Category Archives: Pan/Bread

Sugar and Spice Mexican Pan de Dulce~ Soft Yeast Bread

For quite sometime I have been searching for a sweet, soft yeast dough for preparing empanadas. I have worked with several yeast doughs for pizza, Mexican sweet bread, conchas, pan de huevo and pan de muerto in the passed. Finally a few weeks ago, I saw a picture on Pinterest of what looked like those dark brown, soft pumpkin empanadas my Mom used to purchase at la panaderia. I quickly looked it up and as I read, it sounded just like what I was looking for. Of course the measurements were not in cups and teaspoons, but in kilos and grams. And a recipe with quantities that could feed a whole quiñceanera party, lol! So after a few conversions here and there and a few La Piña added touches, this is what I came up with. I cannot say enough about this dough recipe. If you like a dough that’s easy to work with and bakes up soft and stays soft for days, this one is it! nd the recipe for Pan de Huevo/Conchas that follows is revised from the first several times I prepared the  sweet bread. I had learn a few baking tips and was eager to try them out. The pan de huevo was also softer than all the previous time I had prepared it. It’s like I always tell myself when I feel unsure about something, “You will never know until you try”. Glad I tried, and tried and tried again…one never stops learning.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Soft  Yeast Dough  For  Empanadas 

A Mexican Style Yeast Dough For Empanadas
A Mexican Style Yeast Dough For Empanadas

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Yeast Dough For Empanadas

Ingredients

4 cups bread flour, sifted
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups warm milk

Mexican Style Soft Yeast Dough

Mexican Style Soft Yeast Dough

After about 2 1/2 hours the dough doubled in size and turned a darker brown color.
After about 2 1/2 hours the dough doubled in size and turned a darker brown color.

 

Directions

1. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Cut in the shortening until you have small crumbles. Cut in the sugar and yeast until well incorporated.

2. Mix in the eggs and cinnamon. Gradually add in the warm milk until dough forms. Transfer to a flat surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

3. Once dough rises, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Pull off enough dough to make a 1 1/2 ounce dough ball. Roll out to about 4 inches in diameter. Fill with 2 tablespoons of filling. Fold over and press gently around the filling to take out any air. Gently press with the palm of your hand.

4. Using your index finger, make an indentation starting at one end of empanada. Push in and with your thumb and index finger slighlty pinch to seal. Do this all the way across open end. Repeat until done and transfer onto lined baking sheets. Brush the tops of empanadas with egg wash or milk and quickly sprinkle with turbinado sugar or toasted coconut on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Yields up to 24 empanadas.

Cajeta Filling
Cajeta Filling
Gently press out the air around the filling
Gently press out the air around the filling
Fluted edges
Fluted edges
Dough is very easy to work with
Dough is very easy to work with
I had some leftover pineapple filling and I topped them with some toasted coconut.
I had some leftover pineapple filling and I topped them with some toasted coconut.
Perfectly puffed out dough and very soft.
Perfectly puffed out dough and very soft.
The dough stayed perfectly soft for days!
The dough stayed perfectly soft for days!

 

Testing empanada dough requires cajeta, dulce de leche. No fuss filling!

 Tips~ I have tried several things to prevent the dulce de leche from leaking out of the empanadas. One is to whisk in an egg yolk with the dulce de leche before using it as a filling. The other is to brush some eggwash on the edge of empanada when you get ready to seal them. Either way, some may still leak a little. So what I do when they come out of the oven, is I take a spatula and lift the hot dulce de leche and smear it over the top of the empanada, lol! Hey, it works!

 

 

 

Pan de Huevo~ Conchas

Once you perfect that sweet yeast dough recipe, you can prepare a variety of Mexican style sweet breads.
Once you perfect that sweet yeast dough recipe, you can prepare a variety of Mexican style sweet breads.

Pan de Huevo ~Conchas

Ingredients

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degres F)

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cup shortening

4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds, optional
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 cups bread flour, sifted

Pan de Huevo/Conchas

For Topping
1/2 cup butter, room temp.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons vanilla

Tips~ If you want a colored topping, you could add a few drops of food coloring while you mix the ingredients together.

Pan de Huevo/Conchas

Directions

1. In a bowl, combine the yeast, honey and water. Let set for 10 minutes.

2. Cream together the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup shortening. Mix in the eggs, salt and yeast/water mixture. Place flour, anise seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl, make a well and add in the wet ingredients. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Punch down and divide into 12 balls. Place on greased baking sheet, press down lightly. Cover loosely and let rise for 1 hour. I had a problem with the dough sticking to paper and towel, so I put some toothpicks in the rolls and covered them loosely with plastic wrap. 

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While the conchas rise the last hour, prepare the topping. When ready, roll 2 tablespoons of topping into a ball and flatten into a round disc. Place over pan de huevo and score with a knife, careful not to cut into bread. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container with a slice of sandwich bread. This will help them stay moist for a couple of days. Best thing to do is to enjoy them while they are fresh.  Yields 12 Pan de Huevo/Conchas.

1Pan de Huevo/Conchas

Pan de Huevo/Conchas

Pan de Huevo/Conchas

Tips~ If you have a difficult time working with the topping, you could brush the rolls with milk or eggwash. While they are wet, add some of the crumbled topping on top. Bake as usual.

Tips~ To help dough rise, preheat oven to 200 degrees for 5 minutes. Shut off and place bowl in oven. I di not try this yet, but I will next time.

Homemade Breakfast Sausage Biscuits with Chorizo con Huevo

Breakfast Sausage/Chorizo Biscuits Sandwiches. After a few attempts at preparing a homemade breakfast sausage, I finally found the right combination of flavors for my liking. First thing I will advise you to do, is to prepare the sausage a few weeks in advance before you cook it. It will be hard to wait that long, but so worth it. The flavors are amazing once it has time to marinate for a while in the freezer. Only problem with typing up this blog this morning? I have no reserved sausage in the freezer and I am so hungry! Looks like a trip to the market soon. I will be using this sausage recipe for my Thanksgiving dressing/stuffing recipe this year. It has all those flavors I love. I can’t wait!  

Breakfast Sausage/Chorizo Biscuits
Breakfast Sausage/Chorizo Biscuits

Breakfast Sausage
1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon annatto powder, optional
1/3 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked serrano powder or cayenne
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Homemade Breakfast Sausage
Homemade Breakfast Sausage. Shape and form into a large roll. Wrap with plastic wrap and wax paper. Freeze until firm, them slice into individual patty’s. Freeze on a lined baking sheet until frozen solid, store in freezer bags.

 

Biscuits (This recipe is directly out of the vintage Betty Crocker Cookbook)
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Biscuits, Vintage Betty Crocker
Biscuits, Vintage Betty Crocker


Chorizo con Huevo
1/2 cup mexican chorizo
1/3 cup onion, diced
1 serrano, minced
1 small roma, seeded and diced
4 large eggs
1/8 cup milk, optional
salt and pepper, to taste

Chorizo con Huevo
Chorizo con Huevo. I used my homemade chorizo recipe that is posted here on my blog.

http://pinaenlacocina.com/2014/07/19/preparing-mexican-chorizo-at-home-three-tested-recipes/


1. Combine all of the ingredients for the sausage in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Take a spoonful and cook until done to taste test for salt. If seasoning is good, cover sausage mixer and chill until ready to use.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients for the biscuits. Cut in the shortening with a fork or your fingers. Gradually add in the milk until dough forms and knead, adding flour if needed, for 8 minutes. Roll out onto floured surface and cut out 10 biscuits and transfer to baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter while still warm.

3. Cook the chorizo at medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, using a wooden spoon to crumble as it cooks. Add in the onions, chile and tomato and cook for another minute. Whisk the eggs and milk together and add to chorizo mixture. Reduce heat, add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine and cook the eggs. Cover and remove from heat.

4. Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Form 10 sausage patty’s and transfer them to hot skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Once I flip them and before removing them from pan, I like to add a little bit of water to the pan, cover and reduce the heat so the sausage steams for a few minutes before serving. Yields 10 breakfast biscuit sandwiches.

Breakfast Sausage/Chorizo Biscuit Sandwich
Vintage Betty Crocker Biscuits
Breakfast Sausage/Chorizo Biscuit Sandwiches
Breakfast Sausage/Chorizo Biscuit Sandwiches

Mexican Style Bolillos ~ Learning New Techniques

Words like Authentic, Original and Traditional are words I try to avoid when describing  my recipes. In the past, I have been guilty of using these words. I believe with my whole heart that our family recipes are sacred and special to each of us. In our eyes, no one can prepare mom’s red rice or frijoles a la charra. That’s just the way it is. My family’s recipes as well as recipes I develop  on my own, I would call them authentic, original and traditional. But they are only authentic, original and traditional to me. I could never label them as such and share them with those labels.

A couple of years back, I came across a recipe for “Mexican” Bolillos and could not wait to try it out. I am not going to say it was the easiest of recipes, at first. But over the past three years I have prepared the recipe several times. Thanks to social media, there are many tutorial food videos from Mexico that show different versions on the recipe.  I found a method that worked best for me and I liked it. My parents were not bakers, but they certainly were awesome Mexican cooks in my eyes. No recipe is set in stone and that’s what makes cooking fun for me. Make the recipe your own and enjoy your time in the kitchen. The original recipe was adapted from a special issue of Better Homes and Gardens of all places. Now my question would be, where did it originate from??? This is my journey.

Bolillos, Pan Blanco, Pan Frances and Birotes are just a few of the most common names used to describe the mexican bread.
Bolillos, Pan Blanco, Pan Frances and Birotes are just a few of the most common names used to describe the mexican bread.

Ingredients:

4 cups of flour, plus more for dusting
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon  sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water or milk

The dough for bolillos must be covered lightly during proofing while it rises. it will stick a little, but bakes up fine.
The dough for bolillos must be covered lightly during proofing while it rises. it will stick a little, but bakes up fine.

 

Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of flour,yeast, sugar, and salt, add warm water. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the flour as you can.
2.Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface. Cover and let rise, in a warm space, for one hour.

 

3. Punch down after 1 hour.Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts, shape into oval shapes, pulling and twisting slightly. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to make a cut about 1/4 inch deep along the center of each roll. In a small bowl, combine the egg white and water. Brush the tops and sides of the rolls. Cover with wax paper and a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Here is another great tips I learned for baking breads. Place a baking dish on the bottom rack of oven while it is preheating. Right before baking the bread, fill hot baking dish with 1 cup of room temperature water. This will create steam and also result in a crisp exterior on the bread. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for another 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Rolls can be frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer bag. This recipe is perfect for making Mexican tortas or for that big bowl of menudo on Sunday morning!

These are some of the different shapes you can create. The egg wash is optional, but I do like the finish.
These are some of the different shapes you can create. The egg wash is optional, but I do like the finish.

Tips: To create the longer, birote-style roll, take the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface and using the palm of your hand, press it out to extend. You are looking for a 6 inch circle. Fold it over like a taco and again using the palm of your hand, press to spread out slightly. Fold again towards seam and twist and extend the ends for that signature shape. Brush with egg wash and let rise according to directions.