This is part of a sponsored collaboration with ViveMejor and DIME Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Pan de Muerto, a traditional sweet roll that is made on November 2nd for el Dia de Muertos is an important part of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico.
We always celebrate the Day of the Dead at home; it gives us an opportunity to remember and celebrate the lives of those loved ones that have passed away. We usually build an altar with photos of my grandparents and my aunt and uncle and we tell the kids stories about those family members that they never got to meet. They love hearing about their ancestors about their roots.
I have never been much of a baker but I found this recipe of Pan de Muerto on the ViveMejor website and decided to give it a try because the recipe looked so simple and straightforward. So I have a confession to make: this is the first time I bake bread from scratch and I have to say that it was much easier than I thought. The Pan de Muerto came out delicious and everyone at home devoured it, even the grandparents wanted some more.
The Pan de Muerto bread has decorations that resemble the bones of the dead and they also represent the tears shed for loved ones that have passed away. I tried making a skull in the center as well, but not too sure that it looks like skull. The round decoration on the top represents a skull. The round bread represents the circle of life.
This is a sweet bread or pan dulce and the fennel gives is a very distinct flavor. As it was baking it brought back memories of freshly baked bread at my grandmothers and I was so glad that I gave this recipe a try!
Pan De Muerto Recipe
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup water (about 125°)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup Country Crock® Buttery Sticks, melted
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds o anise seed
- 1 egg white
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. colored sugar o granulated sugar
- Combine yeast with warm water in medium bowl and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in milk, whole eggs, and melted Country Crock® Buttery Sticks; set aside.
- Sift flour, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl. Stir in fennel seeds. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Stir yeast mixture into flour mixture with a wooden spoon until dough forms. Add a little more flour if the dough is too wet or a little more milk if it is too dry.
- Knead on lightly floured surface until dough is smooth but slightly sticky, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough to large, lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray baking sheet with no-stick spray. Knead dough on lightly floured surface 3 minutes. Cut about 1/5 of the dough off; reserve. Shape remaining dough into a round loaf on prepared baking sheet. Roll reserved dough into a thick rope, then cut into 5 portions. Roll one portion into a ball and arrange it on top of the round loaf. Roll remaining 4 balls into ropes with knobby ends resembling ”bones”. Arrange ”bones” around loaf. Cover loosely and let it rise in warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Beat egg white with water, then brush loaf with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 35 minutes or until top is lightly golden brown. Remove to wire rack and cool.
After making big bread rolls I tried making smaller ones. These came out much prettier and are great for when you are getting together with family to celebrate your ancestors because you can give everyone their individual pan de muerto.
Pan de muerto is perfect for sharing with a hot cup of Lipton tea. I like mine with a little bit of milk and drinking team always makes me think of my mom who loves tea and our love for tea has always been something we share.
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