Oct 26, 2015

Introducing Guest Chef Maria Dias

Chef Maria Dias
Aloha to our first guest chef on Tasting Hawaii, Chef Maria Dias, Portuguese food blogger, and cookbook author of "Taste Portugal". Chef Dias has a beautiful website/food blog, full of wonderful Portuguese recipes. I invite you to visit and explore her website.

I love Portuguese food, rustic, simple, and delicious. There are many Portuguese recipes on Tasting Hawaii because the Portuguese immigrants have added so much to Hawaii's cuisine. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, their are no authentic Portuguese restaurants in Hawaii. That's why it's important for me to try and introduce these recipes to you.

Moloka'i is famous for it's sweet bread from Kanemitsu Bakery, an 80 year old bakery in downtown Kaunakakai. The Portuguese introduced sweet bread to Hawaii in the late 19th century when they immigrated here from the Azores to work in the sugarcane fields. Chef Maria Dias has shared her recipe with Tasting Hawaii for this delicious Portuguese sweet bread - Pão Doce. I like to put a big dollop of liliko'i butter on these little rolls.

Chef Dias posts a warning on her food blog that you won't stop eating this bread! Enjoy!

Chef Maria Dias Portuguese Sweet Bread
In Portugal, this light and airy sweet bread is usually made during Christmas and Easter, but is also eaten throughout the year. There are many variations of this bread. Some recipes call for raisins, lemon zest, rum or whiskey to intensify the flavor.

6 – 7 cups flour
2 and 1/2 packages of dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1 stick margarine
1 tablespoon salt
4 Jumbo eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon (brandy) (or zest of one lemon if you want lemon flavored bread)
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Heat milk, but do not scald. Remove from heat and stir in margarine until melted. Add sugar, salt and mix. Let the milk cool down.

Meanwhile Make yeast starter by mixing packages of yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Stir yeast until dissolved and let it rest until you see bubbles activating.

Beat eggs for a few minutes then add to the milk in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast to the milk along with the brandy, or lemon zest, and beat for 2 minutes.

Begin adding the flour 1 cup at a time until it’s all incorporated. Use your dough hooks or your hands to knead for about 10 minutes. The batter should be very silky and smooth but not sticky. Add more flour if you find the dough sticky.

Remove dough from mixer, place on a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and soft. Place the dough into a large floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Let it rise in a warm place for 2 to 3 hours or until doubled.

After the dough has doubled, punch it down and let it rise for 30 minutes longer. Place your dough on a floured surface and form your bread either into a braid, loaf or mini buns.

Let the dough rise for another hour.

Preheat oven to 325˚F.

Brush tops of the bread with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the heat to 300˚F and cook for 30 minutes longer until the bread has a golden caramel color. Mini buns cook in less time, approximately 45 minutes. Makes approximately 2 large loaves or 24 mini buns

Note: If you want to make 2 smaller loaves, cook them for about 45 minutes. You may find oven temps will vary, adjust accordingly.

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