Soon it will be Day of the Dead and we wouldn’t be caught dead in Puerto Vallarta without a good recipe for Day of the Dead Bread! Pan Muerto in Spanish is traditional bread that is shared at either the shine for the departed or at the actual gravesites. In the shape of a bun, and with the usual flare for amusement, Pan Muerto is covered in bones in somewhat of a geometric pattern. These represent the departed (difuntos) and the top is a tear shaped piece, denoting the goddess Chimalma. These are not tears for the dead but for the living who must remain in their earthly bodies until it is their time to go to wherever it is we go.
Dia de los Muertos is observed November 1 and 2 but the bread can be eaten many days ahead of the celebration. This gives us an opportunity to perfect our recipe and experiment on our friends and relatives (the pup gets a nibble, too.)
We are pleased to share our favorite recipe with you. Good luck!
Ingredients: ½ cup butter; 1 ¼ cup water; 6 cups flour; 2 packets dry yeast; 1 teaspoon salt; 3 teaspoons whole anise seed; 2 tablespoons orange zest (we prefer to zest our own oranges, make sure to wash them ahead of time); ¾ cups sugar; 4 eggs. Start with all ingredients room temperature (water should be very warm.) Mix together butter, sugar, anise, salt and half the flour in one bowl. In another bowl, combine the eggs and warm water. Slowly add the contents together while adding the remaining flour. Add the yeast at this time and continue adding the remaining flour. Knead on a well floured surface and cover with a slightly damp towel. Allow to rise for an hour and a half. Punch down and divide in two pieces, your bun and with the remaining dough (about ¼ of the mixture) enough to create your bones. Place the bone shapes on the bun and allow to rise for another hour. (It’s easier than you think to make the bones. Roll out cylinder shapes and form little balls to attach to the ends.)
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden. Once the bread has cooled, brush with the following sugar glaze: Bring to a boil ¾ cup sugar and ½ cup orange juice. Using a pastry brush, glaze the bread and sprinkle a bit of sugar on top. Buen provecho!
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Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article!
The founder of the company, Vanessa Cole, lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and in Cancun for 2 years. She has worked in Luxury Vacation Villa Rentals since 2001.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Vanessa earned a degree from the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in International Business and Latin American Studies. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked and traveled all over Mexico and South America.
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