Pan de Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead) Recipe -
Pan de Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead) Recipe

Pan de Muertos (Mexican Bread of the Dead)

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"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."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 large round loaf Change Servings


  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 27, 2003

Nov. 2, "Day of the Dead," was also my Dad's birthday. I made a batch of Pan de Muertos and my sister and I took it out to the cemetery, where we sat beside my Dad's grave and shared the bread and special memories of him while we watched the sun set. I split the recipe into two small rounds -- one for us to share, and one to leave at the gravesite for the birds and squirrels. Sentimentality aside, this bread was surprisingly good; I was prepared to not care for it much because I'm not fond of anise, but we both really liked it. Thanks for a helping me start a new family tradition!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 04, 2009

I'm not sure if I did something wrong. I followed the recipe exactly, but the bread was very dry and not enjoyable. Smelled great while cooking and the blend of tastes was interesting, just to dry for my family. Everyone tried it then left it alone. :o(

Nov 02, 2003

My daughter made this for her Spanish class. It was so easy. She got it right on the first try!

Apr 14, 2003

Although I am not a big fan of licorice in bread, this was pretty good. I had to make it for a class assignment and everyone liked it. This was a lot easier than the one found in the newspaper. Try it!

Oct 30, 2003

Once again, need it for my son's spanish class, 25 extra credit points. I baked a practice loaf but didn't need to as it turned out excellent. Good texture and flavor. I also used my bread machine on the dough cycle. Couldn't be easier, which is a good thing because my son is baking the next loaf.

Oct 23, 2008

I have been making Pan de Muertos for years, using different recipes, this year I both decided to use a new recipe and use my bread maker. I used the recipe with two minor changes, a little extra water no more than two tablespoons and orange extract instead of zest. Is is absolutely the fluffiest version of this bread I've ever made. In my two pound bread maker it made a nearly full sized loaf and on light setting cooked perfectly (if a little crumby on the sides).

Nov 02, 2006

Delicious! I baked two small loafs - hoping that would help with the dryness; I also doubled the yeast (used one pkg. of yeast). If you are worried whether it is done or not, temp it - bread should be at least 190 degrees F in the center before it is pulled out of the oven. I also found that when it was warm, it was more moist. If the bread is a little dry, my husband recommends making extra glaze to dip the bread in. He couldn't get enough of the glaze!

Nov 02, 2003

I made this for my Spanish class. It is sweet on the outside and a wholesome taste on the inside. I've had it once before, and my proffessor who lived in spanish speaking countries said it wase excellent


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  • Calories
  • 166 kcal
  • 8%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 28.5 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 25 mg
  • 8%
  • Fat
  • 4 g
  • 6%
  • Fiber
  • 0.9 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 3.8 g
  • 8%
  • Sodium
  • 124 mg
  • 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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