Pan de muerto recipe

Dia de muertos is just around the corner!
I kept this recipe  simple, with easy to find ingredients and believe me when I say that it tastes (almost) the same as the originals from Mexico.
Obviously I’m not a professional baker, so I’m sorry not sorry if you think I skipped steps or I missed something. Believe me, even so, they came out very good and took away the craving. ;)

Since I had trouble finding orange blossom water here in The Netherlands (ok, I didn’t actually looked for it) , I had to substitute it with orange juice and it worked just fine.

For this recipe you will need:

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500 gr  flour

15 gr dry yeast

150 gr caster sugar

3 gr salt

2 eggs

90 gr butter

200 ml warm milk (not hot)

Orange zest from 2 oranges

2 tbsp fresh orange juice

For varnish

Butter

Caster sugar

gist
1. For the first step, we will prepare the yeast to give it time to grow. Put in a bowl 2 tbs of flour, 2 tbs of sugar, the dry yeast and 2 tbs of warm milk. Stir well until it becomes a soft paste is made. Put it aside in a warm place to rest for about half an hour or until it doubles it size.
DSCN0430                  2. Put the flour on your work surface. With the help of a bowl or your hands, make room in the centre of the flour for the next ingredients.
DSCN04403. On the outside of the circle sprinkle the salt and the orange zest. In the center add the softened butter, half the sugar and the eggs.
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4. Integrate all the ingredients using your fingertips. Start in the center and gradually use the ingredients from the inside out.
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5. We will now add its characteristic scent, the orange juice. If you get the orange blossom water then use it instead of the orange juice! :)
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6. Add the milk slowly until you feel it is the desired consistency. Don’t use more flour! just continue mixing it well.
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7. Add now the rest of the sugar and continue mixing until you get a smooth dough.  (Certainly it will take you more than 5 minutes ;) just the patient) You will know it’s ready because your work surface will be ‘clean’.
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8. Take the yeast, by now it must have double its size. Spread the dough on your work surface and add the yeast.
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9. Now it becomes messy and sticky again. Don’t worry, it should be this way ;)
don’t add any more flour!!

It will take you at least 30 minutes and a couple of punches
until you get a non sticky dough ball again.
When your work surface looks clean enough, then it is ready.
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10. Put the dough ball into a greased bowl, cover it with a plastic wrap and/or a cloth. Let it rest in a warm place until it doubles its size.
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11. Once its ready, take the dough out of the bowl.  Preheat the oven to 200°C
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12. Divide it into 5 pieces. (Well I did). It resulted in 3 little breads as I used de other 2 parts for making the ‘bones’. To these 2 parts I added a little more of flour so that the ‘bones’ didn’t swell once in the oven.
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13. Decorate the dough with bones like on the pictures. And let it rest for a couple of minutes. Before you put it in the oven, low the temperature to 180°C and let them bake for 20 minutes.
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14. Now that the bread is out of the oven. Use the melted butter to glaze the breads and sprinkle sugar on them. Let them cool down a little before you eat the with hot chocolate to dip them ;)

Enjoy!

Cheers!

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