Sunday Treats

A lot of bloggers I’ve run across lately have been waxing nostalgic about childhood and ice cream men in particular, while posting ice cream recipes. While I have had my share of experiences with the ice cream man, the thing you heard me shout as a kid most often was “the pan van is coming!!!” Now I wasn’t born in Texas (but I got there as fast I could hee hee) but when asked about my hometown I always say “Corpus Christi” and “Driscoll.” I spent most of my childhood/adolescence in both places. We moved to Driscoll when I was 11 and instead of ice cream trucks, we had, each Saturday (or maybe it was Sunday, I’m so old now I can’t remember), a Mexican dude in a van who slowly paced the neighborhood. It quickly became a game of stalking and ambush for us, because when you flagged him down, he jumped out of his van and opened the back doors and it was like a religious experience, trays and shelves full of pan dulce, those pink cookies with the dollop of some jammy substance on top, the white cookies, those squares of heavily iced pink cake, gingerbread pig shaped cookies, the things with the cream cheese in them, pan de polvo, rolls, bolillos and other assorted baked goods. They were cheap and delicious and better than any orange sherbet push pop any ice cream dude anywhere could peddle. Give me the pan van over ice cream men any day. As I’ve gotten older (and boy do I hate saying that phrase), my tastes have changed. The pink cake is too sweet, the jammy bits on the pink and white cookies have lost their charm, but the thing I’ve craved the most was a large, fresh concha. Made right, these are pillowy and just barely sweet, with a lightly crunchy and again, barely sweet, cinnamony buttery topping baked into the bun. I ran across a recipe for them on both Joy the Baker, Girlichef, and Amanda’s Cookin’, and settled on the one from Amanda’s Cookin’. It’s simple and it’s perfect, and everything that makes a Sunday morning good.

Conchas
recipe from Amanda’s Cookin’

You Need:

a package of active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (watch your temps on the water & milk, people. you don’t want it so hot it kills the yeast. 115 degrees is good)
1/2 cup warmed milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups flour

Topping:

a stick of butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a bowl, mix the yeast and water together. Let it stand a few minutes. Add in the milk, sugar, butter, egg, and salt. Stir together well. Stir in 2 cups flour. Add in the cinnamon. Add the rest of the flour and mix together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth. Grease a large bowl and dump your dough in it. Turn to coat it all over with oil, cover, and let rise about an hour, until doubled.

Punch the dough down and let it rest a few minutes. While it’s resting, in your stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat together. Add in the flour and cinnamon and vanilla. Mix this altogether well.

Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper. Pull off sections of the yeast dough and roll into balls. The recipe states you will get 12, I only got 9, but my rolls weren’t uniform in size. Place these on the baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Pull off pieces of the topping mixture, roll into a ball, then pat out into a circle. Fit these on top of the yeast dough balls. With a sharp paring knife, cut slices across the topping of each ball, like in a shell pattern. Cover these and let them rise again, about 30 minutes or so. Heat the oven to 375. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve with hot coffee.

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6 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, fun with yeast, Tastes Like Home, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Sunday Treats

  1. Pingback: Best of the Blogs

  2. Beautiful!! Thanks for the mention…I absolutely ADORE conchas! I totally wish we had a pan van when I was growing up!!! Heck, I wish we had one now!

  3. IM

    I can almost smell the aroma… looks great, will be sure to try it.

  4. rebekah

    I hope you do! they’re wonderful!

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