarm
  • 3 packages of dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1½ tbsp vanilla
  • cooking oil (for Malasadas)


  1. In a large pot, and using a long wooden spoon, mix together flour and sugar
  2. Mix in salt
  3. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the beaten eggs
  4. Pour in the melted butter and lukewarm milk and stir to incorporate ingredients
  5. Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water and add to the pot
  6. Add vanilla and knead dough about 10-15 minutes until dough is airy in consistency
  7. Cover dough with a clean towel and an afghan (or if you want to totally stick to Bea's recipe, also cover with a man's jacket and cross the arms) and put in warm place (near fireplace, above refrigerator)
  8. Let the dough rise until is is double in size (about 6 hours)
  9. Punch down the dough and let rise again until double (about 4 more hours)
  10. On a floured surface, divide the dough into loaves. Knead and get the air bubbles out and continue to knead until it feels lighter and airy. Let rise again
  11. Bake small loaves for 45 minutes at 300 degrees. Large loaf - 1 hour.
  12. Take out of oven and brush with melted butter to give it a nice glaze

To Make the Malasadas

  1. Put about 2" of cooking oil in a deep pan (when you put the dough in the pan, the oil will rise so make sure you account for that)
  2. Take some of the Sweet Bread batter, stretch and shape into 3 inch rounds
  3. Let them sit on the counter until they rise (about 45 minutes)
  4. Drop about 4 at a time into the oil. Flip when brown
  5. Remove from oil and put on paper towel to absorb some of the oil
  6. Shake them in a paper bag with sugar to finish
  7. Eat immediately. They're the best when they're warm!