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    You are in: Home / Mexican / Pan De Muerto (Mexican Bread of the Dead) Recipe
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    Pan De Muerto (Mexican Bread of the Dead)

    Pan De Muerto (Mexican Bread of the Dead). Photo by pammyowl

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    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    6 hrs 35 mins

    6 hrs

    35 mins

    Queen Dana's Note:

    This recipe is from "The Rustic Table" by Constance Snow. This is my favorite Pan de Muerto recipe because of the nice orangey flavor.

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    Units: US | Metric




    • yellow or orange colored crystal sugar, crystals or candy sprinkles


    1. 1
      For the Bread:.
    2. 2
      Pour warm water into a 1 quart bowl and sprinkle yeast over water. Set aside in a warm place that is free of draft until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
    3. 3
      Stir 1 cup of flour to make a sponge. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until the sponge doubles in volume, about 1 hour.
    4. 4
      Scrape the sponge into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat in anise seeds, orange zest, butter, orange liqueur, sugar, salt, eggs and 2 cups of flour. Beat the batter on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add, one 1/4 cup at a time, the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour until it forms a very soft dough that cleans the side of the bowl.
    5. 5
      Knead with hook for 4 minutes (dough will be smooth and very soft, but it should not be sticky, if needed add more flour by the tablespoon to preventing sticking). Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a cloth and set aside to rise in a warm place free of draft until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hour.
    6. 6
      Grease 2 8-inches round cake pans. Gently deflate dough and divide in half, (dough will be very soft). Carefully transfer each half to a greased cake pan, turning the edges under to smooth the top as best you can. Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap, then with damp cloths and let stand in a warm place until dough rises to the top of pan, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
    7. 7
      Preheat oven to 350°F.
    8. 8
      Bake bread until hollow when thumped, about 35 to 40 minutes. Immediately remove the loaves from pans and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
    9. 9
      For Glaze:.
    10. 10
      Stir everything together until smooth, add more orange juice if necessary to reach spread consistency.
    11. 11
      Spread glaze over cooled loaves and sprinkle with toppings.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on August 07, 2012


      Very nice! I had doubts about the huge amount of butter, so I cut back by 1/4 cup. It turned out perfectly fine, although it did get very dark. My fault, I should have covered it with tinfoil after 20 minutes. Thanks for posting!
      Made for Remember the Alamo challenge WT8

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    • on November 20, 2011


      This is an excellent Pan De Muerto! I made the dough in my automatic bread machine and then I shaped it by hand and baked it in the oven for a authentic look. It turned out beautifully. The orange and anise were just perfect. I'm not a huge anise fan, but it added great flavor along with the orange. The glaze was very tasted. I juiced the orange and then cooked it on the stove. I made this for day of the dead and I'll definitely be making it again.

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    • on November 02, 2010


      The only time I've had Pan de Muerto was when learning about it in Spanish class - either middle or high school. I don't remember liking it terribly much - very anise-y, kind of tough. It could be my memory is fading (it was a LONG time ago), or that my palate at the time was less than sophisticated. This recipe, made to teach my son a bit about Dia de Los Muertos, was absolutely fantastic! I did not have any orange liqueur, so I used orange juice. I also started it later than I should have, so I skipped the first rising and formed the loaves straight from the mixing bowl. The bread had a lovely, tender texture, very mild anise flavor and the glaze was a tasty, beautiful finish. I will definitely make this again - maybe even before next year's Dia de Los Muertos!

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    Read All Reviews (4)


    Nutritional Facts for Pan De Muerto (Mexican Bread of the Dead)

    Serving Size: 1 (1567 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 1

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 2749.0
    Calories from Fat 1072
    Total Fat 119.1 g
    Saturated Fat 70.0 g
    Cholesterol 739.5 mg
    Sodium 2530.2 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 374.4 g
    Dietary Fiber 9.4 g
    Sugars 153.3 g
    Protein 48.3 g

    The following items or measurements are not included:

    oranges, zest of

    orange liqueur

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