Best Pan De Muerto Recipes
While basic pan de muerto recipes are similar, here are a couple of the best pan de muerto recipes that are sure to be favorites with your family and friends. In Mexico, the sweet bread known as pan de muerto, or "bread of the dead," is served in conjunction with the Day of the Dead, where the lives of family members and friends who have died are celebrated. Most loaves are baked as rounds with "bones" of dough draped across as decoration, but if you are really creative, this bread can be formed into different shapes and sizes such as braids and skulls.
Basic Round Pan de Muerto Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 pkts. dry yeast
- 1 tsp. anise seed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 eggs
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- Mix all dry ingredients together (except 4 1/2 cups flour).
- In pan, heat milk, water and butter. Add to dry ingredient mixture. Beat well.
- Mix in eggs and 1 1/2 cups flour mixture. Beat.
- Add remaining flour, a little at a time.
- Knead on floured board for 10 minutes.
- Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise until dough doubles in size.
- Punch dough down. Reserve a little dough to use as decoration. Reshape large ball and use reserved dough to shape into finger-like "bones" to drape over the dough ball.
- Let rise another hour.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
Possible glazes for pan de muerto bread include:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh orange Juice
- 2 tbs. orange zest
- Mix all ingredients together and bring to a boil in a small saucepan (for about 2 minutes).
- Brush on top of bread with pastry brush.
- 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 tbsp. + drop or two of fresh orange juice
- Mix the two ingredients together and spread over bread when nearly cooled.
- Allow to harden before serving.
Cinnamon and Sugar Topping
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. butter
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the cinnamon.
- Melt butter and allow to cool.
- Brush bread with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
If you want a more creative presentation you might consider this recipe:
Braided Pan de Muerto Recipe
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup margarine or butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 pkg. dry active yeast
- 1/4 cup very warm water
- 2 eggs
- 3 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp anise seed
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. sugar
- Bring milk to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in margarine or butter, 1/4 cup sugar and salt.
- In a large bowl, mix yeast and warm water until dissolved and let stand for 5 minutes. Add to the milk mixture.
- Separate the yolk and white from one egg (reserve white). Add the egg yolk to the yeast mixture.
- Add flour to the yeast and egg mixture and blend until dough forms a ball.
- Flour work surface and place dough into center. Knead dough until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat and cover with dish towel. Let rise for 90 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking dish.
- Knead dough a second time on floured surface and divide into 4 parts. Roll 3 parts into "ropes." On greased baking dish, pinch ends of the three ropes together at one end, braid and then pinch second end when done. Using the fourth part of the dough, form long bone shapes and place them on top of the braid.
- Cover bread with a dish towel and let rise another 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix anise seed, cinnamon and 2 tsp. sugar.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg white (reserved) lightly.
- Before baking, brush top of bread with egg white and sprinkle with sugar mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Whether you make the traditional round bread, or get creative with your shapes and glazes, the best pan de muerto recipes are those that are made with love, from the heart and in celebration of those who were greatly loved and appreciated.