Portuguese Easter Bread

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 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
1 egg
1 tsp water
3/4 cup to 1 cup white or brown raisins +  2 cups boiling water

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.

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. 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).

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

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

5.0 from 7 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Author:
Skill Level: Medium
Cost To Make: $6
Serving: 10

Ingredients

  • 1 and ½ Cups very warm milk
  • 1 cup white sugar + 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast (1 and ½ Tbsp)
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 6½ Cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • ¾ cup to 1 cup white or brown raisins + 2 cups boiling water

Instructions

  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 ½ 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 6½ 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 ½ 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.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Marimar
    July 27, 2017

    I made it is delicious, again all your recipe are perfect!!!. I never have doubts when I start to make any of your recipes, they never fail Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 27, 2017

      Thank you so much! I’m happy to hear how much you are enjoying the recipes! Thanks for following and sharing your fantastic review! 😀 Reply

  • Marimar
    July 25, 2017

    Can keep the dough in the refrigerator? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 25, 2017

      Hi Marimar, I haven’t tried that but I imagine you could and then just bring it back to room temp to rise before baking. Reply

  • Alena V
    April 16, 2017

    Made this for Easter today and it turned out amazing! I’m usually such a chicken when it comes to making bread but this turned out so great!!

    Thank you!!

    -Alena Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 17, 2017

      You’re welcome! I’m glad to hear that! 😀 Reply

  • Peggy Walters
    April 15, 2017

    I remember having this Portuguese Sweet Bread made into French toast when we were in Hawaii!! I couldn’t get enough of it!! Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to try it. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 15, 2017

      So you already know!! It is just amazing and such a treat! 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 15, 2017

      You’re welcome Peggy! Please let me know what you think! Reply

  • Alena
    April 11, 2017

    Hi Natasha 🙂
    Do you think small paski would work out of this recipe if I divide the dough in muffin cups? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 12, 2017

      Hi Alena, this recipe for smaller Easter breads is basically the same recipe made into smaller breads which will probably help you with bake times if you make them about the same size. I think it would work in larger muffin cups. The smaller cup-cake size would need a shorter bake time. Reply

  • Ashley
    November 13, 2016

    I was planning on making this bread for your French toast recipe for overnight guests during thanksgiving, can I make the bread ahead of time and freeze it? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 13, 2016

      Hi Ashley, I think that would work! Freeze it soon after it is completely at room temperature. The sooner you freeze it after it’s made, the fresher it will taste when you thaw the bread 🙂 Reply

  • MASHA VELIKODNYY
    September 15, 2016

    i didnt really understand the instructions of step #14
    did i just need to bake them seperately as in seperate dishes or actually one at a time?
    well kz at 22 minutes they werent even close to the color so i kept them in longer
    they turned out beautiful tho and my husband loved it he just kept cutting it and cutting it haha i was happy
    thank you for the great recipe
    definetly impressed some people and definetly one ill come back to 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 15, 2016

      Hi Masha, I bake them separately meaning I bake one and then bake the other. If you bake them together, they would need more time to bake. Did you bake them together in the oven? Reply

  • Olga B
    April 22, 2016

    Delicious bread!!! i made it 3 times and always turned out Perfect! now its our family favorite! thanks for sharing this recipe! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 22, 2016

      Thank you for such a nice review Olga, looks like you have a new favorite 😀. Reply

  • Tanya Fedas
    March 26, 2016

    Very easy to make! Not only were they delicious but also very pretty. Thank you! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 27, 2016

      Thank you so much for sharing your awesome review! 🙂 Reply

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