Xula's Pan de Muerto
Pan de Muerto has its origins in prehispanic cultures, where a similar offering was done to the goddess Cihuapipiltin - dedicated to the women who died on their first birth. The offerings back then consisted of papalotlaxcalli, a butterfly shaped bread done with amaranth and toasted dry corn.
Nowadays, Pan de Muerto varies according to the country’s region. From the traditional round or oval shape in most of the states, to despeinadas in Mixquic, Muertes in Mexico State, Pan de ofrenda in Michoacán, and Regañadas in Oaxaca.
With a base of corn flour, egg, yeast, sugar and butter - Pan de Muerto is one of the essential elements of the Altar de Día de Muertos to remember the loved ones that passed away. Its circular shape symbolizes the cycle of life and death, and the cross represents the four cardinal points of the universe that represent Tezcatlipoca, Tláloc, Quetzalcóatl and Xipetotec.
Pan de Muerto Xulo
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 500 gr all purpose flour
- ½ cup of milk
- ¼ cup of warm milk
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 150 g unsalted butter
- orange blossom water
- 2 oranges
- ½ dropper of ah! Calm + Clarity tincture
- ½ unsalted butter stick
- 1 egg yolk
- Mix the yeast with the warm water and a small tablespoon of flour until there’s a thin layer of foam.
- Place on a bowl the flour, the sugar, a pinch of salt and the orange zest of 2 oranges.
- Incorporate the eggs and two yolks and start mixing. Then add the milk, a small tablespoon of orange blossom water and the yeast mix.
- Knead until the mixture is smooth and manageable.
- As soon as the dough can be detached from the surface, add the butter at room temperature in cubes and keep kneading until the mixture does not break. This might take a little while.
- Let the dough rest for about two hours, covering the mixing bowl at room temperature.
- Punch the mixture and knead again to eliminate the gas that might have formed.
- Divide the mixture in three: reserve a third part in the refrigerator to make the bones.
- With the rest of the dough, form a uniform ball and place it on a tray large enough to double in size when cooked.
- Form the bones with the plains of your fingers, and the skull (the ball on top) of the bread.
- Beat the unused yolk and glaze your Pan de Muerto. Use it as glue as well to place the bones and the skull on the bread.
- Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius / 356 Fahrenheit. Put your Pan de Muerto in for 25 minutes (or until it is cooked).
- Take out and let it cool. In the meantime, temper the butter until it has a creamy consistency and mix it with the ½ dropper of ah! Calm + Clarity tincture.
- Varnish your Pan de Muerto with the butter+tincture mix, and then cover it with sugar.