When my new friend Rachel asked me if I had a special recipe to share for her new Devotional, I immediately thought of My Granny’s Portuguese sweet bread. I don’t know how many Christmases I sat around her dining table savoring the tender, warm sweet bread that we always paired with her Portuguese sausage. These are Christmas “must haves” around my own table now, and my children are learning to love them as I did.
Every year, I pull out the old stained index card my Grandpa copied the recipe onto for me, some unknown years ago. My oldest keeps reminding me to laminate it before it is destroyed forever–and he’s right, I need to. Every year the recipe card takes on a new stain, and softens a bit more from the handling.
I’ve been baking this recipe since my first year as a married woman, some 16 plus years ago. It is definitely a long-lasting tradition that I pray my own children will adopt in their own time.
What makes this bread special is not just the magnificent aroma of lemon and nutmeg, or the sweetness of the dough, but it is the connection I feel to my own roots when I knead the sticky mix with my bare hands. With every fold, press and turn of the dough, I recall the memories of my childhood, and always, the anticipation of Christmas coming.
Press, fold, turn. Repeat.
Last year I mentioned this recipe during a radio interview with Jeff, of The Catholic Foodie, but never did follow up and share it (oops!). This is a delightfully different breakfast bread and when it dries out in a couple of days (if it lasts that long) it makes an amazing French toast.
Rachel shared with me her ministry of “Kookies” and how God has used Rachel’s art of creative Kookie making, to open doors, and invite people into conversation. Immediately, I was overjoyed with Rachel, and her heart for both people, and baking. The hospitality of cookies?–yes, please.
I am grateful to Rachel for the opportunity to share the family recipe for my Granny’s Portuguese Sweet Bread in her Bakers Devotional. I often talk about how I meet God most often in my kitchen, and so I LOVE the idea of a Baker’s Devotional.
You can snag a copy of my Granny’s Portuguese Sweet bread recipe and Rachel’s Baker’s Devotional by subscribing to her blog. (There are several other tasty recipes included here as well.)
If you decide to bake it, would you let me know how it goes? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! This year, I am going to test adapting it to gluten free. Stay tuned…
What family recipe do you make this time of year?