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Published prior to 2008

Perhaps Portugal's most famous bread is the ubiquitous Portuguese sweet bread, massa sovada, a loaf rich with eggs, milk and butter, and sweet enough to eat as dessert. But clearly, sweet bread isn't an everyday, every-meal bread; the more homely broa is the better choice to serve with meat, cheese and salad, for lunch or at dinner. Broa's traditional accompaniments are caldo verde (a kale, potato and sausage soup), and a dish of peas and eggs. We suggest using it for sandwiches and toast; it's a delightful everyday bread.

1 cup (4 1/8 ounces) yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup (6 ounces) hot water
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk, warmed
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 1/2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) honey
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix together the cornmeal and hot water in a small bowl. Stir in the warm milk, and let the mixture cool to lukewarm. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix and knead them together -- by hand, mixer or bread machine -- to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and turn it over, so that the top is oiled. Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until it's puffy; this rising time will develop both the flavor and the gluten.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased or floured work surface, knead it lightly (just once or twice), and form it into a ball. Place it onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, or one that's been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover it and let it rise for 45 minutes, or until it's very puffy.

Just before placing the loaf in a preheated 450°F oven, spritz it lightly with water and make four slashes, each about 1/4-inch deep, into the top crust. Place the loaf in the oven and bake it for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400°F, and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, or until it's golden brown. Yield: l round loaf, 12 slices.

Nutrition information per serving (1 slice, 61g): 148 cal, 2g fat, 4g protein, 27g complex carbohydrates, 2g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 276mg sodium, 90mg potassium, 11RE vitamin A, 2mg iron, 14mg calcium, 64mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XI, No. 6, Autumn 2000 issue.


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  • star rating 02/12/2015
  • member-kmo16481 from KAF Community
  • Okay I tried this recipe again with medium ground cornmeal, and I added a teaspoon of fennel seeds to make it Brazilian rather than Portuguese, and NOW I have to rate it a 5 because it is so delicious! I sliced it and froze the leftovers and now I eat it lightly toasted out of the freezer and I plan all my meals around eating it! It is that tasty.
  • star rating 02/04/2015
  • member-kmo16481 from KAF Community
  • I tried Portuguese sweet bread earlier this week so I thought I would try this next....looking for that elusive, fabulous bread that I had years ago in the iron-bound section of Newark, NJ. I made a small mistake in that I used course ground corn meal, giving a little bit of a sandy quality to the final product. It also contributed to how great it tasted though (close to that holy grail mentioned above) so I think with a little tweaking it would work. I think next time I would use hotter water and let it sit longer before adding in the other ingredients. It rose nicely, looked like the picture and had great texture and flavor (with the exception of the grittiness). I would definitely make it again and agree it would be wonderful with a hearty soup.
  • star rating 10/06/2013
  • jweissmn from KAF Community
  • I divided this and baked asa dozen 60-gram rolls to go with chili. Worked fine, though it did not brown much for some reason. Tasted great, just sweet enough with a nice corn kick.
  • star rating 09/16/2012
  • foodslut from KAF Community
  • Nice result - soft, fine crumb (to be expected with oil, milk), and not as sweet as I thought it might be.
  • star rating 04/27/2012
  • Kate from Alabama
  • It was mostly what I was expecting, but maybe a little denser than other broa I've had? Still good, but I'm wondering if I under or over kneaded (i followed rising resting times to a T). About how long would you knead this in a stand mixer on medium low? I did about 4-5 minutes.
    You may have have over kneaded the bread, but more likely the dough was a little bit too dry. I would need to know how the dough "felt" to really access. betsy@kaf
  • star rating 03/24/2012
  • archaeogrrrl from KAF Community
  • This was incredibly easy to put together (I use a scale), and it is a very vigorous riser and a beautiful loaf. We loved the dense, slightly chewy texture and the crust was amazing. I used a local stone-ground cornmeal, and the end result is just incredible.
  • star rating 05/13/2011
  • melissagbl from KAF Community
  • My loaf turned out beautifully. I even slashed the top of it correctly so it looked just like the photo when I took it out of the oven! Yay! The flavor is really interesting; a little sweet, slightly bitter. I printed out the recipe and added it to my binder of recipes I plan on making regularly. Now how about the massa sovada recipe you mentioned at the start of broa recipe...?
  • star rating 10/28/2009
  • Susan from Massachusetts
  • I love this bread, crusty and hot out of the oven with soups and stews. Doesn't make a great sandwich loaf, but nice toast from the leftovers.
  • star rating 07/01/2009
  • from los angeles, ca
  • 03/17/2009
  • from
  • Irene, I probably might give it a try again. A few questions- Is the dough supposed to be stiff or soft? I used regular store bought cornmeal that is normally used for cornbread. Is that okay? After the cornmeal soaks in the hot liquid is it supposed to soften? I used whole milk in the recipe. The dough could only accommodate around 2.25 cups of flour (Gold medal AP). Should I switch to KA?
    For more detailed questions, please contact our bakers via phone or email, We look forward to hearing from you.
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