Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Baking Journal: Portuguese Sweet Bread (1st attempt)

It's been a while. I'm all moved in to my new place here in beautiful Hawaii. I have a nice little container garden started on the lanai, I also have a sourdough/wild yeast culture (called a barm) started. I may discuss the sourdough barm in later posts and I plan to post more often.
A few weeks ago my wonderful husband bought me a KitchenAid Professional stand mixer. Now I am making bread and other baked goods multiple times a week.

My latest venture in baking is Portuguese Sweet Bread A.K.A Hawaiian bread. This is an enriched containing a little over 12.5% fat (shortening and butter), standard 65% hydration, tacky but not sticky dough. I veered from the recipe by using sourdough barm instead of instant yeast. Otherwise I followed the recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice (which you can also find some of on Google books baker percentages on page 218).

My Recipe:


4.5 oz of Barm (my barm is 100% hydration which is equal parts--by weight flour and water)
.25 oz sugar
1.75 oz water

Dough (same as in the recipe)

3 oz sugar
.25 oz salt
1.25 oz powdered milk
1 oz unsalted butter
1 oz shortening
2 large eggs
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
13.5 oz bread flour
3 oz water

I followed the directions exactly except that I mixed the sugar, salt, milk, butter, shortening, eggs, and extracts all together with the sponge mixing with the paddle attachment until smooth. Then added the flour and water, switching the dough hook and kneading for 12 minutes until I had a soft supple dough that was not sticky (I was supposed to add the sponge when I added the flour).

I transferred the dough (which smelled fabulous by the way...from the extracts and the butter) to a lightly oiled bowl rolling it around to coat it with oil, covered it with a towel and let it rise for 4 hrs.
The dough had not risen very much so I let it rise for another 3 hrs. It still had not doubled in size but I divided it in half and put each half into a greased 8.5 in loaf pan.

I proofed the loaves for about 4 hrs and then I brushed them with egg wash, and baked in 350 degree oven for an hour. And let cool for 90 minutes before slicing.


The bread looks great, the loaves have the mahogany brown crust that they are supposed to have, and the flavor is excellent. The citrus extracts really give it a tropical flavor. However, the crust did not soften. The crumb is soft but the whole is not the light pillow loaf I was expecting.
Next time I will try using more barm, and I may even try it once with regular yeast.

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