Don't let that dark burnt-looking crust fool you. Beneath it lies some of the best bread you could ever spread with jam. Or pile with pulled pork. Or make into french toast. You get the idea. Just promise you'll try it soon, okay?
This slightly sweet, perfectly chewy bread is forever linked in my mind with summer getaways to Cape Cod. There was one bakery in Provincetown that made it in roll form, and I'd buy one for breakfast and a few more for snacks at the beach. Fortunately (or perhaps, unfortunately for my waist line), the bread is very easy to make at home.
There are actually a few different versions of Portuguese sweet bread. East Coast versions like the one I fell in love with usually incorporate powdered milk into the dough with a little lemon zest or nutmeg for kick. Hawaiian versions tend to use potatoes and evaporated milk to get the same soft texture. What they all have in common is a thin, crisp crust with a pillow-soft interior and a mildly sweet flavor.
My favorite recipe comes from the Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart, a fellow lover of Portuguese sweet bread by the sounds of it. King Arthur Flour also has recipes for the East Coast version and the Hawaiian version on their website (scroll down for Hawaiian version).
Have you ever had Portuguese sweet bread or tried making it at home?