Pan de Muerto

Pan de Muerto


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Wish to create that pan de Muerto your grandma use to make? Now you can with this recipe! For those of you that know, Pan de Muerto is a sweet roll bread made in Méjico. Nope not Mexico. Méjico. It looks like your average bread, but what you don’t know, is the sweet filling in the middle of this pastry. Thinking about it makes my mouth watery. Forget the pastry at the coffee shop and make this warm and delicious Pan de Muerto. Your coffee will thank you.

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Time needed

60 min preparation + 20-25 min cooking

Serving Size / Yield

6-8 servings


  • 3 cups of wheat flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup of milk, whole milk
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons of yeast
  • A slash of vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven at 392F. Make sure your home is warm, that includes closing your windows. The warmer the house, the better your Pan de Muerto will turn out

In a small pot, pour half of the measured whole milk and set it up to a heat for a minute or two. You want the milk heated, not boil. When the milk is heated up, let it cool for a few minutes.
Once the milk is cooled off, add the yeast in a medium bowl and whisk. Be sure to check if the milk is completely cooled off, otherwise the heated milk will burn off the yeast. Add 2 tablespoons of the measured flour and sugar. The sugar will help this mixture rise faster.
Put a baking sheet on top of the stove and place the bowl of mixture on top of the baking sheet. The warm stove will help the mixture rise. Overall, the heat in the kitchen will help the dough rise. You will see small bubbles in the mixture and that is normal.
On a flat surface, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and unsalted butter and mix well using your hands. Create a hole and add the beaten eggs. Slowly add a small amount of milk into the egg and incorporate it with the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix well using your hands. If the dough is very dry, continue to add small amounts of milk since the dough is asking for more liquid. Continue to mix until the dough appears less dry. Zest a whole lemon and add it to the dough. Add a splash of vanilla extract and mix well when the dough has its buttery form.
Open up the dough and spread it out. Place the risen mixture in the middle of the dough. Close up the dough and mix all of it with your hands.
Hit the dough onto the flat surface and knead every 2 minutes. By doing this method, air will circulate into the dough and it will quickly cool off. It will also help the dough make its form. Continue to do this method until the dough stops sticking to the flat surface.
On an 18x26 baking sheet, add a small amount of cooking spray, oil, or butter to prevent the dough from burning. Take 1 cup of the dough and form it into a ball. Sprinkle flour onto the ball.
Create a small hole in the middle and add any filling to your liking. You can add cream cheese with strawberry jam or hazelnut spread. Close the dough and form it into a ball again. Grab a small amount of dough to create the beaded strip on top of the bread. Roll the dough into a strip and press the dough using the tips of your fingers to create the beaded bread look. Be sure to be gentle making this form or it will break.
Place ceramic wrap on the dough to prevent it from being damp and place it on top of the warm stove for 1 hour. This will make the dough rise and expand.
Lower the oven to 375F. Take off the ceramic wrap and bake the dough for 20 minutes. When the bread is fully baked, let them cool for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, melt half a bar of unsalted butter in the microwave. Using a silicone brush, brush the butter onto the bread. In a large bowl, pour 2 cups of sugar and place the top of the bread into the sugar to achieve the sugary coat.

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