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Conchas: Mexican Sweet Bread

Baked Goods

A must-have in every Mexican bakery and the most popular pan dulce (sweet bread), Conchas are sweet and soft buns with a sugar shell pattern crust on the top (shell means concha in Spanish). A Mexican best-seller, it’s a favorite for breakfast, a snack or with a yummy glass of milk before going to bed. And of course, dunking them in your coffee, hot chocolate or a glass of milk is always a good call.

 

Ingredients

  • Bread:
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons – dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup – warm water
  • 1/2 cup – whole milk
  • 1/2 cup – refined sugar
  • 1/2 cup – unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon – salt
  • 2 – eggs
  • 4 cups – wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon – ground cinnamon
  • Topping:
  • 2/3 cup – refined sugar
  • 1/2 cup – unsalted butter
  • 1 cup – wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon – cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon – vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Directions for Bread:

Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl. Add milk, sugar, butter, salt, eggs and 2 cups of flour. Mix with a spatula. Gradually add the 2 cups of remaining flour and cinnamon.

Put on a floured surface and knead only until a dough forms, about 8 minutes. The dough will be smooth and elastic.

Place in a bowl greased with butter, and grease the dough with butter as well. Cover with a towel and let stand at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

When the dough has doubled its volume, cut into 12 pieces of the same size. Form balls and arrange in a greased tray, leaving space between them.

Directions for Topping:

In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar and 1/2 cup of butter. Stir in the flour and continue beating until the mixture forms a thick paste. Divide the topping into 2 portions and place each one in a separate bowl. Mix the vanilla with one portion and the cocoa with the other.

Divide each portion into 6 balls. Flatten each ball with your hands or a tortilla maker, and place each on its own ball of bread dough, pressing gently to flatten the dough a little. With the help of a knife, mark lines in the cover, similar to those of seashells. Cover and let the bread again double in volume for approximately 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 20 minutes or until they take a slightly golden tone.

Enjoy them with a delicious glass of milk.

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NUTRITION

520 calories; 20 g fat; 12 g saturated fat; 80 mg cholesterol; 15 g protein;73 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 230 mg sodium; 332 mg calcium. Nutrition figures include an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk.

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