Portuguese Sweet Bread French Toast
For the last bunch of years, I’ve been trying to duplicate the Portuguese Sweet Bread I grew up eating. This bread (known in some parts of the country as “Hawaiian Bread”, because it caught on in Hawaii for the same reason it caught on in my home town: lots of Portuguese sailors immigrating with their families) is made from a butter-, sugar-, and egg-rich dough, baked in large rounds. Where I grew up in southeastern Massachusetts, It was readily available from local bakeries year-round, but it was really an Easter tradition, something rich to eat following the privations of Lent. We used to get a home-baked loaf just about every Easter as a gift from my next-door neighbor, Mrs. Souza, and while I still haven’t quite matched what I remember that bread to taste like, I’ve gotten very close. Maybe I’ll share the recipe some day.
I bake two large loaves at Easter, and I love it just lightly toasted with butter, but this is the big payoff for me every year: transforming the last bits of it into thick slices of French toast (pain perdu) by soaking it in a custard of heavy cream, milk, and eggs and griddling it, like I did for brunch today. I grabbed a few quick shots in the window light while Thing Two poured on a mixture of melted butter and maple syrup, just because.
Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 18-300mm @ 165mm, 1/60s @ ƒ/5.6, ISO800. Post-processed in Aperture (although this is pretty close to straight out of camera.)