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Massa Sovada (Portuguese Sweet Bread) Recipe

Looking for an easy Massa Sovada (Portuguese Sweet Bread) recipe? Learn how to make Massa Sovada (Portuguese Sweet Bread) using healthy ingredients.

Submitted by storyarc

Makes 48 servings

This recipe makes six loaves, which are traditionally baked in pie tins, but you could use some other type of similar sized metal pan. This is the best version of this recipe (and I've tried many.) It is a slightly modified version of my aunt's recipe. She visited from Portugal last year and wrote it down for my mom, who then translated it for me. I've cut the recipe in half (my aunt normally makes 12 loaves at once!). I also added a 1/2 tsp more yeast and kneaded the dough with a stand mixer instead of by hand. It's a long process, but well worth it. The finished loaves can be double-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to four months.

Recipe Ingredients for Massa Sovada (Portuguese Sweet Bread)

2 1/2 lbs bread flour
3 oz potato flour (potato starch)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp sugar, to activate yeast
1/2 cup water, for simple syrup
1/2 cup water, lukewarm, to activate yeast
4 tsp active dry yeast
10 oz sweetened condensed milk
9 eggs
4 sticks (1 lb) unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp salt

Recipe Directions for Massa Sovada (Portuguese Sweet Bread)

  1. Make a simple syrup: In a small sauce pan, bring 1/2 cup of water and 1-1/2 cups sugar to boil, stirring constantly, then remove from heat and allow syrup to cool to room temperature.

  2. To mixer bowl, with dough hook attached, add 3 tbsp sugar, 4 tsp yeast, and cup water and turn mixer on to low setting for about 2-4 minutes, or until yeast and sugar are dissolved. Let mixture sit for about 15 minutes until a thick head of foam has developed.

  3. In a large bowl beat the eggs, condensed milk, and salt together. Beat in the cooled simple syrup. Add this mixture and the butter to the mixer bowl and turn mixer to low setting for about 30 seconds, just to incorporate the butter.

  4. Add all-purpose flour, bread flour, and potato flour to mixer bowl and turn mixer to low setting until all ingredients are incorporated, about 2 minutes. If necessary, alternate between adding all-purpose flour and bread flour 1 tbsp at a time until consistency is somewhat elastic and JUST begins to pull away from the top of the bowl, but the sides and bottom of dough is still stuck to the bowl. The dough should be very sticky, but not runny. Turn mixer to low-medium (#2) setting and knead for 6-8 minutes.

  5. Cut dough in thirds and place in three large, greased bowls; turning dough over to coat both sides. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and a light towel and set in a draft-free area. Let the dough rise for 4-5 hours or overnight.

  6. Heavily grease your pie tins with butter. Cut each ball of dough in half (to get six loaves) and form each into a smooth ball. Put ball of dough, seam side down, in well-greased pie tin. Cover with light towels and let rise for 2-3 hours. Alternately, you can cut off 65 g pieces of dough and gently form balls of dough. Place 6-8 balls about 1/2" apart in a greased pie tin or cake pan to make pull-apart rolls.

  7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake all six loaves at the same time for 40-50 minutes (depending on your oven), remembering to switch the loaves on bottom rack with loaves on top rack halfway through to ensure even baking. Remove from oven when the tops of the loaves are a deep, golden brown. Remove loaves from pans and immediately butter the tops of the loaves by running a stick of butter over the hot loaves. Allow loaves to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with butter.


Dairy, Eggs, Appetizers, Breads, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Side Dish, Snacks, American, FrenchGerman, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Advance, Bake, Boil, Chill, Vegetarian

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 61.3g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 6% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% Iron 8%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Nutritional details are an estimate and should only be used as a guide for approximation.


Calorie Breakdown
Nutrition Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values

Health Information

Nutrition Grade
96% confidence
    Bad points
  • High in saturated fat
  • High in sugar
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