At Fox Point’s Silver Star Bakery, Easter Means Sweet Bread

The Portuguese bakery offers cases full of treats year-round, but it's best known for its buttery sweet bread.
Photography by Meaghan Susi.

Eduarda Ferreira still remembers how her grandmother prepared sweet bread in their native Azores, laying a blanket atop fresh-kneaded dough to keep it warm and help it rise in clay pots. Ferreira and her husband, Pedro, bought Silver Star Bakery in Providence’s Fox Point neighborhood in 1988 and inherited the previous owner’s recipe — one as traditional and as finicky as her grandmother’s: “Real eggs, real butter,” Ferreira says as she checks a batch browning in a giant AJ Fish bakery oven, “twelve hours, thirteen hours to rise; we don’t use a lot of yeast.” Sweet bread, or massa in Portuguese, is most popular around Eastertime, when bakers prep new batches each morning to keep up with demand, including loaves dotted with whole fresh eggs. By the evening, the baking bread adds a hint of warm sweetness to the 100 block on Ives Street — just enough to lure passersby inside for a taste.