Mexican Bread for the Day of the Dead Feast

This is the Mexican bread for Day of the Dead

We made Mexican bread for Day of the Dead and it is delicious!

This is the Mexican bread for Day of the Dead

This bread is sweet and aromatic. It has hints of orange and orange blossom water.⁣⁣ It is soft and perfect to enjoy with atole de mazapán or with a frothy Mexican hot chocolate. ⁣⁣Once you have the first slice you will crave another piece.⁣⁣

Many call this aromatic bread the Mexican brioche as it has eggs and the texture and softness simulates a French brioche bread but it is not. Mexican baked goods came about due to the Spaniard heritage after the conquest.

Pan de Muerto grab a slice of this sweet bread

The Spaniards, aside from bringing Christianism they also brought wheat and the bread-making tradition which was unexistent. The main crop produced and consumed by the people at the Great Tenochtitlan was corn.

A brief history of the Mexican bread for Day of the Dead.

Gifting sweet bread on the Day of the Dead symbolizes a fraternal offering to the souls. Thus having aromatic sweet bread on the altar offering is a very important element.

Ingredients for making pan de muerto inlcude sifted flour, eggs, yeast, orange peel, sugar, butter, and orange blossom water.

There are different types of Mexican bread, depending on the region is the type of bread prepared by the skillful bakers in the country. For instance, in Oaxaca, the bread has sesame and anise seeds, and it is called “pan de huevo”. And they also make little human-like figurines with colorful marzipan heads and decorations.

This was my first time making Mexican bread at home. And now I can say I am hooked in the breadmaking!

These are the step by step instructions on how to ferment the yeast

I grew up in Mexico City and the tradition of the bread is different from the south. Bakeries sell and prepare the recipe brought by the Basques in the 1940s. Thus this is the recipe that I followed making a soft round Mexican bread with bones on top resembling the human remains and dusted with sugar.

It is intimidating making bread, however, using the correct measurements and technique both are key for a successful result. Before venturing into the world of breadmaking I did some research and even used old Mexican bakery books to get more insights on how to make the best Mexican bread.

This is the step by step process on how to make the sweet bread for Day of the Dead also called the Mexican Brioche

I used good quality ingredients too. This is very important as the ingredients used can determine good or bad results when baking this Mexican bread. Using yeast can be tricky. But I had the chance to attend a seminar and learned a lot from the folks are Red Star yeast. Which by the way this instant yeast is natural and user-friendly. You do not need to be a professional baker to use this product.

The type of flour I chose is perfect for the Mexican brioche, I used King Arthur all-purpose flour. Has enough protein and I have been to their mill and wheat farm in Kansas. It is good to know where the ingredients that I use in my kitchen come from.

Enjoying Mexican sweet bread with atole this Day of the Dead
This is the Mexican bread for Day of the Dead
Print Recipe
5 from 20 votes

Mexican Bread for the Day of the Dead Feast

The Mexican sweet bread is a classic for Day of the Dead. This bread is sweet and aromatic. Soft and tender — pairs well with atole, coffee, or hot chocolate. We are following the classic recipe using quality ingredients, fresh eggs, orange blossom water, orange zest, and sugar.
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Breads, Desserts
Cuisine: Mexican Cuisine
Keyword: bread, day of the dead, sweet bread
Servings: 4 breads
Calories: 500kcal
Author: Chef Adriana Martin

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • Flour sifter
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • Plastic container with a sealing cover
  • Zester
  • Scrapper
  • Plastic container with a cap for the yeast
  • Thermometer
  • Oven
  • Baking sheets
  • Pastry brush
  • A beater and a dough hook for the blender

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 360 grams and sifted recommend King Arthur brand
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 3 yolks room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons orange blossom water
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest or the zest of 2 oranges
  • 2/3 cup butter 150 grams and room temperature

For the yeast

  • 1 1/2 packets active yeast 11 grams and recommend Red Star active yeast
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour recommend King Arthur flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk has to be at a temperature of 110°F-115°F

For the topping

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter melted

Instructions

  • Start preparing the yeast combining the active dry yeast with flour, sugar and warm milk. Mix well, cover and let the yeast ferment for a few minutes in a warm area of the kitchen. When it doubles and starts bubbling is ready.
  • Stir the yeast and let it rise again. You will do this three times. When the yeast is fermented add it to a bowl and combine with the eggs and the yolks using the stand mixer. The eggs and yolks have to be room temperature and added one by one.
  • When the yeast and the eggs are blended, that is the time to start adding the sifted flour a spoon at a time. Then add to the mix the sugar and the salt. When all is integrated add the orange blossom water and the orange zest. Continue mixing.
  • Remove the beater and insert the dough hook to the stand mixer. Continue mixing at medium speed and start adding the butter slowly. Knead on the machine for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the mixing bowl. The dough will be sticky, so add some flour to the surface and knead by hand for the other 20 minutes. You can take your time and let the dough rest for a few minutes. This dough requires to be worked to develop the gluten and allow the bread to be soft and moist.
  • When the dough doesn't stick to your fingers or the surface and when extended doesn't rip in the process, that is the signal the dough is ready for the next step.
  • Make a round loaf and place it inside a plastic container with a lid. The container must be coated with oil to avoid sticking. Close the lid and let the dough rise on a warm area withing the kitchen.
  • When the dough doubles remove from the container and punch. Add some flour and knead again. Form a round loaf and cut in four pieces. One of the pieces of dough cut again and use it for making the decorations.
  • Take each piece of dough and form round four loaves making sure the seam of the bread goes on the bottom to allow each loaf to look perfectly round.
  • Take the portion of the dough for the decorations and add flour. Work the dough until it achieves a playdoh texture. For making the bones, form a cylinder and roll forward first with one finger and then with two. The back and forth movement will help stretch and divide to make a bone shape. For making the top part of the skull just make a little ball with the dough.
  • On the top of the loaf make a cross of water with the baking brush. This will help the decorations to stick. Add the bones and little ball to goes on top and let the bread rise again for about an hour. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-30 minutes
  • Test the temperature of the bread using a digital instant-read thermometer. Stick the thermometer's probe into the thickest part of the loaf, which is usually the middle. Wait a few seconds for the reading to appear. If the temperature reads between 190 and 210 degrees, the bread is done.
  • Place on a rack to cool and brush the bread with melted butter. Sprinkle the bread with caster sugar and enjoy.

Video

Notes

  • The dough for the Mexican bread is sticky, do not be tempted to add more flour.
  • Knead the dough enough and it will turn from sticky to soft and malleable.
  • Let the yeast rise three times before using. This will allow the bread have a fine texture, same as brioche. 
  • If you prefer to bake the bread later,  refrigerate the dough immediately after mixing, not after the first rise.
    • When ready to bake remove the dough from fridge, shape, and rise before baking.
    • This second rise can take anywhere from an hour to a few hours, depending on activity of yeast and the room temperature. 
  • Other way to check if the bread is has cooked is by giving to the bottom of the loaf a firm thump with your thumb. The bread will sound hollow when it’s done.
  • Bread will last up to 5 days fresh when stored inside a plastic container with a lid. Will keep fresh up to three days when stored into a zipper plastic bag. 
Have you tried this recipe? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram and or Facebook using the handle @adrianasbestrecipes and this hashtag #ABRecipes Happy Eats!
 

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 500kcal | Carbohydrates: 169g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 6mg

Mexican Cheese Soup or Caldo de Queso

Mexican cheese soup or caldo de queso served on a bowl and garnished with more queso fresco and ribbons of crema fresca

The Mexican cheese soup with queso fresco is a sponsored collaboration with Real California Milk.

Mexican cheese soup or caldo de queso served on a bowl and garnished with more queso fresco and ribbons of crema fresca

Queso Fresco (Key-so Fres-co)? Yes, Please!

In Mexican cuisine, queso fresco and crema fresca are two ingredients that are a must-have. Especially when making classic recipes like this Mexican cheese soup, also called Caldo de Queso.

The ingredients for the soup include potatoes, corn, onion, garlic, queso fresco, roasted poblanos, milk, and seasonings

The original recipe comes from my family’s recipe box. My great grandmother, Doña Carlotita, used to cook this caldo for us during the cold weather months.

Enjoy this Caldo de Queso at Home!

The Mexican cheese soup is not only comforting, it is a complete meal. It has diced potatoes and onions, corn, chopped garlic, chile pasado (or roasted poblano), warm milk, chicken bouillon, and cubed queso fresco.

The recipe is simple to follow – the hardest part is waiting for the caldo de queso to be ready. I love serving this soup with warm bread and garnishing it with ribbons of crema Mexicana and crumbled queso.

Learn about Real California Milk Hispanic-style queso!

A round of queso fresco cheese and Mexican crema

As a Mexican living in the United States for the last twenty years, it has been a pleasant surprise to be able to find the dairy products and cheeses I grew up with.

Hispanic-style cheeses produced in the USA come in different forms and flavors. But all have one commonality – the best are made with Real California Milk, including the queso fresco and the crema (crem-ah) I used for the Mexican cheese soup recipe.

The crema Mexicana has a sweet, tangy flavor similar to crème fraîche. We use it to garnish many recipes and as a main ingredient for chiles en nogada and fresas con crema.

Real California Milk Hispanic dairy products pair well with many dishes

Queso Fresco (Key-so Fres-co): Fresh, mild flavor, softens when heated. We use it in soups, crumbled to stuff enchiladas, and goes great with pasta too!

Queso Oaxaca (Wa-ha-ka): Fresh, mild flavor, very creamy, melts like Mozzarella. This is perfect for stringy quesadillas and to add to molletes and semitas for an authentic Mexican flavor.

Queso Cotija (Ko-tee-hah): Aged, robust flavor, salty, typically shredded or crumbled similar to Feta or Parmesan. This is a classic on top tostadas, flautas, and corn on the cob or refried beans. Adds a subtle finish and flavor contrast.

This is how you say Key-so-Fres-co

Queso Panela (Pah-neh-la): Fresh, light, and sweet flavor, like dry-pressed Ricotta. This is perfect for desserts and for pairing with jellies and fruit preserves.

Family Heritage and my Northern Roots.

My family is from the state of Chihuahua, located in the north of the Mexican republic and border with Texas. Our northern culture and cuisine are all about meat, milk, cheese, dried chilis, potatoes, corn, wheat, apples, pecans and stone fruits.

One of my uncles was a farmer who owned an apple and quince orchard, where I used to visit with my family and aunts. Many times, the fresh produce ended up on our table, and my Aunt Julieta would prepare for us heavenly apple pie and quince preserves.

Grab a spoon and enjoy this milky comforting soup with cheese and crema

Because Chihuahua is close to the border, its cuisine shares many of the American traditions, such as turkey and stuffing, and steak and eggs. But the caldo de queso con papas or Mexican cheese soup was a typical dish in our diet.

I still remember going in to my great grandmother’s cocina and being greeted with those aromas of the soup and milky cheese. Not to mention the freshly made flour tortillas.

Food is what brings us back to our roots!

Homemade dishes and those cooked by our ancestors are what bring us back to our roots. I like to prepare classic family dishes like this Mexican cheese soup to have the opportunity to connect back to who I am. Because bringing back the warmth of those family recipes nourishes my soul.

Are you ready to make the caldo de queso at home?

Make this recipe or experiment by remixing your own family recipe using Real California Milk Hispanic-style dairy items. Follow them on Instagram too @RealCalifMilk!

Find Hispanic-style dairy products with the Real California Milk Seal at your local supermarket with this Product Locator Tool.

Mexican cheese soup or caldo de queso served on a bowl and garnished with more queso fresco and ribbons of crema fresca
Print Recipe
5 from 16 votes

Mexican Cheese Soup or Caldo de Queso

The Mexican cheese soup is comforting and a complete meal. It has diced potatoes and onions, corn, chopped garlic, chile pasado (or roasted poblano), warm milk, chicken bouillon, and cubed queso fresco. Make this recipe with Real California Milk queso fresco and crema Mexicana.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican Cuisine
Keyword: crema, queso fresco, soup
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 417kcal
Author: Chef Adriana Martin

Equipment

  • Dutch oven
  • Chopping block
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 1/2 cup Vidalia onions one medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 4 cups white potatoes four medium-size potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 3 yellow corn ears approximately 2 cups of fresh corn kernels
  • 3 poblano peppers roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 8 cups Real California Milk or six cups of milk and two cups of chicken broth warmed
  • 2 cups Real California Milk queso fresco cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch diluted with water
  • 1 cup Real California Milk crema Mexicana
  • 1 cup Real CaliforniA Milk queso fresco crumbled

Instructions

  • Add the cooking oil to the pan and let it warm. Add the onions and sauté.
  • Incorporate the garlic and the potatoes and let them cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the corn and the roasted poblano peppers. Season with chicken bouillon and pepper. You can add salt if needed.
  • Add warm milk and simmer the soup for a few minutes covered. The milk should be heated to avoid cutting and lumps.
  • Add corn starch diluted in water. This agent will thicken the soup for a velvety texture. Finally, add the queso fresco and serve.

Video

Notes

The soup is garnished with ribbons of crema Mexicana, more crumbled queso fresco, and warm bread. 
 
Have you tried this recipe? Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram and or Facebook using the handle @adrianasbestrecipes and this hashtag  #ABRecipes Happy Eats!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 822mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1062IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 615mg | Iron: 3mg