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. Go to the end of the post to find links for Pan de Muerto and a Mexica-style soft yeast dough recipe for Empanadas!
Conchas, Pan de Huevo, Pan Dulce
Once you find a basic pan dulce dough recipe that you like, you can prepare various recipes using the same dough.
- 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 you could use butter as well
- 4 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt if butter is salted, do not add salt
- 4-4 1/2 cups bread flour sifted
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup flour all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3/4-1 cup shortening or butter at room temperature
- In a bowl, combine the yeast, honey and water. Let set for 10 minutes.
In the stand mixer, cream together the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup shortening. Mix in the eggs, salt and yeast/water mixture. Gradually mix in the 4 cups of flour, turning up the speed, as needed. You may have to stop and scrape the sides down with a spatula from time to time.
The dough should pull away from the sides of the stand mixer when ready. If it's still too sticky, mix in a little more flour. I sometimes find it easier to transfer the dough to a flat work surface to finish kneading.
When ready, transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hour. It must rise in a warm place. I heat my oven to 200 degrees and keep the covered bowl near the warmth of the oven.
Once it proofs, punch down and divide into 12 balls. If the dough feel sticky, dust it with a little flour to help shape the conchas. Place on greased baking sheet, press down lightly. Cover loosely with a lightweight kitchen towel and let rise for 1 more hour.
While the conchas rise the last hour, prepare the topping. Mix the flour and sugar first. Then work in the vanilla and shortening. If it's too dry, add a little bit more shortening. If it's too sticky work in a little more flour and sugar(equal parts).
- When ready, roll 2 tablespoons of topping into a ball and flatten into a round disc. You can use a tortilla press to do this step. Place over conchas and score with a knife, careful not to cut into bread. See notes below for variation on the topping.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. The bottoms of bread should be golden brown. and lightly golden on top. 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.
PLEASE read my updated notes on the concha recipe before starting.
I cannot stress enough that every time I prepare this recipe, the amount of flour will vary. There have been times that I end up adding almost 5 cups of flour when I am done. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky when it is ready to proof. If you add too much flour, the bread will be more dense.
For Colored Topping: . Add a few drops of food coloring and mix until you get the color you like. For chocolate topping, mix in some unsweetened cocoa powder.
Great tip for keeping the topping from falling off! Brush the dough balls with oil or shortening before placing the sweet topping on.
Works better! Add the sweet topping to the dough balls as soon as you shape them, not after they proof. Score gently and you will get a more classic concha look as it proofs and grows in size.
Add more flavor to your conchas! Mix in some orange zest, anise seeds or fresh ground canela to the dough in the stand mixer.
Tips~ Internal temperature of the bread should be at least 190 degrees.
You can create all colors of concha toppings! I use food coloring gels for icing. You can pick them up at your local craft store. For the orange, I mixed yellow with just a little bit of red. Love it! For the chocolate, no food coloring required. You simply take some unsweetened cocoa powder for baking and mix it in well to your concha topping.
Once you perfect that sweet yeast dough recipe, you can prepare a variety of Mexican style sweet breads.
Tips~ For this batch of Pan de Huevo, I divided the dough into 24, about 2 ounces each. Once they came out of the oven, I brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled fine sugar and colored sugar crystals on them.
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.
Pan de Muerto
Piloncillo y Canela-Masa Para Empanadas