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Pan de Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead)

This is a version of the bread that is made for the November 2 celebration known as the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico. You can also mold the bread into different shapes like angels and animals. Original recipe yield: 1 large round loaf.

1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons anise seed
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons white sugar

Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add them warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).

In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.

To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
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El dia del muerto, October 25, 2006 - 01:55 PM
Reviewer: Sarah from Shelby,MI
El dia del muerto is a well know bread to celebrate life of the dead this recipe isn't very hard to do you just have to follow instructions i am 19 and in high school for spanish class i made it all the time now its a traditon in my family to do it every year around the same time i have learned from this how spanish culture values death everything to do with the the dead of the dead is wounderfull every food has a story behind it

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