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Recipe: Traditional Mexican Sweet Bread, Pan de Muerto

| October 31, 2013 | 1 Comment

Pan de Muerto is a traditional Mexican sweet bread that is only available October through November 2nd; it is baked to honor those that have passed on to the other realm.

Although Mexican bakeries have an abundance of options for sweet breads none of them are made in the style or flavor of Pan de Muerto and there is no surprise that people consume these ravishingly while they are in season.

Mexico city and it's bakers at the Zocalo baking pan de muerto for free. Phto coutesy of Arcelia Gallardo ©

Mexico city and it’s bakers at the Zocalo baking pan de muerto for free. Phto coutesy of Arcelia Gallardo ©

Pan de Muerto is a soft sweet bread delicately flavored with orange blossom.

Pan de Muerto is full of symbolism: the center ball represents the cranium, orange blossom scent is to honor the deceased, the circular shape of the bread represents the life and death cycle, the four bones belong to the deceased and represent the four corners of the universe.

Sometimes they seem like extra “bones” but are meant to be the tears shed for this person.

Pan de Muerto. Photo courtesy of Arcelia Gallardo ©

Pan de Muerto. Photo courtesy of Arcelia Gallardo ©

Ingredients to make Pan De Muerto:
4 Servings
  • 1 kilo AP flour
  • 15 grams of yeast
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 20 grams salt
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 50 grams milk powder
  • 7 eggs
  • 300 ml of water
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • zest of one small lime
  • zest of one small orange
  • 1 tsp of orange blossom water
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil

How to Make Pan de Muerto:

1. Add flour and yeast into a large bowl, create a large crater in the center and add half of sugar, salt, butter and milk powder.

2. Add eggs to crater and slowly begin to mix the center ingredients with the flour and water.

3. slowly add rest of water while mixing until the dough keeps together.

4. Massage the dough until it is soft, smooth and has elasticity. Keeping adding water of flour as necessary to create this consistency.

5. Add butter, zests, orange water and the rest of the sugar.

6. Let dough sit and double in size then refrigerate 4-20 hours; brush the dough with vegetable oil to avoid cracks.

7. When ready to use, remove dough from refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.

8. Remove 1/4 of the dough and mix with 3 tablespoons of flour; this piece will be used to create the “bones and balls” of the bread.

9. Divide the rest of the dough into four pieces and create smooth balls, put these on your baking tray.

10. Brush water and stick the “bones and balls” onto the top.

11. Allow to ferment fo 40 minutes in a warm place then bake 40 minutes at 350F. Allow to cool, brush with butter and sprinkle with vegetable oil.

Guest Blogger:

Arcelia Gallardo  |  Chocolatier at Casa De Chocolates
2629 Ashby Avenue | Berkeley, CA 94705
510-859-7221 | Hours:11am-8pm daily

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Category: Comida, Cultura, Días festivos / Holidays, Dulce / Sweet, Guest Bloggers, Travel

Comments (1)

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  1. Arcelia says:

    This bread can be made all year long! No need to wait for the holiday.

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