Pan de Muertos (Day of the Dead Bread) Recipe

Pan de Muertos

El Dia de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead, is a holiday celebrated mainly in Mexico. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. To learn more about Dia de los Muertos click here.

Tomorrow is the 1st of October, and with it begins the holiday festivities. If you are looking for a spooky dessert to wow your friends, look no further. This sweet egg bread recipe is the perfect treat when celebrating Day of the Dead and/or Halloween. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • 1/2 ounce (2 packets) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoons water
  1. Combine sugar, salt, anise seed, and yeast in a small mixing bowl. Heat milk, water, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is just melted; do not allow it to boil. Add milk mixture to dry mixture and beat well with a wire whisk.
  2. Stir in eggs and 1 1/2 cups of the flour and beat well. Add remaining flour, little by little, stirring well with a wooden spoon until dough comes together.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured wooden board and knead until it is smooth and elastic, and no longer sticky, about 9 to 10 minute . Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and allow it to rise in a warm area until it has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Punch down dough and divide into 2 pieces. Cut 3 small (about 1-ounce) balls from each half and mold them into skull-and-bones shapes. Shape large balls of dough into round loaf shapes, and place skull-and-bones on top. Place breads on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let rise another hour.
  5. Brush loaves with egg yolk mixture and bake. Halfway through baking, about 20 minutes, remove loaves from oven and brush again with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar. Return to oven and bake until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about another 20 minutes.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Chow.com

1 comment:

Claudia Yuskoff said...

Great blog! I blog on Mexican cooking as well. It has a video blog/webisode format. Hope you'll be watching. Keep up the great work! I LOVE Pan de Muerto!