Say conchas, I want coffee! Say coffee, I need a concha! It’s a vicious cycle, but a tasty one. My baking of conchas is still a work in progress, and I am more than willing to test out every fresh batch that comes directly out of my oven. Before i continue, I just want to state that I totally had no intentions of jumping on the “pumpkin spice” craze that is currently going on, lol! I found myself with an excess of homemade pumpkin filling that needed to be used up and then the conchas happened.
I decided on trying to bake some pumpkin bread with the extra pumpkin filling. But, then I thought, why not conchas? Why not? I think it was meant to be!
I still have not mastered the topping for these conchas. It sometimes crumbles too much and falls off in spots. Wait, that’s what happens to the ones from la panaderia too! My best advice is to enjoy the fresh baked conchas on the first day! That is when they are the best.
Pumpkin Bread Conchas
1 TBS active dry yeast
- 1 TBS agave nectar sugar or honey
- 1/2 cup warm water 110 degrees
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour sifted
- 1/2 cup piloncillo grated or light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp anise seeds ground
- 2 teaspoons Mexican canela cinnamon, ground
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup prepared pumpkin puree see link below
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/4 flour
- 2 teaspoons Mexican canela cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2-3 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large measuring cup, add the warm water(110 degrees). Mix in the yeast and agave nectar. let sit for 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the flour, piloncillo sugar, anise, canela and salt.
- Using the paddle attachment and with the mixer on low, pour in the water/yeast mix. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the pumpkin puree and finally the softened butter.
- With the mixer at medium speed continue mixing until the dough comes away from the sides. You may have to stop now and then to scrape down the sides and the bottom. You may need to add a little more flour.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a light kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot and let dough proof for for 60 to 90 minutes.
- After dough has doubled in size, transfer back to a lightly floured surface and knead for 30 seconds. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. If you want larger conchas then divide into 8 equal portions.
- Roll dough into a ball and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently flatten the dough ball with the palm of your hand. Cover and let proof for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- While the dough balls are resting, prepare the topping. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl. Gradually mix in the butter, shortening and vanilla until you have a smooth paste. if it's too sticky, add a little more flour. If it's too dry, mix in a little more shortening. Divide the topping into equal portions(12 or 8). Keep covered with plastic wrap.
- Ten minutes before dough is done proofing, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Using your hands or a tortilla press, gently press the paste topping and flatten. Place on top of uncooked dough balls gently. Press gently then score the tops with a sharp knife. Careful you do not cut into the dough ball.
- Bake conchas for 20 minutes or until the bread exposed looks light golden brown. Internal temperature of bread should be 190 degrees F.
Prepare homemade pumpkin filling for your empanadas this year! And now you know it works great for pumpkin bread too! Here is the link!
If you are not ready to prepare your own filling, you can use some pumpkin pie puree in a can. Just make sure to sweeten it with some dark brown sugar or grated piloncillo.
If you do not own a stand mixer, you can still prepare the recipe. I used to do it all by hand. It’s a bit more tedious, but it certainly is possible!
I never thought in a million years that i would be baking as much as I do!
I have had the best results using my tortilla press to flatten and shape the sweet topping for my conchas.
I carefully score the sweet topping with a small, sharp knife.
The lighting in the kitchen makes them appear orange in colors, but they are more tan in color in the natural light.
Insert hot cup of coffee right here, please!!!
The first day, the bread is the softest ever! Enjoy it fresh! But if needed, you can store in a storage bag for a few days. Keep away from any heat or humidity. The humidity will cause the topping to melt sometimes.
Feeling adventurous? How about this giant size concha for fall? I sometimes like to prepare 4 large conchas instead of 12 small ones. This is a great idea for sharing with friends or for a pot luck dinner this fall.