Easter-Worthy Portuguese Potato Sweet Bread


  • 2 Idaho® potatoes, peeled, sliced (enough to make 1 cup mashed)
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm potato water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup each; milk, butter
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 eggs: 6 extra-large eggs, beaten, plus five or six unshelled eggs for topping the bread
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 to 8 cups flour


  1. Heat water to just below a boil. Simmer potatoes in water until tender. Reserve the potato water; mash the potatoes, reserving 1 cup for the recipe and using any extra for something else.
  2. Cool potato water to lukewarm.
  3. Stir yeast and 3 tablespoons sugar into ½ cup potato water until dissolved. Add mashed potato and ginger. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
  4. Heat milk with butter and salt until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm.
  5. Reserving a tablespoon of beaten egg to use as egg wash later, beat remaining eggs until light yellow and frothy. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups sugar until glossy and volumized. Combine yeast and egg mixtures, blending well. Stir in 2 cups flour. Add milk and beat until well blended. Add two more cups flour; beat five minutes. Gradually stir in more flour until dough is stiff enough to knead.
  6. Turn out on a floured board and knead about 10 minutes, adding only enough flour to prevent sticking until dough is well kneaded and gluten has formed. Put dough in large, oiled bowl; turn once; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down, put on floured board and divide into two parts. Stretch each part into a long, 4 inch by15 inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into three long strips. Braid into a wreath. Place each braided wreath onto a greased baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap you've sprayed with oil. Let rise in warm place until doubled.
  7. While bread rises, hard boil the remaining six eggs. Cool. Dye to desired colors.
  8. When bread has risen, mix reserved raw egg with 1 teaspoon water and brush on loaves. Carefully tuck hard-boiled dyed eggs on top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 - 50 minutes, until done.
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Yield: makes two braided wreath breads

Monica Kass Rogers
Food Blogger
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