Pan de Muerto
Day of the Dead Bread
Day of the Dead Bread or “Pan de Muertos” is a traditional bread made in Mexico for the celebration of “Day of the Dead.”
What is the Day of the Dead?
Firstly, the Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd in Mexico.
On these days family and friends gather together in “panteons” or cemeteries and other places to celebrate their loved ones that have passed away.
Food, drinks and music are enjoyed together.
Day of the Dead is said to date back as far as pre-Columbian days where it was celebrated for a full month.
Although for most people, death may be seen as a sad thing, for Mexicans, the Day of the Dead or “Dia de los Muertos” is a time to celebrate their lives.
This day has become a highly celebrated day by not just Mexicans or Mexican Americans but also by other cultures that also have chosen to celebrate the lives of their loved ones.
In essence, it’s a day to celebrate life and death and our ultimate destination.
What is an altar in the Day of the Dead?
Altars are built in homes and around cemeteries where offerings are placed for loved ones who have passed. Such offerings include foods that the loved ones enjoyed in life, day of the dead bread/pan de muertos, saints that are important to the family, flowers, jewelry worn, photos of their loved ones, drinks and sugar skulls just to name a few. In addition, family and friends perform various rituals, including religious ceremonies and dances.
It is believed that the deceased or the spirits of loved ones come to celebrate with the living on these days. It is truly a beautiful celebration.
Authentic Pan de Muerto
Lets talk about this delicious Day of the Dead Bread/Pan de Muerto. First what does the bread represent on the Day of the Dead?
Although the Day of the Dead Bread is made in many shapes, colors and sizes, they represent the souls of the dead.
What’s fabulous my friends is pan de muerto, is really easy to make and you only need a few ingredients.
And you know nothing is better than smelling the aroma of freshly baked bread….oh so good! There’s just something about making your own fresh bread.
And Day of the Dead Bread is so much fun to make too!
My son and I made three batches yesterday and just had a blast!
Day of the Dead Bread is a light and somewhat sweet bread. As I mentioned, normally this bread is made into several different shapes like skulls, bones and round loaves with strips of dough on top representing “bones.”
It can also be decorated with sugars, sprinkles, multi-colored sugars, food gels etc.
Day of the Dead is not only a day to celebrate and honor love ones that have passed but also a celebration of life.
So let’s get to it my friends and let me show you how easy and delicious this Day of the dead Bread really is.
Recipe and steps below ↓
Day of the Dead Bread
|Serves||3 to 4 loaves|
|Allergy||Egg, Milk, Wheat|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot|
- 1 cup orange (zested and juiced)
- 1/2 cup sugar
Recipe for Round Loaves
- 5 Cups all purpose white flour (sifted)
- 2 Packets yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 eggs (beaten)
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1 orange (zested)
|Using a grater, grate (zest) orange peel and set orange zest aside. |
In a bowl using a strainer sift the 5 cups of flour (this helps in removing the clumps from flour).
Then in another bowl add one cup of the sifted flour with the yeast, sugar and salt.
|In a saucepan over medium heat add milk, butter and water until butter melts.|
Pour your milk mixture to cup of flour and mix well.
Add eggs and zest of orange. Mix well with a spoon.
Keep mixing while you slowly add the rest of the flour.
Start mixing with hands. (The dough will be sticky at first.)
|Once dough comes well together, transfer dough to a floured board and knead for 10 minutes. |
Place dough in a greased bowl (spread bowl with a little bit of oil or butter).
Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rise double in size. Place dough in a warm area for at least an hour.
|Now your dough is ready to form. |
Remove from bowl and place back on a lightly floured board. Flatten dough with hands and cut into 4 pieces.
Shape 3 of the pieces into round buns.
Cut 7 strips from last piece of dough.
You can just place strips crisscrossed on top of buns in the form of a cross or can roll dough between fingers to form "bones."
Use the last strip to form 3 small balls and center on top of each bread.
Let rise for another 20 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 350. Cook loaves for 30 to 40 minutes.
Note: Could make a 4 loaf if you exclude making the strips and balls,
|While loaves are baking, prepare orange glaze. Zest the second orange and juice orange. |
Add juice, zest and sugar in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat for 2 to 4 minutes.
When breads are done, glaze loaves with a brush.
|You can also decorate your breads with colored sprinkles and sugar (while glazed bread is still warm)|
You can also add icing or confectioners sugar when bread has cooled.
|Time to enjoy this delicious bread!|
What the dough will look after kneading.
After dough has risen
Shape dough into buns and lay strips on top with ball in center. Let rise again for another 30 minutes before baking.
Can also shape dough into a skull
Will you be making Day of the Dead Bread/Pan de Muerto?