The mornings are brisk and my thoughts immediately go to visions of warm bolillos, conchas or pan de muerto coming out of my oven. But in all honesty, I have been known to bake in the middle of summer just to satisfy my cravings for fresh pan dulce(sweet bread). I guess it would be different if there were a panaderia(bakery) near to purchase pan de muerto, conchas and bolillos. No such luck! But, that is a blessing in disguise. At least that is the way I see it.
No Panaderia In Small Town USA!
The lack of Mexican foods, snacks and baked goods has forced me to learn to develop my own recipes at home. In the long run, it is a good learning experience. Getting back to the day of the dead bread. Dia de los muertos is observed on October31st – November 2nd through out Mexico. In the evening of Oct. 31st, Dia de Los Angelitos, the souls of the departed children are invited to visit the colorful alters set up by family members. Favorite treats and toys are left on the alters for the departed children souls to be welcomed back.
The video version was prepared in a stand mixer with all the same ingredients, but slightly different to finish. Check out the video with complete instructions. prepare one large loaf or 3 smaller loaves with this recipe.
Dia de Los Muertos Altar
Part of the small alter. This blog post includes pictures of pan de muerto I have baked for the past three years. Always learning something new. . The alters are typically filled with pictures, flowers, insense, candles, special paper decorations, water, fruits and nuts and the special bread. Each item having it’s own special significance. November 1st is Dia de los Muertos or Dia de los Difuntos. On November 2nd, the family make there way to the cemetery. They place special foods, pictures and momentos on the gravesite. Special music is often played to welcome the departed souls. The families celebrate, that on this day, they are reunited with their departed loved ones. #pandemuerto #diadelosmuertos #mexicantraditions
Don’t Wait For Dia De Los Muertos For Pan!
Don’t wait for day of the dead to prepare this tasty Mexican style sweet bread(pan dulce). This basic pan dulce recipe can be used for many of your favorites! Mix in fresh ground canela(cinnamon) and anise to add some spice to your bread. It’s perfect with hot coffee!
Pan de Muerto can be finished three ways. 1. You can simply brush with egg wash and bake. 2. You can brush with melted butter after it bakes and dust with granulated sugar 3. You can brush with egg wash and sprinkles with colored sugar crystals before baking.
On occasion, I like to add fresh ground canela(cinnamon) and anise seeds to my pan de muerto. It is not traditional, but I do enjoy the flavors.
I need to practic more on shaping the bones, but you get the idea.
The bread is pan de muerto in a dark chocolate flavor! Use the dark chocolate conchas recipe on site to prepare pan de muerto.
For Mexican Hot Chocolate:
2 cinnamon sticks
2- (3.5 ounce) disc of Mexican Chocolate
1 1/2 -2 liters of milk or water
Heat milk or water with cinnamon sticks at medium heat until right before it comes to a boil. Add the chocolate and stir using a wooden spoon to break up the pieces. If possible, use a wooden molinillo to mix and froth the hot chocolate. Serve right away.
Pan de Muerto-Day of the Dead Bread
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- 1/2 cup warm water 110-115 degrees F
- 2 tablespoons orange blossom water optional
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature lightly beaten
- 3 teaspoons orange zest
- 4 1/2 cups plus of bread flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
You Will Also Need
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- colored sugar crystals assorted
- parchment paper
- In a large measuring cup, combine the yeast, agave, warm water and orange blossom water. Stir gently until mostly combined and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Mix in the eggs and zest. Then mix in the yeast/water mixture just until combined.
- Combine the flour and salt. Gradually mix in the liquids to the flour until dough begins to form. Transfer to a flat work surface and knead the dough for a good 10 minutes. If dough is too sticky, add 1 tablespoons of flour at a time, until dough is less sticky, but not dry. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.
- After one hour, transfer dough to flat surface and knead gently for a few seconds. Using a pastry cutter or knife, divide the dough into 4 equal balls.
- Working as quick as you can, shape 3 sections of the dough into a ball and place onto parchment lined baking sheets.
- Divide the last dough ball into 3 equal pieces. Then divide each piece into three separate pieces. All together, you should have 9 pieces of dough. Shape 3 of the pieces into an oval like shaper to resmble a skull. Set aside. Take the remaining 6 pieces and genlty roll with your fingers onto a flat surface in a cigar shape. As you roll, separate your fingers and apply gently pressure to create the shape of a bone. See the pictures below.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with water, set aside.
- Lightly brush the loaves with some egg wash and place the bones in a criss cross shape over the tops. Add a little egg wash to center and place the round skull shape in place. Cover loosely and let rise for one more hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If adding colored sugar crystals, brush loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with desired sugar crystal colors. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Internal temperature of bread should be at least 190 degrees.
[…] Bread for the Day of the Dead and Mexican Hot Chocolate […]
[…] Pan de Muerto(Day of the Dead Bread)- Mexican Chocolate […]
[…] Pan de Muerto – This is a semi sweet bread that is eaten on the second day of the holiday. The shapes of the bones and skull adorn the bread that is dusted with sugar. It also represents the soil. Find a recipe here: https://pinaenlacocina.com/pan-de-muertoday-of-the-dead-bread-mexican-chocolate/ […]
Sonia, I have 3 questions:
*Where did you find the orange blossom water?
*Where did you find the spatula?? I NEED this!
* Finally, suggestions for a warm place so that the dough can rise. I have an electric stove, so it really doesn’t get very warm. What if I set the oven to a really low temp, & put the bowl in?
Thanks in advance!
The water I found at a specialty store here in New York. The spatula was a gift from a friend last year from William and Sonoma. I have an electric stove as well. I typically heat the oven to 200 degrees, then set my dough to proof on the stove top, rotating it every 30 minutes.