An Untraditional Dead Bread

An Untraditional Dead Bread

posted in: Breakfast, Desserts, Food, Snacks | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Growing up in the southwest we learned Spanish in school and at the start of every November we would celebrate Día de los Muertos with our class. Día de los Muertos is a three day celebration in Mexico, during which families celebrate their relatives that have passed. It is believed that during these three days, family members return to the living world to visit, therefore offerings are made to help them celebrate. You can read more about Día de los Muertos here. One of the most common food offerings is Pan de Muerto, or Dead Bread.

During school we would make and eat this bread at our Spanish class festivities. Traditional Dead Bread is an enriched yeast bread, made wth milk and eggs and flavored with anise seeds. However today we wanted to present an alternative to the traditional Dead Bread.

Our first variance from the tradition is the omission of anise seeds. Al is not a fan of anything licorice tasting at all, therefore we left them out.

Our next variance was born purely out of an accident. Our original recipe included sweetened condensed milk instead of whole milk. While perusing the options at the grocery store, we picked out a couple of cans of our go to brand, Eagle Brand but then we also decided to try a different brand, La Lechera. The La Lechera brand also had some other interesting options including Dulce de Leche Caramel. Very pleased with our purchases of all the different options, we waltzed home to make our Dead Bread. We decided to try the La Lechera sweetened condensed milk but with all the cans looking similar, instead of opening the correct can, we opened the Dulce de Leche Caramel. This is probably the best baking mistake we have ever made! The bread turned out extra moist with a deeper yellow color than other versions we have made with whole milk or sweetened condensed milk.

Another switch we made from tradition is the finishing of the bread with granulated sugar, which is usually sprinkled on right right after the loaf comes out of the oven. We love cinnamon so we decided to substitute cinnamon sugar and then we helped it adhere better by brushing melted butter on the top then sprinkling the cinnamon sugar onto the loaf.

Forming the shape of the Dead Bread is probably the most challenging step of this whole process. Traditionally the loaf is topped with a skull and crossbones. How elaborate this decoration is, is up to the baker. We kept it pretty simple. We took 8 ounces of the dough after the first rise and separated it into 5 pieces. With the remaining dough, we formed it into a round loaf and then made a golf ball sized indentation in the middle. Next, we formed the skull and crossbones. We rolled four of the pieces into cylinders, lightly brushed one side with water and placed them on the main loaf, meeting in the middle. The fifth piece we rolled into a ball and then flattened it slightly. We also brushed a little bit of water on the underside of this piece and placed it in the center, covering the mesh points of the crossbones, to be the skull.

One last tip before we share our recipe. While baking, leave the loaf uncovered for the first half of the baking time to allow the loaf to brown, then tent the loaf with a piece of aluminum foil to protect it from over browning and drying out.

An Untraditional Pan de Muerto

An Untraditional Pan de Muerto

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water (110-115°F)
  • 1 packet (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup La Lechera Dulce de Leche Caramel
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 scant tablespoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Pour the warm water into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast and pinch of sugar. Mix to wet the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat butter on low until just melted. Add Dulce de Leche Caramel. Whisk to combine. Make sure not to heat over 115°F.
  3. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, whisk in salt and the warm butter and caramel mixture.
  4. Carefully add the egg mixture to the yeast mixing bowl.
  5. With dough hook attachment, mix to combine all of the liquid ingredients.
  6. While mixing, slowly add the flour a cup at a time. Once you have added 4 cups, keep adding a little until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl.
  7. Let the dough knead fro 5 minutes in the stand mixer.
  8. Spray a large mixing bowl with oil. Add the dough and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let rise for an hour, until doubled.
  9. Cover a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  10. Remove 8 ounces of the dough and set aside.
  11. With the remaining dough, shape by folding it onto itself, forming a round loaf. Place on prepared baking sheet. Make an indentation in the center of the loaf about the size of a golf ball.
  12. Divide the 8 ounces of dough into 5 pieces (1.6 ounces) roll four into long cylinders (bones), roll the fifth portion into a ball (skull).
  13. Brush a small amount of water onto one side of each of the long cylinders (bones) and form a cross with each piece meeting in the indentation of the main loaf. Brush a small amount of water on the ball (skull) and press into center of loaf.
  14. Cover with oiled piece of plastic wrap and let rise for 40-60 minutes, until doubled.
  15. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  16. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 200°F. Tent the loaf halfway through baking to avoid over browning.
  17. Remove loaf from oven.
  18. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  19. Working in sections, brush melted butter onto the loaf and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
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Our newest Banana Bread obsession

Our newest Banana Bread obsession

posted in: Breakfast, Desserts, Food, Snacks | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

We have previously posted several banana based recipes: Banana Chocolate Chip Scones, Banana Oatmeal Muffins, even dog treats. We have also featured our “Best” Banana Bread. However, the previous recipe for the “Best” Banana Bread has been dethroned as the “Best.” We still love that recipe but the one we are sharing today is even better.

Our new, favorite banana bread has walnuts in it, we had NO idea what we were missing out on! Use a food processor to pulse your nuts to get them finely chopped but be careful not to over process or you won’t be able to taste them in the bread.


Another lesson we have finally learned is lining the loaf pan with parchment paper before pouring the batter in. This makes the removal so much easier and you no longer have to hold your breath hoping the loaf comes out perfectly.

Our last tip is letting the eggs come to room temperature. Room temperature eggs allow for the incorporation of air and sugar to volumize the bread.

Best Banana Bread

Best Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (255 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups (255 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 T sour cream
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and walnuts. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whisk sugar and eggs on medium speed until they are light, fluffy and an off white color. About 10 minutes.
  4. While waiting for the sugar and egg mixture to whip, mash bananas and add sour cream and vanilla extract.
  5. After 10 minutes, while still whisking, drizzle in vegetable oil.
  6. Reduce speed to low, carefully add the banana mixture.
  7. Remove mixing bowl from stand mixer and gently fold in flour mixture.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 75-85 minutes. Time will be dependent on how large your bananas are. Be careful not to overbake.
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Our Best, Beautiful Banana Bread

Our Best, Beautiful Banana Bread

posted in: Breakfast, Desserts, Food, Snacks | 6 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our family loves bananas, we always have a supply on hand. Even when you eat them everyday, you can still get a couple that ripen too quickly and are better for baking than for eating alone. We have previously shared a couple of banana recipes: Banana Oatmeal Muffins and Banana Chocolate Chip Scones.

twitter beautiful banana bread

Today’s banana recipe is for the very best banana bread. We have tried lots of banana bread recipes and this is the only one that we can all agree tastes delicious. It is the same one our mom baked for us when we were little kids!

The most important ingredient in banana bread is of course B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Make sure to mash them up well, you don’t want too big of chunks in your bread.
banana bread - 1
The dry ingredients, flour and baking soda.
banana bread - 2
Softened butter and glorious granulated sugar.
banana bread - 3
The butter and sugar creamed together.
banana bread - 4
Add in the eggs and vanilla.
banana bread - 5
The liquid mixture is now complete.
banana bread - 6
Carefully add in the dry ingredients.
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Mix until incorporated.
banana bread - 8


Now it’s time for the bananas.
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Take your time mixing in the bananas, at first it will be a little difficult but in the end, you have banana pieces all throughout.
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Pour the batter into a buttered loaf pan.
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Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
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Slice and enjoy!

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Grease a 5x9 loaf pan.
  3. Cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla.
  5. Combine flour and baking soda, then add to liquid mixture.
  6. Stir in mashed bananas.
  7. Pour into prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.
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Best After-School Snack: PB and A

Best After-School Snack: PB and A

posted in: Food, Snacks | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

In this morning’s post, we harvested some apples at Apple Annie’s in Willcox, now we can put them to good use! Move over PB and J, get ready for PB and A. Peanut butter and apples are a wonderful combination, perfect for an after school snack. Or in our case, a mid-afternoon snack that has nothing to do with school.

To cut up the apples, we use this style of apple slicer.

Calphalon Easy Grip Apple Slicer

The main advantage to a slicer like this is speed. You can get eight slices in one fell swoop. But watch your fingers! The slicer can be hard to get started, but once you have momentum, it will cut everything in its path.

The main disadvantage to the slicer is its style of cutting. If you want your apple slices more dainty, you need a knife. You can only get 8 rather chunky slices out of it. You’re also stuck with that bit of core at the center of the slice. You can these features in the apple slices below. Most days it is a non-issue since we are so HANGRY by that time of the day.

Start by cutting your apples and getting out your peanut butter tub.

Peanut Butter and Apples - 1

Dole out about 2 tablespoons of PB into a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 15 seconds on high.


Now it’s time for the secret ingredient: Cinnamon Sugar. It was a staple during our childhood, a simple mix of warmth and sweetness that pairs ridiculously well with the salty fatty peanut butter. Eat this mix of PB and Cinnamon Sugar on toast, waffles, tortillas – all the carbs really – for a delicious snack.

Peanut Butter and Apples - 2

Stir to mix then devour your snack!

Peanut Butter and Apples - 3

The type of apple we used for this recipe was Gala, but we also enjoy McIntosh, Braeburn, and when we’re feeling sassy, Granny Smith. The Kitchn.com has compiled lists of the best apples for eating, cooking, and baking that are definitely worth checking out.

Peanut Butter and Apples

Peanut Butter and Apples

Ingredients

  • 1 Apple
  • 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  • Cinnamon Sugar

Instructions

  1. Carefully slice apple with knife or apple slicer.
  2. Heat the peanut butter in small microwave safe bowl in microwave for about 15 seconds on high.
  3. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on the peanut butter.
  4. Devour this yummy snack.
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Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

posted in: Breakfast, Desserts, Food, Snacks | 4 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Mmmm, muffins.

Whenever we go on vacation, I eat muffins every single day from the free breakfast at the hotel. They are one of my favorite foods. I am to Muffins as Bubba Gump is to Shrimp (⇠click to see Bubba GIFs on imgur) or as Buddy the Elf is to Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn, and Syrup (⇠click to see Buddy the Elf GIFs on imgur).

I like bran muffins, corn muffins, poppy seed, chocolate, blueberry, cranberry orange, cinnamon crumble, pumpkin chocolate chip and… today’s special:  BANANA OATMEAL!

I made 14 muffins with this recipe, but you could make 12 with larger tops.

banana, oats, muffins, breakfast, snack

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
¾ cup milk
1 t vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
½ t salt
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line muffin tins with paper cups.

Mash bananas in medium bowl.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Add milk, egg and vanilla to bananas.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, oats, salt, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix to combine.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

May need to use whisk to break up chunks of brown sugar.

Add liquid ingredients and mix.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

 

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Use ice cream scooper to put batter into prepared tin.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Bake 15-20 minutes.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Tops will be golden brown and a toothpick should come out dry.

Store leftovers. Here is a link about How to Store Muffins by Food Pyramid. They recommend covering with a towel for overnight storage, in an airtight container at room temp for a few days, and in the freezer for longer periods.

I store them in the fridge in a container (which they tell you not to do, meh) and then zap them in the microwave for a couple of seconds to reheat. I like ’em that way me-self, but just do you.

banana oatmeal muffins, banana, oatmeal, muffins

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you will try out the recipe. Happy Wednesday!

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Yield: 12-14 Muffins

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • ½ t salt
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line muffin tins with paper cups.
  3. Mash bananas in medium bowl.
  4. Add milk, egg and vanilla to bananas.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, oats salt, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix to combine.
  6. Add liquid ingredients and mix.
  7. Use ice cream scooper to put batter into prepared tin.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  9. Tops will be golden brown and a toothpick should come out dry.
  10. Store leftovers.
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