Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This year's Pan de Muerto

I gave this loaf to a friend for her family
Each year for the past three years I've been going to a tiny Oaxacan bakery in Santa Monica to buy their pan de muerto to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. 

This year, I bought three loaves - one medium-sized and two smallish. The former was a gift to a new friend, in town with two kids who are just learning about American Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos.  Of the small loaves, one was a gift for another friend, and the last was for us.
This ofrenda, or shrine, shows the traditional pan de muerto style

Pan de muerto is made with a sweet yeast-raised egg dough called pan de yema (egg yolk bread), flavored with anise, orange peel, and cinnamon. For Dia de Los Muertos, bakers shape the loaves or decorate them with strips of dough to evoke skeletons and bones, and sprinkle them with sugar.  Panaderia Antequera's loaves are unique in that they are decorated with intricate patterns piped in white icing, then garnished with colorful sprinkles. A tiny wax saint's head is baked into the dough. Traditionally, the bread is enjoyed with cups of champurrado, a hot sweetened drink made with masa harina and flavored with chocolate and cinnamon.

I have mine with coffee.

Here's ours - instead of a saint's head, ours had a skull!

9 comments:

Janet said...

I like that yours had a skull :-)

Jen on the Edge said...

We don't have that tradition here in Virginia, but I sure would like to get my teeth around those pretty loaves of bread.

Deborah said...

Looks yummy! I love these traditions, honoring the dead and remembering them with a favorite meal or a beer placed on their grave, then singing and dancing in the cemeteries into the night. Some of the graves we visited in the Yucatan were so colorful and lovely.

spokalulu said...

I remember living in El Paso, where some acknowledged the Day of the Dead.

Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

What a great tradiciĆ³n!

cactus petunia said...

Yum!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

that is so thoroughly cute :)

Lala said...

Pan de Muerto reminds me a lot of the King Cakes they have in Louisiana at Mardi Gras. Same recipe basically and same frosting. But instead of a tiny saint baked in the bread, they use a plastic baby.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

If you get the baby in your piece of cake, you are going to win the lottery.
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