Taste Test

The Great Sweet Bread Debate

Easter is sweet, but you can get this bread year round

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One of my fondest memories as a kid was waking up on Sunday mornings to our weekly bakery treats, which usually Portuguese sweet bread (massa). And just like my mom taught me, I would cut a wedge out of a voluminous loaf, toast it to my delight and while it was still hot, spread fresh butter on it. Keep the tradition, or start a new one, with these massas we tried. Portuguese moms everywhere will be proud.

Goodness in a Small Package


This soft and chewy loaf from Continental Bakery reminded one of our staff members of brioche. With a nice hint of yeast and vanilla that was more dessert than breakfast, we loved this one toasted with a touch of butter. 198 Pinehurst Avenue, Seekonk. 508-672-8521.

Slice of Life


With this large loaf from Amaral’s Bakery we cut off wedges and dug into the light, airy and slightly lemony pieces. It was not overly sweet, and the crust was nice and chewy. In our opinion, there was no toasting needed for this sweet treat. 241 Globe Street, Fall River. 508-674-8988.

Wedged in our Heart


The savoriest of all the massa we tried hailed from Batista Bakery & Pastry. It was a denser eggy loaf with hints of cinnamon accompanied by a perfect crumble. “I’d make a sandwich with this,” said one of our staff members. Well, maybe we just will. 75 Franklin Street, Bristol. 401-253-9832.

Knot to be Missed


This knotted bread from Taunton Avenue Bakery is perfect for those on the go. There was more of a soft crust to loaf ratio as well as it being easy (and fun) to pull apart. It was lightly lemony, more eggy and perfectly doughy. 208 Taunton Avenue, East Providence. 401-434-3450.