Recipe Source: D23 Website – click here for full recipe.
Recipe Name: Mickey-Inspired Conchas (aka pan dulce)
For the bread:
- 1 and ¼ cup whole milk, room temp
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 3 and ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs, beaten
For the topping:
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1sp vanilla extract
- Food coloring or cocoa powdered (if desired)
Confetti here! September 15th through October 15th is Hispanic Heritage month, which Chaos and I are super excited to celebrate. Chaos identifies as Mexican-American and Hispanic, so I knew I wanted to try to honor his culture with our recipe for this month. I didn’t see anything that super jumped out at me in my cookbooks, but when D23 sent this recipe I knew it was the one. Chaos has often talked about eating pan dulce with his grandmother growing up, but I’ve never tried it. This seemed like the perfect opportunity!
The nice thing about this recipe is that I already had the majority of the ingredients on hand and I own a kitchen aid mixer with the bread hook attachment. I think you could make this recipe without a bread hook, but it would be significantly more time consuming and would require a lot of kneading.
The hardest part of this recipe for me was activating the yeast. I don’t work with yeast often and while we have a thermometer, it’s older and it isn’t super reliable. I’m always afraid my water will be too hot or too cold and the yeast won’t activate. I did two packets of yeast in separate bowls because I was nervous, but thankfully both activated just fine. From there, I started preparing my bread.
I had melted my butter and sat my milk out on the counter while activating the yeast, so that both would have time to come closer to room temperature. The dough came together easily in my kitchen aid mixer and then I transferred it to a glass bowl that had already been greased with vegetable oil. Chaos cleaned out a spot in the pantry for me and I set the bowl in there to rise for a little over two hours.
I laid out pans with Parchment paper. Next, I portioned the dough out into smaller balls and split a few of the balls to make several Mickey Head shapes The rest I left round, just for a bit of variety.
Then, I got to work making the sweet topping to go on top of the bread. The recipe called for mixing the topping together in a bowl with spatula, but I had a difficult time getting it to come together that way. Chaos jumped in to help and got it to come together a bit more, but still not completely. I eventually made the decision to dump it into my mixer with the normal attachment (not bread hook) and it came together instantly. If I were to make this recipe again, I would just use my mixer for the topping from the start.
I separated the topping out into three equal parts in separate bowls. I added yellow food coloring to one bowl, blue food coloring to another, and then cocoa powder to the last.
Next, I rolled out the topping and pressed it onto the tops of the bread. I used my Concha cutter (one of my newer tools) on the topping to make the pattern. You could also do this with a knife, but I was glad to have a cutter to make it easier. I then covered my pans with plastic wrap and left them sitting on the counter for about an hour to finish rising.
I preheated my oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven was done preheating, I baked one pan at a time. For the first pan, I did 25 minutes and they came out a bit darker than I wanted. For the next pan, I did 22 minutes and was much happier with color.
Chaos’ Thoughts on Taste:
Confetti did an excellent job with this recipe, despite being worried about the yeast and bread aspects of it. The taste of both the bread and topping are great, with everything coming together nicely. Confetti made quite a few and it’s tough to keep my hands off them.
Confetti’s Thoughts on Taste:
I was pleasantly surprised about how this turned out – very fluffy and delicious. The cocoa topping was my favorite. Definitely ups my confidence level about making bread in the future. Next time, I’m going to try an egg-free version of the recipe so that our son, Yeti, can try it.