Portuguese Sweet Bread Rolls

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I can’t stop baking lately. There are just so many things I want to make. So I made these Portuguese sweet rolls for the first time. I have the recipe from a friend of mine and I thought I’d give it a try. Making rolls is pretty easy, and so were these rolls. They turned out so beautiful, you almost don’t want to eat them, almost.

This is also the first time I used sweetened condensed milk in bread, and I make lots of sweet type breads. It’s the sweetened condensed milk that give these rolls the sweetness. They are just wonderful, so flaky and fragrant from the lemon zest, I just love them.

As usual, I start out making the yeast mixture. You can use regular active dry yeast, but I still had lots of fresh yeast, so I used that instead. Warm up the 75 ml of milk in a bowl, just so that it’s warm to the touch, you don’t want to boil it. Add the yeast and brown sugar to it and stir it well with a fork. Let the yeast activate, if the yeast is good, the mixture will bubble and rise.

In the meantime add the flour to the bowl of the mixer and add the lemon zest and salt to it.

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In another bowl, add the melted butter, eggs, condensed milk, yeast mixture and stir everything together.

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Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix using the dough hook for about 3 minutes on medium. The dough will be pretty sticky and elastic.

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Let the dough rise and double in size in a warm place. I left mine for a coupe hours because we had dinner in between and mine grew quite a bit.

Turn the dough over onto a clean surface, use flour if you need to, but I didn’t really need any extra. The more elastic and sticky the easier it is to work with. Knead the dough a bit and form it into a long roll which you have to cut into 12 pieces. Now you can make just plain round rolls, they will be just as good, but I wanted to get a little fancier so I rolled each piece into a long rope, about 15 inches long. Make a knot with the rope of dough, then take one end that comes from underneath and roll it over and press it in the middle, and the other end fold it under and pinch it in the middle. Repeat with remaining pieces.

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Here they are again, so you get a better idea of what they should look like.

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Let them sit for a few more minutes, so they rise a bit more, then brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds or sugar. Bake at 350 F degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes and enjoy. :)

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Portuguese Sweet Bread Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 75 ml warm milk
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 150 ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 3½ cups all purpose flour
  • zest from ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 package of yeast (2¼ tsp) or about 50 g of fresh yeast
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • sesame seeds or sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Warm up the 75 ml of milk in a bowl, just so that it's warm to the touch, you don't want to boil it. Add the yeast and brown sugar to it and stir it well with a fork. Let the yeast activate, if the yeast is good, the mixture will bubble and rise.
  2. Add the flour to the bowl of the mixer and add the lemon zest and salt to it.
  3. In another bowl, add the melted butter, eggs, condensed milk, yeast mixture and stir everything together.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix using the dough hook for about 3 minutes on medium. The dough will be pretty sticky and elastic.
  5. Let the dough rise and double in size in a warm place.
  6. Turn the dough over onto a clean surface, use flour if you need to, but I didn't really need any extra. The more elastic and sticky the easier it is to work with. Knead the dough a bit and form it into a long roll which you have to cut into 12 pieces. Now you can make just plain round rolls, they will be just as good, but I wanted to get a little fancier so I rolled each piece into a long rope, about 15 inches long. Make a knot with the rope of dough, then take one end that comes from underneath and roll it over and press it in the middle, and the other end fold it under and pinch it in the middle. Repeat with remaining pieces.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  8. Let them sit for a few more minutes, so they rise a bit more, then brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds or sugar.
  9. Bake at 350 F degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Comments

  1. Vera says

    This is my first time making sweet rolls…I have mixed all the wet ingredients with the dry and its been 40 min and the dough doesn’t seem to be rising. I am thinking its because I mixed the wet ingredients together backward…Yeast, condense milk, egg and melted butter. Do you think that might be the case? HELP!

    • says

      Hi Vera,
      If your dough isn’t rising, it could be because of the yeast not being fresh. If the yeast is fresh, make sure you’re placing the dough in a warm environment. I normally turn on my oven to 200 F degrees for 1 minute, just so that it warms up in there, then turn off the oven and place the covered bowl in there until the dough rises. Let me know if this helps.

  2. Desiree says

    I know this is an old post but maybe you can help. I make sweet bread all the time. It comes out pretty good but the dough is so sticky. I have used so much flour that I can tell its too much. So here I am. I tried this recipe and its still sticky and hard to handle. I tried doing the knots and well failed. Bad. So I plopped the dough in the pan and now I’m waiting. Ugh. Help!? Lol

    • says

      Hi Desiree,
      Don’t get frustrated. I’ve been making sweet bread for a long time, and sweet bread dough is normally stickier, more so than for normal bread. As you can see from the pictures it’s pretty sticky. I’ll tell you my trick and hopefully it works for you. I don’t use any flour, I just put some oil on my hands, and that’s how I work the dough. I also use a wooden surface, but I think any surface should work just fine. The oil helps the dough from sticking to your fingers and you can easily roll out the ropes. You just have to be gentle with the dough, because it is a softer dough. It just takes a bit of practice but in the end it will be worth it. I used flour before but I found it a lot harder to work the dough, especially to roll out the ropes, trust me oil works better. I use just plain vegetable oil. Good luck and let me know how it goes. :)

    • says

      Hi there, I’m not Portuguese myself, I’m Romanian, but I love to try different things, especially when it comes to baking. These rolls are similar to what we have in our culture too, we have lots of sweet breads and sweet rolls, so I love making them and trying something different.

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