On the eve of Day of the Dead in México, the cempasúchil flowers, skulls, and altars proliferate, and along with them the 'pan de muertos' or bread of the dead.
The so-called 'pan de muertos' is a representation of pre-Hispanic traditions and the 'ofrendas' that were made to the gods.
A delicious tradition that today is still observed to honour our dead.
Mexican Day of the Dead Bread
- ¼ cup milk (can be whole cow's or soy milk)
- 4 g dry yeast
- 4 g sugar
- 150 g Free From Gluten Plain Flour (can substitute with 30 g rice flour of maize flour, 105 g cornstarch or tapioca starch and 15 g potato starch)
- 4 g psyllium husk grounded
- 3 g salt
- 50 g butter
- ½ tbsp orange juice
- ½ tbsp orange zest
- 2 eggs
- 6 g xanthan gum
- 2 tbsps vegetable oil
- ½ tbsp extra flour
- 1 tbsp extra butter
- 1 tbsp Your favourite salsa
Heat the milk for 30 seconds in the microwave, add the yeast, one tbsp of sugar and three tbsps of flour. Mix well and reserve.
In a large bowl, mix together the remaining flour, ground psyllium husk,and salt. Stir until ingredients are mixed through.
After about 15 minutes, the yeast should be puffed and bubbling. Add to the bowl of flour along with one egg, orange juice, orange zest, and the remaining sugar. Mix to a homogeneous consistency.
Add the butter little by little to make sure it is completely mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
Gradually add the xanthan gum, this will make the dough more manageable. Wash your hands thoroughly and knead for about 15 minutes until the dough starts to come together. The dough will be very sticky but this is normal due to the lack of wheat.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rest for an hour to allow the dough to swell.
On a clean, flat surface, pour 2 tablespoons of oil and spread with your hands to better handle the dough. Form the dough into a ball on the oiled surface and separate a quarter of the dough.
Prepare a baking tray, covering it with waxed paper. Roll out the large piece of dough and reshape it into a round shape by tucking the ends of the dough towards the centre. Turn the dough over and place it on the tray, pressing lightly to flatten it slightly.
Wipe the surface with oil and pour in about half tsp of flour. Divide the rest of the dough we removed earlier into three. Form a circle and two stripes of about 15 cm, by rolling the dough. Roll the stripes again by pressing with the middle fingers in three places to form the ‘bones’.
Using a kitchen brush with water, moisten the top of the dough in the cross-shaped pan and place the stripes. Press the centre and moisten with the brush, then place the small circle of dough.
Cover with cling film and leave to rest for an hour or until doubled in size. The time may vary depending on the room temperature in your kitchen.
Beat the remaining egg and brush it all over the surface of the dough. Preheat the oven to 170°c and once it is hot, place the tray in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes at 170°c.
After baking, let it cool for about 7-10 minutes. Brush with melted butter and on a large plate, sprinkle with sugar and shake to remove excess.