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.

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    Makes: 1 large loaf

    • 55g butter
    • 60ml milk
    • 60ml warm water (45°C)
    • 375g all-purpose flour
    • 5g active dry yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoon anise seed
    • 50g white sugar
    • 2 eggs beaten
    • 2 teaspoons orange zest
    • For the glaze
    • 50g white sugar
    • 60ml orange juice
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 25g white sugar

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Extra time:3hr proofing  ›  Ready in:4hr10min 

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
    4. 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.
    5. Bake in a preheated 175°C oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
    6. 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.

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