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Updated November 12, 2014
teaspoons active dry yeast
cup granulated sugar, divided
cup instant mashed potatoes, cooled
to 3 cups Gold Medal™ unbleached all-purpose flour
tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together yeast, water, 1 tablespoon sugar and mashed potatoes. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add remaining sugar, lemon juice, milk, salt, eggs and 1 cup flour and stir thoroughly to combine.
Replace paddle attachment with dough hook and add 1/2 cup more flour and butter, mixing on low speed until smooth. Add more flour a few tablespoons at a time, mixing on low speed, until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl.
Increase speed to medium and knead about 5-6 minutes, adding more flour as necessary until the dough is slightly sticky but no longer tacky. Alternatively, remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until slightly sticky. You might not use all the flour, and that’s OK.
Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl covered with plastic wrap until doubled, about 2 to 3 hours.
Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Shape into a large free-form round, into rolls or into a sandwich loaf.
Place free-form loaf or rolls onto a lightly floured baking stone or parchment paper-lined baking sheet; place rectangle into a lightly greased 8-by-4-inch loaf pan. Cover with a towel and let rise 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake bread for 30-40 minutes until a deep golden brown or when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the bottom of the loaf reads 200°F.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing or serving.
More About This Recipe
- I’ve always been one for tradition (cue the “Fiddler on the Roof” soundtrack!).
Ever since I was little, even the slightest tweak or change to a holiday/event/meal puts me in a fit of rage.
OK, that’s an exaggeration. But the point is, I really like tradition and habit. Especially when it comes to food.
How does this tie into Hawaiian Sweet Bread, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Every holiday since the dawn of time since I can remember, my family sets out homemade spinach dip served in a store-bought Hawaiian sweet bread bowl as an appetizer.
It’s the most retro-ly awesome and delicious thing you could possibly imagine eating, and me and my siblings always demolish it alongside our equally traditional servings of deviled eggs and cheese and crackers. So when I decided to buck the trend and make a homemade version of Hawaiian sweet bread this past Thanksgiving, a gasp heard ‘round the world rang out among my family members.
But then, it was silent, while they all devoured the bread in less than half an hour.
I’m telling you, this bread is that good. So good, in fact, that I plan to create a new tradition of making this sweet bread all year round – not just on holidays (wait, did you hear that gasp?).
What makes this bread extra awesome is that it’s made with mashed potatoes, which means it rises extremely well, and most of that rising actually occurs in the oven. Case in point: When I put the bread in the oven to bake, it looked like a typical free-form loaf, but when I took it out, it had transformed into that signature glossy, puffed dome. And the taste? Well, let’s just put it this way – you don’t even need the spinach dip on the side to enjoy it.
Though if you’re all for tradition, it’s still highly recommended.
Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!
6 Smart Ways to Use King&rsquos Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
Because they're so much more than your token dinner rolls.
I’ve already expressed my deep adoration for King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls as my family’s dinner roll of choice for just about any and every gathering. So when IHOP recently announced their partnership with the iconic brand to introduce a limited time special, Hawaiian roll French toast, I was beyond ecstatic. The news gave me a jolt of energy and I bolted to the kitchen to make a copycat version to enjoy at home. After scarfing down the delightful breakfast treat, I fell into a brainstorming session for all of the possibilities these delicately sweet, fluffy rolls have to offer. I seriously wish I𠆝 bought a bigger pack of the rolls to test a few ideas out right then and there. But now, at least this gives me validation to go buy an excessive amount of King’s Hawaiian bread.
If you are anywhere near as fond of these rolls as I am, I know you’ll be onboard with the following ways to incorporate them into sweet and savory dishes. So the next time you find yourself instinctually reaching for the signature orange package on a grocery run, here are a few easy ways to use your King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, beyond simply slathering them with butter.
Sweet or Savory Bread Pudding
Turning your rolls into a rich and hearty baked dish is a great use that’s totally adaptable to your preferences and the occasion at hand. Simply cut a 12-count package into medium-size cubes and toast them (on a sheet pan, arranged in a single layer) dry them out for about 15-20 minutes at 400ଏ. This will give them a little bit of tasty caramelization and dry them out. Next, toss the toasted and cooled cubes with a mixture of eggs and some sort of cooking liquid such as cream, a dairy alternative milk, or stock (for a savory bake). Spice the mixture up with additional flavorings such as lemon zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and herbs. If you are going sweet, you’re going to want to add sugar to the mix as well𠅊nd heck, you could toss in some chocolate chips or berries while you’re at it.
Spray a deep half hotel pan (or any 10x12 inch pan, 4 inches high) with non-stick baking spray, and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cube bread and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
In a medium pot, warm all dairy, sugar and milk. Butter should be melted and sugar dissolved. Do not let this boil. Set aside.
In an electric blender, add all eggs and spices. While the blender is on low speed, stream in the scalded milk and butter mixture. If your blender isn't big enough to hold all liquid, blend in batches or hand mix in a large bowl after the eggs are fully blended.
Pour liquid mixture into the bowl with the cubed bread along with half of the raisins. Mix well with a large spoon or spatula, and let this mixture sit for about 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the liquid.
Pour bread mixture into the lined hotel pan. Sprinkle the remaining raisins on top, pushing them into the mixture if necessary. If you have a steamer, wrap the entire pan with plastic wrap or cling film, going around the entire pan once (cater wrap), and folding in the sides. If you have a regular oven, wrap in foil.
Place pan in a steamer at 250° F, for 1 hour. Lower oven steamer to 212° F, and steam for another 30 minutes. Or bake at 300° F for 1 hour.
Test with a pick or cake tester to make sure it comes out clean.
Once bread pudding is done baking/steaming, remove from oven and remove wrap or foil. Place in refrigerator to cool completely, about 4 hours, or overnight, before using.
To remove pudding from pan, score the sides of the pudding with a small metal spatula or knife, making sure to keep the knife as close to the side of the hotel pan as possible. Turn entire pan upside down and warm entire base and side surface with a brulee or plumbing torch, sweeping side to side to warm the pan. It should come out once the pan is warm. Portion to desired size. Can be enjoyed cold or heated up with 1 tablespoon of butter in medium pan on the stovetop and/or by warming it in the oven.
Grandma's Portuguese Sweet Bread Recipe
From the fragrance of the proofing yeast to the dough rising and then baking into golden brown loaves, this family tradition &ndash above all others &ndash is my favorite. Nothing compares to a slice of sweet bread, still warm from the oven and topped by a pat of real butter.
- 4 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup granulated organic cane sugar
- 1 cup milk, scalded and still hot
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 to 7 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
- Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix sugar, hot milk, butter, and salt together in a large bowl, stirring until butter melts. When cooled to lukewarm, beat in eggs and yeast mixture. Gradually beat 5 cups of flour into liquid to make a smooth dough.
- If you have a stand mixer that will handle this amount of dough, you can use that to shorten the process. Simply complete above steps in your mixer bowl and let your dough hook do the kneading for you.
- To knead by hand, heavily flour a board with a portion of the remaining flour. Turn dough out onto board and sprinkle with remaining flour. Knead until very smooth, adding flour to eliminate stickiness as necessary. You should see small "blisters" of air on the surface of the dough. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Consider it your workout for the day.
- Place dough in a large buttered bowl. Cover loosely with a towel and put in a warm place until doubled in size (about two hours).
- Punch down dough (it will collapse). Using buttered hands, form dough into desired loaves. You can divide dough into two large loaves or try them as smaller rolls. Or you can try the pie pan method you see used by the historical society.
- Place your formed loaves on a buttered cookie sheet or in a buttered pie pan. Cover loaves and set in a warm place to rise again for about an hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Baking time will vary a bit depending upon loaf size.
- Optional: Use a pastry brush to baste milk over the loaves just as they start to brown. This will give them a beautiful shiny glow.
To make Portuguese sweet bread rolls:
- Turn dough onto floured surface. Divide dough in two. Form each half loosely into a two-inch log. Cut log into two-inch lengths.
- Roll dough into balls. Place onto a buttered cookie sheet or in a buttered pie pan, not quite touching.
- Cover rolls and set in a warm place to rise again for about an hour.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
How to make a round loaf
- Form each half of the dough into a ball, working to put the "loose" ends on the bottom so that the top is nice and smooth. Place each dough on a cookie sheet and set aside to rise.
How to make a braided loaf of bread
- Divide each half of the bread dough into three equal pieces.
- Roll each into a rope, about 1-2 inches in diameter.
- Press the ends of the ropes together and braid. When you reach the end, tuck ends under slightly and place bread on a cookie sheet for the second rise.
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More yeast bread recipes to try:
Portuguese sweet bread in Hawaii
When I moved to Hawai‘i, I noticed plenty of differences in the selection at the grocery store. What surprised me more than anything was the sheer abundance of Portuguese sweet bread. It was available everywhere, every day. No longer would I have to wait for the once-a-year baking and kneading session to savor this slice of my childhood.
While the island style bread is a bit airier than those made with my favorite recipe, having access to Portuguese sweet bread on a daily basis certainly makes up for whatever minor shortfall I perceive in the finished product.
History in the [baking]
So just why is there such a preponderance of Portuguese sweet bread here in Hawai‘i? The answer lies in the Portuguese immigrants who came to the islands to work the sugar cane fields in the 1800s. They brought this traditional bread recipe with them. It eventually became as familiar as the sticky rice and poi that are staple foods for island residents.
Those Portuguese immigrants also brought along the old world style of baking in a wood-fired stone oven called a forno. While most of the bread you’ll find in Hawaii is baked in a more modern manner, there is one place that you can still savor sweet bread that’s been baked in the traditional way.
The Kona Historical Society has created a replica of a traditional forno in a field below the old Greenwell Store in Kealakekua. Every Thursday morning, volunteers light a fire in the forno in the wee hours. By 10 am the action begins as more volunteers help to prepare the dough for authentic Portuguese sweet bread recipe or pao doce.
Visitors are invited to watch the baking process, then take some bread to go. The posted hours for this event are from 10 am to 1 pm every Thursday. Note that I’ve arrived during the latter part of this window only to find the bread sold out. If your heart is set on fresh bread, get there early! Want to try the Portuguese sweet bread recipe from the historical society? You can get that here.
Originally published in October 2014 this post has been updated.
PRO KITCHEN TIP: The dough will be very sticky at first but will tighten up as the flour has more time to absorb the water during the rise time.
Looking for more Bread Recipes?
Want to try this Recipe? Pin it to your FOOD AND BEVERAGE OR RECIPE board & SAVE it for later! Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes! I am always pinning yummy new content! ©Kitchen Dreaming by KitchenDreaming.com
Portuguese Sweet Bread
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter , cut into pats
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 medium lemon zested
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk , white reserved
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!
18 thoughts on &ldquoPortuguese Sweet Bread [AKA: Hawaiian Bread]&rdquo
My dough was a little sticky but it all worked out in the end. great recipe.
There’s no pineapple in this recipe.Others I have used had pineapple juice.Could I add without changing the recipe?
If you chose to add pineapple juice, you would either have to adjust the flour ratio or the liquid ratio to account for the added pineapple juice. Since I have never used pineapple juice, I cannot say if this would change the texture of any due to the acidity of the added juice. To add a hint of citrus flavor, we used lemon peel in this recipe.
Just wondering if this recipe can be baked right in the bread machine instead of removing it to bake in the oven?
Also, my bread machine instructions state to add ingredients to bucket as liquid first, then dry, then add yeast last. Would this affect how it mixes and comes together since this recipe states different? Thank you!
I believe that it can. I like to take it out and make the traditional loaves, but I believe inside the machine would work, too on the light setting so it doesn’t get too crusty.
This was so ONO! Made it today for my family and the first thing my daughter said, without me telling her what it was was “Oh my gosh, this taste like the Hawaiian sweet bread you can buy in Hawaii!” WINNAH. And so easy since I used my Oster for the dough. Definitely making again and again!
Great recipe, thanks for sharing.
Sounds delicious although I have not attempted to make it yet. I’m not.an expert bread maker but prefer the Portuguese sweet bread with a hint of nutmeg along with the lemon flavor. Thinking of adding 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Ani’s Bakery sweet bread comes to mind.
sounds great, I’m sure that would work out. I have never had it made with those flavors.
Hi Rhonda, thank you for this wonderful recipe. I’m a relocated Hawaiian girl and I’ve tried several different recipes and I’m always left with “this is close… but NO” this recipe is the best so far and I make it for my family at least once a month. Today is at least the 10th time I’ve made it and it never fails. Again, thank you!!
Thank you so much! You are very kind. I’m so glad you guys enjoy it. :)
Portuguese bread,, the Portuguese brought
the bread to Hawaii, Hawaiians did not make bread until it was introduced to Hawaii by Portugese immigrants,,and the ukelele is not indigenous to Hawaiii either, it was also brought to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants,!
Hi Linda Correia,
I never claimed that Hawaiians were the original creators of sweet bread. If you’d read the article, you’d see that I called it Portuguese Sweet Bread – even in the Pinterest description. While you and I know this bread as Portuguese Sweet Bread, the mainstream population looking for this recipe searched for Hawaiian bread or Sweet Bread. This is why I have referred to it as both Portuguese and Hawaiian in the title. I have to please the search engines with these significant keywords for readers like you to find my recipes. Have a great day
Sweet Hawaiian Bread & Buns
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
A sweet Hawaiian favorite made with pineapple juice, this bread tastes sweeter than a brioche, but with a very soft crumb. Growing up in Los Angeles means you are fortunate enough to enjoy a melting pot of different cuisines available to you at all times. Before moving to Sacramento, we lived in a neighborhood referred to as the South Bay, near Redondo and Manhattan Beach where there is a restaurant in town called King’s Hawaiian. If you aren’t local to the restaurant, you probably recognize the name as the makers of the packages of sweet dinner rolls you can find in your local grocery store. In the restaurant with a full service bakery that makes the most delicious pastries, cakes and breads you can find. If you are local you are familiar with how legendary the rainbow bread and paradise cake are. When I came across the recipe for this bread I knew I needed to make some, just to get a bit of the flavors of home. As delicious as the rolls in the stores are, they pale in comparison to the fresh baked variety you will find here. Sure it takes a few hours of rising time, but the flavor of the bread and the smell that will waft through your house will help you forget the effort involved in making it!
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon instant yeast and 2 tablespoons water to make the sponge. Allow the sponge to rest for 15 minutes.
Use a flat beater in your stand mixer for 3 minutes. Switch to a dough hook for 5 minutes on medium speed. If it is still sticking like crazy add a couple more tablespoons of flour. Grease a large mixing bowl and form the dough into a ball. Put into the bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours. Grease a pan or a loaf pan. You can make two loaves or 16 small buns. I made one loaf and 4 large hamburger buns.
Gently deflate the dough and form into bread in your desired size. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise again for at least an hour until really puffy. Mix the leftover egg white with 1 tablespoon cold water. Brush the mixture on the dough.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake small rolls (this would make 16) for 20 to 25 minutes.
Bake buns for 25 minutes.
Bake loaf bread for 30-35 minutes.
You can also make this recipe in your bread machine, the link provided in the recipe will give you more information about the process if using one.
King's Hawaiian rolls, born at a bakery on the Big Island in the 1950s, have since made their way to supermarkets nationwide. Our version of these popular rolls are pillowy-soft and lightly sweet thanks to pineapple juice and brown sugar. The pineapple flavor is subtle, but it'll have you going back for bite after bite. Sweet dough rises slower than those without sugar, and these are no exception. Power through the long rises though these soft and squishy buns are so worth it.
By the way, this dough makes absolutely delicious hamburger buns see the tips at the bottom of the recipe for complete instructions.
- 1/4 cup (28g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast, SAF Gold instant yeast preferred
- 2 tablespoons (28g) water
- 1/2 cup (113g) pineapple juice, canned
- 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup (71g) brown sugar
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, white reserved
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups (326g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons (21g) potato flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt
For the sponge: Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In the bowl of your stand mixer or the bucket of your bread machine, combine the sponge ingredients. Allow the sponge to rest for 15 minutes.
Add the pineapple juice, butter, brown sugar, eggs and yolk, and vanilla, mixing until well combined.
Whisk together the remaining flour, potato flour, and salt before adding to the liquid ingredients.
Mix and knead until the dough is cohesive and smooth it'll be very sticky at first. If you're using a stand mixer, beat with the flat beater for about 3 minutes at medium-high speed then scrape the dough into the center of the bowl, switch to the dough hook, and knead for about 5 minutes at medium speed. It may have formed a very soft ball, but will probably still be sticking to the bottom of the bowl. If you're using a bread machine, simply let it go through its entire cycle. If you find the dough isn't coming together, add a tablespoon or two of flour.
Perfect your technique
Lightly grease the mixing bowl or a large (8-cup) measure round the dough into a ball, and place it in the bowl or measure. Cover, and let rise until very puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If you're using a bread machine and the dough hasn't doubled in size when the cycle is complete, simply let it rest in the machine for another 30 to 60 minutes.
Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
Gently deflate the dough. Divide it into 16 equal pieces, by dividing in half, then in halves again, etc. Round each piece into a smooth ball. Space the buns in the pan.
Tent the dough gently with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in the pan for 1 hour, until it's nicely puffy. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Mix the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon cold water, and brush some onto the surface of the rolls this will give them a satiny crust.
Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 190°F on a digital thermometer.
Remove the rolls from the oven, and after a few minutes, turn them out onto a cooling rack.
Serve warm. Store leftovers, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days freeze for longer storage.
Beat eggs add pineapple juice, water, sugar, ginger, vanilla and melted margarine. Put 3 cups flour in a large mixing bowl. Add egg mixture and stir until well mixed. Sprinkle in yeast, 1 package at a time, mixing well. Gradually add other 3 cups flour. Batter will be hard to mix with spoon. You may have to use your hand. Make sure it's mixed well.
Leave batter in bowl and cover with cloth and place in warm place. Let rise 1 hour. Remove from bowl and knead in 1/2 cup flour. Knead about 10 times.
Divide into 3 equal parts and place in well greased round cake pans. Cover and place in warm place and let rise about 1 hour. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
1. Slice King's Hawaiian bread crosswise so that each slice is about 1-inch thick. Cut larger slices into halves or thirds, if desired. Set aside.
2. In a shallow mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix occasionally to ensure it's well-blended.
3. Quickly dip slices (do not soak) in the egg mixture and cook in a frying pan until golden brown on both sides.
4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with warm coconut or maple syrup.
What surprised me the most about this recipe was how easy it was to prepare. I don't make French Toast very often because, in my mind, it seems complicated and messy. Cutting up KING’S HAWAIIAN Sweet Round Bread was super easy with a bread knife. The slices were quite large, so I just cut them in half again, creating more manageable pieces.
I also enjoyed how there wasn't any added sugar in the recipe, other than the powdered sugar that is sprinkled after cooking, which is entirely optional. I like my breakfast items sweet, but not too sweet— and King's Hawaiian French Toast is precisely that.
I ate my French Toast with a little butter while my husband and daughter added a hint of maple syrup. I'd imagine jam made with fresh pineapple would be divine as well!
Soft and slightly sweet King's Hawaiian bread, lightly battered and pan fried to golden perfection.
- 1 King's Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread
- 4 Large eggs
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Butter or oil for frying
- Powdered sugar optional
- Maple syrup optional
I'm so happy that I ventured into the sweet side with King's Hawaiian bread. Now that I know it's an excellent base for both sweet and savory dishes, I will be using it for every family function. KING’S HAWAIIAN is, by far, my family's favorite bread.
Breakfast Recipes You Might Like:
Hawaiian Sweet Bread with Tangzhong
I only recently discovered that one thing that doesn't appear to be available in Canada is Hawaiian Sweet Bread. At least on the West Coast in the US, King's Hawaiian bread is easy to find at most any grocery store. It's something I grew up with and that I associate with being a kid and snacking on in the car. We certainly fed it to our kids a number of times on road trips.
I've tried making Hawaiian sweet bread a couple of times in the past. While the flavour was right, I've never been able to get close on texture.
The other day it dawned on me that the Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzhong was quite similar to Hawaiian Sweet Bread, both in flavour and texture. With a few tweaks to that recipe, I got as close to Hawaiian Sweet Bread as I've ever come in the past.
800g (around 5 C) all purpose flour
1 t vanilla extract (optional)
1 t lemon extract or some lemon zest (optional)
1 t orange extract or some orange zest (optional)
1 more egg, beaten, for the eggwash
The tangzhong I made the same as the previous time: 1 cup of liquid (milk or water or juice) to 1/3 cup flour, or a 5 to 1 liquid to solid ratio (so 250g liquid to 50g flour) and mix it together in a pan. Heat the pan while stirring constantly. Initially it will remain a liquid, but as you approach 65C it will undergo a change and thicken to an almost pudding like consistency. Here is a video I made of it undergoing that change.
Let the tangzhong cool for at least a half an hour, then combine it and the rest of the ingredients. Mix it very well, for 10-15 minutes with a standmixer. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, approximately an hour.
Divide the dough into three even pieces. Place them in greased pans, cover loosely, and let them rise for 45 minutes to an hour until they are approaching twice their original size. Glaze them with eggwash before putting them in the oven.
Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes. If you can, cover the loaves with a pan or foil for the first ten minutes to trap some of the steam in with the loaf and to keep them from browning too quickly. I acually used a large metal mixing bowl which I inverted over each loaf when placing them in the oven.
I like the way the loaves puckered as they cooled (compare this photo with the top most photo), just like King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread. This is definitely the closest I've gotten to making Hawaiian Sweet Bread at home.