Pan De Muerto is traditionally baked and served in the weeks leading up to Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This Mexican-style brioche is decorated with bone-shaped pieces to represent the deceased, and left as an offering at graveyards and altars.
- Makes 9 small loaves of bread
- • 33g yeast
- • 1kg sifted wheat flour
- • ¾ cup warm water
- • 1 pinch salt
- • 300g caster sugar
- • 500g butter
- • 15 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- • Zest of 1 orange
- • Zest of 1 lime
- • 1 pinch cinnamon
- • 1 pinch anise powder
- Mix together yeast, warm water and 150 grams of wheat flour. Once combined, let the mixture rest in a warm place for roughly 20 minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble.
- In a bowl, combine remaining wheat flour, sugar and salt. Then transfer to a flat, lightly floured surface and shape into a mound.
- Form a small well in the centre of the mound. Pour in the egg yolks, fermented yeast mixture, lemon and orange zest, cinnamon and anise, slowly stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Gradually add the butter and continue to stir, gathering flour from the sides of the well until a rough dough mixture has formed.
- Use hands to mold and work the mixture into a smooth dough with an elastic texture.
- Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a warm damp cloth and let stand for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Knead the dough and divide into 18 balls.
- Take half of the dough balls and roll with a rolling pin until 2cm in height. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Separate each of the remaining dough balls into 3 pieces and mold into small log shapes using hands.
- Place 3 pieces of the bones on top of each flattened dough ball in diagonal lines. Glaze each dough ball with a little of the whisked egg mixture.
- To decorate with sesame seeds, sprinkle over dough balls with glazing mixture before placing in the oven.
- Leave the dough balls to rest for another hour or until doubled in volume.
- Bake in a fan-forced oven for 25 minutes at 180°C, taking care not to brown too much.
- Remove from oven and serve warm.
- For sugar coating, once bread is ready and out of the oven, wait to cool a little before varnishing with a little butter and sprinkling over sugar evenly.