Massa Sovada, or Azorean Sweet Bread, is a food near and dear to our heart as it originates in the islands of the Azores where we are from. This sweet bread is typically eaten for the religious holidays, especially Easter, and is one of my favorite parts of these holidays. My favorite part of the sweet bread is the crust, and it is difficult not to eat all of it before anyone gets a taste! Massa Sovada is really easy to make and requires pretty simple ingredients, just made sure to follows the recipe closely to come out with some delicious sweet bread!
3 packages dry active yeast
2 cups milk
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening (you can use crisco, butter, or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 cups flour
For the Egg Wash:
1 teaspoon water
1) Dissolve yeast in water and let rise to double in size.
2) Mix all dry ingredients together. Melt butter and shortening in milk and cool to lukewarm. Beat eggs and sugar together.
3) Mix all ingredients together and knead until the dough lifts neatly from bowl. Let it rise, usually for 6-8 hours.
4) Punch down, deflating the dough. Form individual breads pieces and put in buttered and floured pans (any shape or size will do). The dough should fill only half the pan. Let rise again until the dough doubles in size, filling the pan.
5) For the egg wash, brush top of dough with beaten egg.
6) Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes (adjust longer cook time for larger loaves). The bread should be golden brown.
7) Serve and enjoy!