Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mexican-Style Pan Dulce

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I first had pan dulce at the Riviera Bakery on Ferry Street in Newark, New Jersey. When Bob and I were especially busy at work, we'd make it a point to meet for lunch and to touch base. More often than not, we'd choose Ferry Street as our meeting spot. We loved the atmosphere. It was a street of sights and sounds and smells and had an air of nostalgia and simpler times about it. Years later, we found pan dulce in the panaderias of Baja. I hasten to add our Baja adventures weren't fancy or expensive. We weren't seeking the luxury of Cabo. We had come by car to look for whales and kayak in the sea of Cortez. Almost by necessity, the sweet rolls, called pan dulce, became our breakfast of choice. We could see them being made and assure ourselves they had not been sitting around, acting as a landing pad for sundry flying critters. The rolls are remarkably versatile. They range in appearance from simple flat rolls to elaborate shell shaped conchas. They're covered with a baked topping that can be as simple as a cinnamon paste or as involved as an etched pastel. The "frosting" cracks as the rolls bake, creating craters and dimples that spread across the top of the rolls. Today's rolls are simple in form and topping. When I make these for guests, I use scallop shells to shape them and etch the topping to create a more deliberate design. The etching really isn't important as the cinnamon topping will crack anyway, it just won't be as artful. There are many recipes for pan dulce. I've settled on this one because I love the texture of the rolls it produces. Here's the recipe.

Mexican-Style Pan Dulce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons tepid melted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup tepid butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1) Place warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water. Set aside to soften.
2) Whisk flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl until light and combined.
3) Add yeast, tepid butter and eggs to flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Scrape dough into a greased bowl and turn to coat all surfaces.
Cover. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.
4) While dough is rising, make topping by combining flour, sugar, butter, egg, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
5) Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. It will still be sticky. Divide dough into 18 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange balls at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Press dough down with palm of hand to flatten.
6) Form topping into 18 balls. Flatten and place on top of shaped buns.
7) Cover baking sheets with plastic wrap or kitchen towels. Let rise until double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
8) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake rolls for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm. Yield: 18 buns.


Unknown said...

Thankyou for introducing me to these treats! I will make them for breakfast when my sisters visit!

Zurin said...

This is something new to me. it looks really good too!

La Table De Nana said...

You are a trooper!!

Tony said...

I love all these yummy recipes I have never heard of. Thanks for this one :).

Claudia said...

Sweet breakfast treats! I've never had them and now will. Love the tale of it.

Mickey said...

Love these, we've only bought them at our neighborhood bakery. Are they difficult to make? On a scale of 1 to 10, ten being tough. :) Thanks

Mary Bergfeld said...

MonsterMama, these are easy to make but the sticky dough turns some folks off. If you make these keep your hands moist and try not to use too much flour when you knead the dough.

Memória said...

Wow. This is interesting. I've never seen Mexican-style pan dulce that looks like this. I'm quite intrigued by your recipe. Thanks for posting this!

My Little Space said...

What a nice recipe. I'm saving this up for later use. Thanks, Mary!

Twin Tables said...

Is it just me or is the amount of sugar missing in the topping? These sound wonderful. Can't wait to try it out.

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

I haven't heard of these but they look like a wonderful and handy breakfast treat.

Hope your therapy is going well!

Katy ~ said...

Gosh, these sound like awesome treats. Adding these beauties to my stash of must-makes.

Joanne said...

These buns sound and look quite delicious! I love that topping. I wish I had one to dip in my tea right now...

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