Portuguese Sweet Easter Bread Recipe

This Portuguese Easter Bread recipe makes 2 beautiful loaves; one for you and one for the neighbors. This also makes the most phenomenal french toast.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This recipe makes 2 beautiful loaves; one for you and one for the neighbors. My friend and fellow nursing student, Annie, shared this recipe with me. It’s a very close match to Ukrainian Easter Bread; kinda like a paska, and it’s not too difficult to make.

It does create a base for the most phenomenal french toast (click here for the french toast recipe). Back to this beautiful and sweet Easter bread. I made a 4-strand braid which my Mom had to demonstrate for me several times with towels, so I’ll try my best to explain it. If it doesn’t make any sense to you, by all means, make a regular 3-strander and pardon my attempt at artsy fartsy.

I mixed  a bunch of white raisins into dough which added a nice contrast to the sweetness of the bread. It may be a great way to share the love of Christ and good news of what Easter is all about.

Ingredients for Sweet Easter Bread:

1 and 1/2 Cups very warm milk
1 cup white sugar + 1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
2 envelopes active dry yeast (1 and 1/2 Tbsp)
3 eggs, well beaten
6 1/2 Cups unsifted all-purpose flour *measured correctly
1 egg
1 tsp water
3/4 cup to 1 cup white or brown raisins +  2 cups boiling water

Ingredients for Portuguese Easter Bread on the table

How to Make Sweet Easter Bread

1. Place 1 cup white or brown raisins in a bowl with 2 cups boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain well and set the raisins aside.

Three photos of raisins in a bowl being soaked in water

2. Pour 1/2 cup warm milk (heated 30 seconds in micro) into a large measuring cup. Add 1 tsp sugar and sprinkle yeast over the top. Stir and let it stand to proof until bubbly and doubled in volume, about 10 minutes.

Four photos of yeast being activated in a measuring cup

3. Combine 1 Cup of very warm milk (1 minute in micro), with the 1 Cup sugar, softened butter and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl. Stir until most of the butter is melted.

Two photos of milk and butter being combined in a bowl

4. Stir in 3 well-beaten eggs, then yeast mixture into the butter mixture. Using the dough hook attachment (or a wooden spoon if mixing by hand), Beat in 6 1/2 cups flour, one cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Knead for 8-12 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Dough will still be  a little sticky and will stick to the bowl, but should not stick to your fingers. If kneading by hand, turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead 8-12 minutes (using only enough flour necessary to prevent sticking to your hands).

Four photos of dough being mixed in a bowl for Portuguese Easter bread

5. Stir in the raisins until evenly distributed. Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl, turning it to bring the buttered side up. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place, away from draft, about 1 and 1/2 hours or until double in volume.

(I set my oven to low, then turned it off and let the dough sit in a warm oven; about 100°F).

Three photos of dough, in a bowl, for Portuguese Easter bread rising

6. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Divide one half into four equal pieces and form about 15″ strips with each quarter.

Three photos of dough rolled out into four long strips

7. Pinch the four strips together on one end and let the braiding begin

Dough rolled into long strips on a cutting board

8. Cross the far right strip over it’s neighbor.

Four strips of dough on a cutting board being braided

9. Tuck the far left strip under it’s neighbor and over the next strip. Repeat step 8 & 9 until you finish the braid, then pinch together the other end.

Four stripes of dough on a cutting board being braided

10. Place each braid in a buttered baking dish (the would have expanded even better if I had used a large baking pan). Cover loosely with a towel and let them sit for 30 minutes.

Two pans with two loaves of Portuguese Easter bread

11. After the braids have been sitting for 30 minutes, now pre-heat the oven to 375 °F. It’s hard to tell, but they did rise!

Two greased pans of risen Portuguese Easter bread

12. Beat together 1 egg and 1 tsp water. Generously brush the top and sides of the bread with the egg mix just before baking.

Two photos one of a bowl of egg wash and one of bread being brushed with the egg wash

13. Bake each loaf separately for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown

Two baking pans with baked Portuguese Easter bread

A basket with two Portuguese Easter breads Two loaves of Portuguese Easter bread on a cutting board, one cut into one whole

Happy Easter!! Is there something special you are planning to cook or bake this Easter? I’d love to hear about your traditions!

Portuguese Easter Bread

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours 22 minutes

This Portuguese Easter Bread recipe makes 2 beautiful loaves; one for you and one for the neighbors. This also makes the most phenomenal french toast.

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com

Skill Level:

Medium

Cost to Make:

$6

Keyword:

Portuguese Easter Bread

Cuisine:

Portuguese

Course:

Side Dish

Servings: 10

  • 1
    and 1/2 Cups very warm milk
  • 1
    cup
    white sugar + 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2
    cup
    8 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1
    tsp
    salt
  • 2
    envelopes active dry yeast
    1 and 1/2 Tbsp
  • 3
    eggs
    well beaten
  • 6 1/2
    Cups
    unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1
    egg
  • 1
    tsp
    water
  • 3/4
    cup
    to 1 cup white or brown raisins + 2 cups boiling water
  1. Place 1 cup white or brown raisins in a bowl with 2 cups boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain well and set the raisins aside.

  2. Pour 1/2 cup warm milk (heated 30 seconds in micro) into a large measuring cup. Add 1 tsp sugar and sprinkle yeast over the top. Stir and let it stand to proof until bubbly and doubled in volume, about 10 minutes.

  3. Combine 1 Cup of very warm milk (1 minute in micro), with the 1 Cup sugar, softened butter and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl. Stir until most of the butter is melted.

  4. Stir in 3 well-beaten eggs, then yeast mixture into the butter mixture. Using the dough hook attachment (or a wooden spoon if mixing by hand), Beat in 6 1/2 cups flour, one cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Knead for 8-12 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Dough will still be a little sticky and will stick to the bowl, but should not stick to your fingers. If kneading by hand, turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead 8-12 minutes (using only enough flour necessary to prevent sticking to your hands).

  5. Stir in the raisins until evenly distributed.

  6. Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl, turning it to bring the buttered side up. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place, away from draft, about 1 and 1/2 hours or until double in volume. (I set my oven to low, then turned it off and let the dough sit in a warm oven; about 100 degrees F).

  7. Punch dough down. Tur out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Divide one half into four equal pieces and form about 15″ strips with each quarter.

  8. Pinch the four strips together on one end and let the braiding begin!

  9. Cross the far right strip over it’s neighbor.

  10. Tuck the far left strip under it’s neighbor and over the next strip. Repeat steps until you finish the braid, then pinch together the other end.

  11. Place each braid in a buttered baking dish (the would have expanded even better if I had used a large baking pan). Cover loosely with a towel and let them sit for 30 minutes.

  12. After the braids have been sitting for 30 minutes, now pre-heat the oven to 375°F.

  13. Beat together 1 egg and 1 tsp water. Generously brush the top and sides of the bread with the egg mix just before baking.

  14. Bake each loaf separately for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.

Final Final Picmonkey Hashtag banner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *