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Pan de Muerto ~ Bread of the Dead

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Tomorrow & Friday are the DIA DE LOS MUERTOS! I'm really into Mexican culture...I studied abroad there in college and minored in Spanish language. One of my favorite things about the mexican culture is the celebration of Dia de los Muertos. I'll have my own mini ofrenda tomorrow for my 2 babies I lost this year... and on Friday I'll have an ofrenda for my dad. Anyway, just thought I'd share!


Here's more info about Dia de los Muertos, if you're interested in learning more about it: Day of the Dead in Mexico


Here's a recipe for pan de muerto...I try to make this every year, it's YUMMY!


Pan de Muerto, "Bread of the Dead"

In celebration of Mexico's Day of the Dead, this bread is often shaped into skulls or round loaves with strips of dough rolled out and attached to resemble bones.




1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

5 to 5-1/2 cups flour

2 packages dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon whole anise seed

1/2 cup sugar

4 eggs

In a saucepan over medium flame, heat the butter, milk and water until very warm but not boiling.


Meanwhile, measure out 1-1/2 cups flour and set the rest aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1-1/2 cups flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and sugar. Beat in the warm liquid until well combined. Add the eggs and beat in another 1 cup of flour. Continue adding more flour until dough is soft but not sticky. Knead on lightly floured board for ten minutes until smooth and elastic.


Lightly grease a bowl and place dough in it, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape into loaves resembling skulls, skeletons or round loaves with "bones" placed ornamentally around the top. Let these loaves rise for 1 hour.


Bake in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and paint on glaze.



1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons grated orange zest

Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then apply to bread with a pastry brush.


If desired, sprinkle on colored sugar while glaze is still damp.

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Ooooh yummy! We would have this bread every Nov 1st!

Thanks for posting this recipe.


That's so nice you are setting up an ofrenda to remember your loved ones :)

You have had a tough year Heidi.


I have pictures somewhere of a beautiful ofrenda to Frida Kahlo at la casa azul. I had never seen anything like it.

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In Mexico we celebrate on Nov 1st the All Saints Day (for the saints and the kids) and November 2nd the Day of the Deaths... these are very strong and typical traditions in Mexico, and much more in the central and south part of the country.


We place the altar with pics and things they liked to eat, things they would like to see from their lives in earth, flowers, candles, etc. The tradition calls for 7 steps at the altar , since are the 7 stages that souls takes to get to the final rest... is very interesting if you want to read it is in spanish...Día de Muertos | Días festivos y celebraciones en México


Pics from altares de Dia de Muertos

El altar para el difunto



Heidi, doing the altar is a very good way to remember and honor our loved ones, I really loved your idea of doing one for your babies sweetie!!


BTW I just love Pan the Muerto, LOL I went to the supermarket and got one to take with me and share with my dept at the office.. MMM!!! yummi!!

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Thanks for the recipe. Dia de los Muertos is huge out here. Maybe bigger than Halloween in some areas, it is where I live. I love it! I'll be joining in the festivities. Heidi I love your ofrenda, that's very special :o)

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