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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Fluffy and Delicious Dinner Rolls

Fluffy and Delicious Dinner Rolls

posted in: Food, Side Dishes | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Thanksgiving is just a couple weeks away and if you are like us, you are probably in the beginning stages of assembling your menu. One major part of our Thanksgiving menu is rolls. We are devout carb lovers therefore a holiday dinner is not complete without fluffy dinner rolls.

Fluffy Dinner Rolls

When we were younger, we always bought Pillsbury Flaky Layers Biscuits to consume with our turkey and gravy. While these biscuits are delicious, they just aren’t the same as homemade bread. In a pinch or a nostalgic moment, we still eat these biscuits.

But since Thanksgiving is a great time to try new things on your menu, give these dinner rolls a try. They are simple to make and the end result is delicious.


To start, mix warm water and yeast in stand mixer bowl. Let sit for 10-15 minutes covered with a tea towel, until frothy.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together milk, egg, vegetable oil, sugar and salt.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Add the liquid mix to the yeast mixture. Stir to combine using the dough hook attachment.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Add all of the flour and mix until a shaggy dough has formed on level 2.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Continue kneading the dough for 8-10 minutes on level 2. Dough will be smooth, slightly tacky and will spring back when poked.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Spray large mixing bowl and a piece of plastic wrap with oil. Place dough in prepared bowl, then cover with the plastic wrap. Gently press the wrap onto the dough surface so it stays moist.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Cover bowl with tea towel and let rise 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Carefully remove plastic wrap and place aside to reuse. Flour a cutting board and dump dough out.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Cut into 12 pieces. Fold each piece onto itself to form a smooth to then roll into balls. Place into 11×7 pan.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Cover pan with saved plastic wrap and tea towel. Let rise again about 30 minutes until pillowy and doubled in size.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt tablespoon of butter and gently brush onto tops of the risen rolls.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Devour one or three!
Fluffy Dinner Rolls

Fluffy and Delicious Dinner Rolls

Fluffy and Delicious Dinner Rolls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c warm water (105-110°F)
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c milk, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 16 oz all purpose flour
  • 1 T butter
  • Special equipment: Stand mixer with dough hook

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixing bowl, combine warm water and yeast, stir to mix then cover with tea towel. Let sit 10-15 minutes until frothy.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, egg, vegetable oil, sugar and salt. Add this to the yeast mixture.
  3. Stir a couple of times with the dough hook attachment to incorporate.
  4. Carefully add all of the flour to the mixing bowl. Mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  5. Then knead on level 2 for 8-10 minutes. Dough will be smooth, slightly tacky and will spring back when poked.
  6. Spray a large mixing bowl and a piece of plastic wrap with oil. Transfer dough to prepared bowl and cover the dough with the plastic wrap, pressing it around the dough. Cover bowl with tea towel and let rise for 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size.
  7. Lightly flour a cutting board. Carefully remove the plastic wrap and set aside to use again.
  8. Dump dough onto cutting board. Cut into 12 pieces, fold the pieces onto themselves and roll into balls. Place in an 11x7 pan.
  9. Cover with the oiled plastic wrap again and cover with tea towel. Let rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled in size and pillowy looking.
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  11. Melt tablespoon of butter and lightly brush onto the risen rolls.
  12. Bake 15-18 minutes until lightly golden.
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The Best Brioche Buns!

The Best Brioche Buns!

posted in: Food, Main Dishes | 5 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

While we love a good hamburger bun from the grocery store, after a trip to Fuddruckers last month, we decided to try to make some hamburger buns of a similar caliber.

The brioche buns at Fuddruckers had a glorious sheen on them that you just can’t get from Sara Lee. Brioche is a French dough based on eggs and butter which give this bread a smooth texture and rich taste.

The Best Brioche Buns

We made our brioche buns free form, but you can use a pan like this one to make the buns completely uniform. The buns turned out to be fantastic and although it is a two day process, it is definitely worth the effort.

Here’s what you will need.
The Best Brioche Buns
Start by mixing the eggs, warm water, yeast and half of the flour.
The Best Brioche Buns
Mix one minute, until smooth.
The Best Brioche Buns
Cover bowl with tea towel and let rise 45 minutes. Mixture will have risen slightly and have lots of little bubbles on the surface.
The Best Brioche Buns
Add remaining flour, salt and sugar. Use dough hook to mix for 8 minutes on level 4.
The Best Brioche Buns
Dough will be moist, don’t add more flour. Add cubed butter, a little at a time until it has all been incorporated. Takes 7-8 minutes on level 4.
The Best Brioche Buns
Dough will be shiny and still moist at this point. Place dough into oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
The Best Brioche Buns


The dough will have doubled during its time in the fridge.
The Best Brioche Buns
Portion out the dough and form into flat disks. Cover with tea towel and let rise 30-45 minutes until doubled in size.
The Best Brioche Buns
Mix egg yolk and water to make egg wash.
The Best Brioche Buns
Gently brush egg wash over the tops of the buns.
The Best Brioche Buns
Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned.
The Best Brioche Buns
Slice the buns in half.
The Best Brioche Buns
Add your favorite burger recipe and top with delicious toppings!
The Best Brioche Buns

The Best Brioche Buns!

The Best Brioche Buns!

Ingredients

  • 480 grams all purpose flour, divided
  • 1 packet yeast (which equals 2 1/4 t)
  • 3/4 c warm water (between 105-110°F)
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T water

Instructions

  1. In Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, combine half of the flour (240 grams), yeast, water and eggs.
  2. Mix with with flat beater slowly to incorporate ingredients, then one minute on level 4, until smooth. Scrape off beater and remove. Scrape down side of bowl.
  3. Cover bowl with tea towel and let rise 45 minutes.
  4. Add remaining flour (240 grams), sugar and salt. Using dough hook, beat on low until all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Beat 8 minutes on level 4, scrape down sides occasionally.
  6. Slowly add cubed butter, a couple of cubes at a time while the mixer is on level 4. Continue until butter is incorporated, about 7-8 minutes.
  7. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  8. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Weigh the dough. Calculate how many grams or ounces you need to measure out for 8-10 buns. Portion out the dough and place onto prepared baking sheets, 4 or 5 per sheet. Roll dough into balls, then flatten into 3/4 inch disks.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  11. Cover baking sheets with tea towels and let rise 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size.
  12. Mix egg yolk and water. Brush mixture over the tops of the buns.
  13. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned.
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