Foods | Cooking
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This recipe is courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX. Check out more of Cynthia's
You won’t find as many
people in Mexico celebrating Halloween as you will find them celebrating Día de los Muertos. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead,
which falls on November 1st and is known as All Souls Day.
This is a day of joyous celebration when the souls of
departed loved ones (human and animal alike) come back to the world of the
living. Tradition states that they come back from all realms of the spirit world,
both heaven and other places. Celebration of Day of the Dead dates back to
ancient Aztec traditions and by a strange, or should I say spooky,
coincidence coincides with the Catholic Holy Days, All Souls Day, and All
Saints Day. Day of the Dead is a happy celebration, not marked by tears. The Aztec Elders taught that tears would make the path back to the spirit
world slippery and difficult.
Day of the Dead, which is actually held on two days, November 1st and 2nd, is when those
departed have a license to come back and visit the ones they've left behind. Food and drink is shared with the departed in
a festive gathering. As with most Holiday’s, Day of the Dead is marked with its own special food. Pan de Muerto (or Bread of the Dead) is one of those.
Bread Making Hints:
Secrets to using the bread machine,
About yeast in bread making, and
Sourdough Starter - How to make a Sourdough Starter.
Sourdough Bread Recipes and
Quick Bread Recipe for all your bread making.
Pan de Muerto - Bread of the Dead
Yields: 2 loaves
Cook time: 40 minutes
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cups water
5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose
2 packages active-dry
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons whole anise seed
1/2 cups granulated
Orange Glaze (see recipe below)
In a saucepan over medium heat, place butter, milk, and water; warm through until very warm but not boiling,
approximately 105 to 110 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of flour, yeast, salt, anise seed, and sugar. Slowly beat in the
warm milk mixture until well mixed. Add eggs, one (1) at a time, mixing
through. Slowly add in another 1 cup of flour. Continue adding additional
flour until the dough is soft but not sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured board and knead for at least 10 minutes or
until smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a large ball.
Lightly grease a large bowl and place dough in it. Flip the dough so that the grease
covers the top and bottom of the dough ball. Cover loosely with plastic wrap
and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Oven Bread Rising: Sometimes I use my oven for the rising. Turn the oven on for a minute or so, then turn it off again.
This will warm the oven and make it a great environment for rising bread. If you can't comfortably press your hand against the inside of the oven door,
the oven is too hot. Let it stand open to cool a bit.
Cool or Refrigerator Bread Rise: If I don't have the time to wait for the rise to finish or I know that I will be interrupted before the
completed rise, I do a cool rise. A cool rise is when the dough is place in the refrigerator and left to rise slowly over night approximately 8 to 12 hours. I
usually do this after the first rise and the dough has been shaped into a loaf.
After the dough has risen, punch the dough down and shape into two (2) loaves. Traditionally these
loaves are shaped into skulls. Strips of dough can also be formed into bones
and arranged on top of the loaves. Let these loaves rise in a warm place until doubles, approximately 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake bread for approximately 40 minutes. When the bread is done it should sound “hollow” when thumped. A good check is to use an
digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees.
is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers
asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the
Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the
Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. To learn more about this excellent
thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:
oven and paint on prepared Orange Glaze while the bread is still warm.
Makes 2 loaves.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed
Colored sugar (optional)
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, orange zest, and orange
juice; bring just to a boil so the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.