Sweet Bread from Ann’s Family (Massa Souvada)


I think I’ve posted this recipe every Easter and over the years many of you have baked this in the past with such amazing results.  If this is your first attempt please be ok with it not looking like you purchased it from the bakery. It took me several fails until I got it just right.  Some of you may just get it right the first time, so hats off to you!.  My point is that this dough was the hardest for me to work with so please don’t give up if it fails the first time… xoxox
     It’s funny, but I have a few family members that would prefer not to have the sweetbread with the egg on top. They feel the egg is just taking up space for more sweetbread!! lol ???? But traditionally you will see in homes as well as bakeries the egg baked on top of the sweetbread. Here’s how to adjust the recipe.
**** note: Easter Sweetbread with the eggs on top is called a Folar… the only adjustment to the standard sweetbread recipe is that you would set aside a large grapefruit-size piece of dough after the first rising to create strips of dough. Then later, instead of slashing a cross design, you would insert the raw egg or eggs (wash them first, of course.  And they’ll cook in the oven!) on top of the dough, pressing in, and with the extra dough place 2 small strips over the egg forming a cross design. Then you would brush the egg wash over the top of the loaf before placing in the oven…..
Here’s a recipe from my friend Ann’s family, thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Author: Maria Lawton
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 loaves…**depending on the size of baking pans
  • Category: Baked Goods
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Portuguese


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1/2 cup of shortening (or lard)
3 pkg ( 1/4 oz envelopes) dry active yeast
1/2 cup of lukewarm water
2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 tsp salt
10 cups of all purpose flour
8 eggs * at room temperature

Egg Wash
1 egg
1 tablespoon of water


1 In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water and let rise to double in size.
2 In a larger bowl, Mix all dry ingredients together.
3. In saucepan, Melt butter and shortening in milk and cool to lukewarm.
4. In a medium bowl, Beat eggs and sugar together.
5. Create a well in the large bowl of dry ingredients, Add the eggs and sugar, melted butter and milk and last add the yeast. Mix all ingredients together and knead until dough is nice and smooth (at least 20 min). Dough tends to be wet, so resist the urge to add more flour. Let rise until double in size, usually six to eight hours.
6. Punch down, deflating the dough. Form individual breads 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 dough doubles in size, filling the pan. 

7. Brush top of dough with beaten egg.

8. Bake at 325 degrees-preheated oven for 40 to 60 minutes (adjust longer cook time for larger loaves).  See note below!
The bread should be golden brown, the tester ( long tooth pick, for example) should come out dry.


***Please note… every oven is different, so please know that the baking time can more or less depending how hot your oven may run. Also if the loaves look golden and after testing with a cake tester and they are not baked… Please cover the top with foil and place back in the oven.. if you don’t do that the tops could turn too dark and maybe even burn

If you don’t have the time to make this yourself, you can always purchase a loaf from shopportuguese.com

Keywords: sweet bread massa souvada Portuguese Easter baked goods

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