How to prepare pan de muerto at home | The NY Journal


How to prepare pan de muerto at home

Learn how to prepare homemade bread for the dead and pay tribute to those who are gone. It will fill your Day of the Dead offering with joy and is irresistible.

OMAR TORRES / AFP / Getty Images

Today the celebrations of Day of the Dead in Mexico, it is one of the most deeply rooted traditions in the Mexican town and that is inspired by pay tribute to the dead. Is emotional tradition revolves around a series of rituals and customs that create the perfect setting to remember those who are gone.

It is one of the most important festivities throughout the Mexican Republic and it is a day of celebration, not sadness. To understand the origin of this celebration you have to go back to Mesoamerica, thousands of years ago where the peoples of the region used to organize parties to guide the journey of the dead to “Mictlán“, The underworld of the Mexica mythology. As an important part of these celebrations, the tradition of set up altars with offerings to remember the dead and they used to place skulls like symbols of death and rebirth.

Today celebrate the Day of the Dead in Mexico It has not changed at all and the assembly of the offering remains the central axis. During the November 1 and 2, homes are filled with unique decorative elements such as flowers, candles, confetti, photographs, which create the perfect setting to receive for a Weekend to those who are no longer there. Fundamental part of the celebration and the altar is the food, through succulent traditional dishes the deceased of each family will come to enjoy such special banquet.

The truth is that they exist fundamental cymbals that every altar should contain and one of them is the unmatched bread of the dead. Its origin dates back to Conquer time, when the human sacrifices; The Spaniards found this practice so violent that they suggested a wheat bread Covered red sugar, what simulated the heart of the maidens without them having to lose their lives. Also, it is known that in Mesoamerica a ground amaranth bread that after being mixed with the blood of the sacrifices, it was offered to the gods.

While these were the first references of pan de muerto, It is a tradition that over the years was evolved to reach the version we know today. The circle in the center of the bread symbolizes the skull of the deceased and the side strips are imitation of lthe bones that make us up and in some cases, it is added azaha essencer, which evokes the memory for the deceased.

The good news is that cook homemade dead bread It is not an impossible task and it is a great activity to celebrate this wonderful and special Mexican tradition, no matter where in the world you are. We present you a easy recipe and based on ingredients that you can easily find in the United States.

Easy pan de muerto recipe:


  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 2 medium pieces of egg
  • 250 grams of flour
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 60 grams of sugar
  • 5 grams of yeast
  • 5 grams of salt
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • Orange blossom essence, if you cannot find it you can add a few drops of orange essence

Preparation mode:

  1. On the clean work table add the flour and form a central circle, add the salt, sugar, butter and the two eggs.
  2. Knead the ingredients at a warm temperature (27 ºC is recommended), until it comes off the table. When the dough is smooth and uniform, add the lemon and orange zest and incorporate all the ingredients well.
  3. Finish by adding the milk little by little, until the dough is softer and completely detaches from the table.
  4. Grease a glass container, arrange the dough and allow it to ferment in the oven at a temperature of 25 to 35 ºC, until it doubles in volume.
  5. When the dough doubles in size, you must portion it into small balls to make each bread. Make small buns and arrange them on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper, make rolls and balls with dough and decorate (use the video as a reference).
  6. When the loaves are ready and decorated, you must again ferment them in the oven between 35 and 45 ºC until they double in size.
  7. When they are ready, varnish each piece with egg.
  8. Bake at 170 ºC for 25 to 35 minutes.
  9. Once ready, glaze with butter and cover each one with sugar.
  10. Enjoy and decorate your altar.



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