This week on the Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop…
What is the one dish or treat you can't do without during the holiday season? If you make it yourself, share the recipe.
This topic is right on schedule! Last year, my mother, two daughters, two grandchildren, and I gathered for a Christmas baking day. We each did one recipe and then we all took some of everything home. It was so much fun we decided to make it a tradition. This Saturday, it will be my mother, two daughters, my son’s girlfriend, three grandchildren, and I getting together. I love how our family is growing.
I am not much of a baker, but Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without butter tarts and chocolate haystacks. Those treats are staples from my side of the family. But on my husband’s side, a Portuguese sweet bread called massa is the treat that must be made.
Now, yeast and I have never got along very well, but I took over this task a few years ago. It requires patience (which I don’t have in much abundance) to wait long enough for the dough to rise properly. Now I go for a dog walk or do some other longish task to take my mind off it, LOL!
Below is the recipe I’ve adapted. Since I only make this at Christmas and Easter, I’ve laid it out really clearly so I don’t forget anything! And be sure to hop over to PG Forte for another holiday recipe!
Massa (Portuguese Sweet Bread)
1 c. milk
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp yeast
¼ c. warm water
1 c. sugar
1 tsp salt
3 c. flour* (total of 5 – 6 c. needed)
½ c. butter, softened
2-3 c. flour*
Warm milk and lemon zest, being careful not to bring to a boil. Set aside.
In a LARGE bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. While milk is cooling, let yeast start to work.
Once milk is cool, add to yeast mixture. Stir in sugar, eggs, salt, butter and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).
Place in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm place until it is double in size (about 3 hours).
Punch down dough and divide into 10 “bun” size pieces. Grease round pans and arrange in in a flower pattern (5 to a pan).
Cover and let rise until double (another 2 to 3 hours). The longer you let rise at this stage, the lighter the bread will be.
Beat remaining egg and brush over tops of loaves.
Bake in 300F oven until golden brown, about 50 - 60 minutes.
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