Snagged this photo from Pinterest, says it's a bakery in Los Angeles called Pan de Vita, but really it could be from anywhere. If I'd thought ahead, I would have included a photo from our local tortilleria/panaderia. Rows and rows of these, and nary a chocolate chip cookie in sight. My kids just love this stuff so my husband takes them down most every Saturday morning or even a Wednesday evening. Me? I like it well enough when it's dipped in hot coffee. It's just not my preferred Mexican pastry.
"And what is?" you ask. Why I do happen to have one available so I'll put up a pic. This is also under the banner of "pan dulce" but it's very light and airy... and a lot more sugar. LOL. Just the American in me. I can't go from doughnuts to pan dulce and not notice how much less sweet they are.
So, let's start. The bread isn't very sweet, despite the name, so sometimes if I'm out of eggs, I'll just substitute any bread recipe that starts with warm milk, oil and a little sugar.
1 cup milk
6 TBS butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1 package dry yeast
1 tsp salt
5 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup flour
4 TBs butter
So, heat the milk and butter in a pan until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool. Add the yeast, salt, eggs, and flour. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and let rise for one hour.
Split the dough into 16 small balls and put on a cookie sheet. Start mixing the ingredients for the topping.
It needs to stick together, but not be too crumbly. This sticks together nicely, but definitely needs more flour. This looks like the beginning of a delicious cookie dough, but it shouldn't be that sweet.
This is crumbly, but I can still pat it into a disk.
Place a small disk of the topping on each roll. (Most people dye the topping different colors but we were out of food dye and since it doesn't change the flavor... Oh, well!)
Take a knife and slice diagonal cuts into the topping. This style of pan dulce is called "las conches", because it looks like conch shells.
Put in a warm place with a damp towel and let rise another hour. Preheat oven to 350F
After they've risen again, you can see the distinctive pattern emerging. Sometimes my teens cut different shapes into the topping but I'm not that creative!
I'm running off to check over my final copy of The Boundless Deep before I have to submit it. I always get so excited at book release time. :D It's like Easter... several times a year.
Take some pan dulce and coffee on your way out, and I'll see you all again next weekend!