Lola's Pan de los Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead)
4 hours 10 mins
This is a version of the bread that is made for the November 2 celebration known as the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico. You can also mold the bread into different shapes like angels and animals.
Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the warm water. The mixture should be around 43 degrees C.
In a large bowl combine a third of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 50g of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and 2 teaspoons of orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated 175°C oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.