Culinary Corner Free Recipes Mexican Dominican Jamaican

Culinary Corner: “Pan de Muerto”

This weekend, throughout the world, Halloween activities are taking place however in Mexico the celebration is very special. This traditional celebration is named “Día de Muertos” (Day of the Dead) and celebrates the Life and Death of loved ones that have passed over to the other side. You can read more about this age old tradition HERE. The celebrations are varied depending on the region of Mexico however there is one aspect that is almost always included, the “Pan de Muerto” (Bread of the Dead).

This special Culinary Corner includes the recipe for this customary dish as well as a small historical tribute to this traditional occasion.

The origin of the “Día de Muertos” dates back to 1519; the days of the human sacrifices and the arrival of the Spanish to the New Spain (now known as Mexico). According to the legend, there was a ritual during the Mexican conquest which envolved a local princess being offered to the gods in sacrifice; her heart was placed into a pot of amaranth and the priest in charge of the ritual later bit into her heart in thanks. The Spanish refused to comply with this part of the ritual and in representation they chose to bite into heart shaped bread bathed in red sugar which became known as the “Pan de Muerto” (Bread of the Deceased).

Over the years, the “Pan de Muerto” has evolved and it has now taken on a circular, decorated shape with each part offering a special meaning:

Pan de Muerto
  • 1kg wheat flour
  • 260g sugar
  • 18g salt
  • 30g yeast
  • 300g butter
  • 300ml egg
  • 250ml water
  • Grated orange peel (2 oranges)
  • Freshlt squeezed orange juice (1 orange)
  • 10ml Essence of Orange Blossom Esencia de Azahar
  • Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a low speed mixer. 
  • Add egg and water while the speed is increased until the dough has a smooth texture.
  • Add the softened butter and continue mixing to obtain the texture of a thin mesh when stretched.
  • Put the dough in a greased pan for 30-45 minutes at room temperature.
  • Seperate the dough into small portions and form them into round shapes.
  • Mix one part of the dough with white flour in order to make the adornments.
  • Add the adornments to each dough portion.
  • Allow the dough to ferment for approximately 1 hour (room temp – 30° C) .
  • Bake at 150 ° C for 25-30 minutes.
  • Allow the bread to cool and sprinkle with sugar.

Finally, serve and Enjoy! We recommend accompanying the bread with a delicious cup of hot chocolate!



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