Pan de Muerto, mexican recipe for the Day of the Dead
Every place in the world celebrates the death ones in a different way and in each country there’s a strong tradition which also includes food. One of the most known and appreciated tradition is the Mexican one: during the Día de Muertos people celebrate the deceased loved ones in a kind of ritual common according to which life and death are each a natural continuation of the other singing, drinking and praying. On this occasione the pan de los muertos has a leading role at the table rom the 31st of October to the 2nd of November included.
The recipe is really easy and this bread is traditionally eaten on the grave of the Deads to celebrate them; it is just a bread flavored with anise or orange but the meaning is way more important than the recipe. In 2003 The Day of the Dead was named by UNESCO as a patrimony intangible of humanity.
What do you need for a 450 grams of pan de los muertos
250 grams strong flour
50 grams of butter
5 grams of instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
65 grams of caster sugar
60 grams of whole milk
1/2 grated orange zest
1 beaten egg
1. Put all the ingredients except the butter in a bowl and mix well. Once the dough begins to take a shape gradually add the butter in small pieces, mix well and let the dough rise in a greased bow, covered with a cotton cloth, until it doubles.
2. After the rising time, divide the dough in three parts: a big loaf and 2 strips. Put everything to rise again until the dough doubles again.
3. Once the dough is leavened brush the surface with the egg and place the two strips on the surface giving them the shape of an X. Brush again, pour sugar on top and bake in the oven at 180° for 30 minutes, being careful not to burn the surface. Let it cool, cut in slices and serve.
Preparation time: 3 hours
Curiosity: according to the legend, on Dia de los Muertos, the dead join the family to share celebrations with loved ones awakening from the eternal sleep. All the families are invited to build an altar inviting a loved one to enjoy the fragrance of marigolds and the pan de muerto. Calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls) are also an important part of the celebrations and they’re often the symbols used for sweet preparations.