Day of the Dead Bread

From 'Mexico The Cookbook' by Margarita Carrillo Arronte
Day of the Dead Bread This bread is a traditional dish eaten at the end of October/beginning of November all across Mexico as part of the Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebrations:

  • 250ml milk
  • 500g plain flour
  • 100g sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1-2 tsp orange blossom water, to taste
  • 200g cold butter, diced
  • Melted butter, for greasing and brushing
  • Edible glitter (optional)
    • To Glaze:
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  1. Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Set aside.
  2. Put the flour into a large bowl and make a well. Sprinkle in the sugar and yeast, and pour in the milk. Close the well by flicking flour over the milk and let it sit for 1 hour.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the melted butter and edible glitter, and shape into a ball. Transfer to a clean work surface and knead for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the butter and knead again for 10 minutes. Return to the bowl and cover. Let rise for 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  5. Grease 2 baking sheets with butter. Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Take two of those pieces and roll them into tight balls, then press them gently to flatten a bit. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  7. After 1 hour, take the remaining piece of dough and divide it into 10 little pieces. Roll 2 of these pieces into small balls, and 8 of these pieces into long, thin logs.
  8. To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients ad 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl and mix well. Brush the loaves gently with the glaze.
  9. Take 4 of the logs and drape them in an X shape over one of the disks of dough. Repeat with the other disk. Brush these with the glaze.
  10. Take a little ball of dough and place it on the top of one disk, where the X meets. Press it down gently so it sticks, and repeat with the other little ball and disk of dough.
  11. Glaze the dough balls and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden.
  12. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  13. Whilst they are still warm, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and edible glitter before serving.