Pan de Muertos, Bread of the Dead, is one of the traditional Dia de los Muertos treats. It is a sweet anise and citrus flavored bread. I made this bread for my sweets table for the Dia de los Muertos Party. It had a wonderful texture -- light, but still substantial. And, it had just the right amount of light sweetness. However, I must confess I'm not a huge fan of the anise flavor. The bread's texture was perfect, though, so I will make it again. Next time, however, I will try substituting 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for the anise extract. Do you have any other thoughts on flavors that could be used for this bread?
If you try making your own version of Bread of the Dead, let me know. I'd love to hear the interesting flavor combinations you create!
Pan de Muertos (original recipe from Allrecipes)
- Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the warm water.
- Combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise extract and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and 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 at 350 degrees oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
To make the 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.