pan de muerto

i seem to remember making pan de muerto, once, with my friend Katie, for a Spanish class extra credit project. my mom was most definitely NOT a yeast baker so from what i remember, it was a bit of an ordeal when we did it. now, i don’t like anise seed, so that was definitely not going to be a part of any recipe i found for pan de muerto. thankfully, over at Mexican American Border Cooking had a really good looking recipe for the bread. and it was wonderful. exactly as i remembered it tasting. think, a nice, only slightly sweet yeasty bread to enjoy with a hot cup of fresh coffee … if you’re not aware, by the way, pan de muerto is a traditional treat for the holiday dia de los muertos, or the day of the dead, my second favorite holiday. alongside placing your loved deceased ones favorite foods and photographs on an altar, you place sugar skulls and marigolds and bake a loaf of this lovely bread to celebrate. it’s a wonderful holiday, a true celebration of life, and i haven’t properly celebrated in years. it was a nice trip home so to speak, making this…

Pan De Muerto
recipe from Mexican American Border Cooking

You Need:

1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
half a stick of butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package of yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 eggs
2 1/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

scald your milk in a pot. add the butter, salt, and the 1/4 cup sugar. stir it altogether and let it cool. stir the yeast into the water in the bowl of your mixer and let it sit. add the milk mixture. separate the egg and reserve the white. add the yolk and the other egg along with 2 1/3 cups flour. stir it altogether until it forms a sticky dough. on a floured surface, mix your dough until it comes together and knead it for about 10 minutes. place in a greased bowl, turning it over so that it gets greased on top. cover and let it rise for about 2 hours. it took me 2 hours – i don’t know if it will for you, but let it rise until doubled in size at least. after it has risen, punch it down and knead it a little. remove 1/2 cup dough and set aside. divide each of the leftover pieces into three equal pieces. form them into ropes, about a foot long. braid the ropes, pressing the ends together to adhere them. shape this braid in a circle and press the end to make it stick together. shape the leftover piece of dough into “bones.” place these criss crossed on top of the wreath. cover the bread and let it rise for another half hour, until it has puffed up again. preheat your oven to 350. beat the egg white a little and brush it over the bread. mix the 2 teaspoons of sugar with the cinnamon. sprinkle this on the bread. i sprinkled it all over – “bones” and all. bake for about 35 minutes. it will get really nice and deep brown.

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2 Comments

Filed under fun with yeast, Tastes Like Home, Uncategorized

2 responses to “pan de muerto

  1. Oh, yes!!!!

    Thanks for the recipe ’cause I’ve had a craving for this sweet bread in quite a while!

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