Pao de Deus

Pão de deus, also known as estaladinho or arrufada, is a typical Portuguese bun with a grated coconut-based cream prepared with eggs and sugar. It is perfect for breakfast, as well as for a sweet or savory snack.
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Pao de Deus

Serves: 20 Time: 01:10 Skill:

Another item to add to your Halloween baking wish list: also known as a soul cake, pães-de-Deus (“Bread of God”) are small, round fluffy ball of coconut tasting goodness. Traditionally eaten on All Saints’ Day (Dia de Todos-os-Santos) on 1 November, ingredients for the batter include a splash of rum, a little lemon zest, and a dash of vanilla. In Portugal, pão-de-Deus is given to children and the poor as a treat when they go from door to door singing and saying prayers for the dead.

For the Dough
  • 10 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk (warm, 95F/36C)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons active dry yeast
For the Topping
  • cups grated coconut
  • 5 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons water
  1. Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of warm milk. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour and dig a well.
  3. Add the brown sugar, eggs, milk, and dissolved yeast.
  4. Knead for a few minutes using the dough hook.
  5. Slowly incorporate the butter while mixing. Add the salt.
  6. Knead for 5 minutes at medium speed or until smooth and non-sticky.
  7. If necessary, add a little warm milk if the dough is too compact or some flour if it is too soft or sticky.
  8. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours. It must at least double in volume.
  9. Shape the pães de Deus either in the shape of a ball about 2 inches in diameter or in your preferred mold.
  10. Cover them with a cloth and let them rise again for 45 minutes in a warm place. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C, and prepare the bread topping in the meantime. In a bowl, vigorously whisk the eggs, grated coconut and sugar.
  11. In another bowl, beat the two egg yolks and water and brush the bread with this mixture.
  12. Place the coconut cream on top of each pão de Deus.
  13. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
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