Jeremiah's Massa Sovada Sleigh Recipe

Jeremiah's Massa Sovada Sleigh Recipe

Jeremiah Bills makes his Massa Sovada Sleigh recipe for the "Bread Week" showstopper challenge.  Massa Sovada means beaten dough in Portuguese. This is a recipe handed down over generations and is usually made in a group. The dough for this bread requires a lot of kneading so Jeremiah definitely gets a workout in while making this recipe.  With some elbow grease he creates Santa's sleigh filled with gifts. Watch the full "Bread Week" episode from Season 2 Episode 3 of The Great American Baking Show to see how the judges like his bake and check out the recipe below.


28 gr instant yeast  

700 gr white sugar

340 gr European style cultured unsalted butter

484 gr water

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tbsp ground mace

4 large lemon, zested

2270 gr King Arthur unbleached all- purpose flour (more if needed)

600 gr eggs (12)

1 tbsp salt

Desiccated coconut 


1. In a large bowl mix 2 cups of the flour, the sugar and the yeast together

2. Heat water, cinnamon sticks and butter to 101F/38C

3. Remove cinnamon sticks

4. Beat eggs, salt, lemon zest and mace in Kitchen add mixer on high for 2 minutes

5. Combine with yeast mixture 

6. Continue to add flour

7. Knead for 15 minutes using oil to grease counter

8. Keep the dough a bit sticky

9. Proof at 90F/32C until doubled in size


1. Preheat oven to 350F/177C

2. Roll out dough and place over large metal bowl 

3. Roll out long strips

4. Braid to decorate edges of sleigh

5. Let rise for 30 minutes covered

6. Bake again until set

7. Cool

8. Roll out pieces for the skis

9. Roll ends, anchor with toothpicks 

10. Roll out this strips, twist around dowels to connect skis as sleigh

11. Bake

12. Use square pans and round pans to create gifts

13. Place dough in each pan

14. Cover and let rise

15. Bake until set but not finished

16. Unmold

17. Roll out flat strips to wrap around 

18. Create a bow out of rolled strips

19. Place on top

20. Bake again 

21. Assemble using dowels and tooth picks

22. Place one gift inside of sleigh and the rest surrounding.

23. Sprinkle coconut around and on top to look like snow.

The Great American Baking Show: Holiday EditionNews & BlogsRecipesJeremiah's Massa Sovada Sleigh Recipe