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Conchas de Pan Dulce- #TwelveLoaves

There has been so much going on lately, I couldn't wait to take a pause and bake these conchas de pan dulce. I couldn't wait, but I just couldn't seem to find the time!

When you make a yeast bread, you have to set aside time. Really, that's all. Time and patience. Lots of patience! I couldn't wait to explore ideas for a Mexican bread (and it's Cinco de Mayo!) when Heather chose our #TwelveLoaves theme. I couldn't wait, yet I was not really sure which way to go. I was interested in something savory and I kept leaning towards semitas (sesame seed bread). When I saw some other members of the group were making them, I thought it was better to share something different and to create some variety for our fun theme!!

What are conchas named conchas (seashell)? It's pretty easy to figure it out when you see their seashell shape. The crust is a thick and sugary. When you take a bite, it's a little bit crispy and it crumbles. Once you brake through the sweet and delightful crust, you get to enjoy the soft and fluffy roll. It's a sweet bread made with flour, butter, yeast and eggs. It happens to be one of Mexico's favorite sweet rolls, and when you make them, you'll realize why! As I mentioned, all you need is time to bake them. The process is not as difficult as it seems. I have my in-laws here from Italy for a while. When my mother-in-law found out I was baking something, she was asking some questions. I had a sneaking suspicion she may have put an Italian twist on this recipe (it's hard to say no to her!), so I asked my hubs to take my in-laws on his errand while I made this bread!!

Conchas de Pan Dulce

I used to remember coming across a few blogs when I first started blogging that shared stories with their posts. They weren't bloggers that shared 3-5 recipes a week. Maybe 1-3 recipes a week, but they also had a story. Back then, those were my favorite sort of blogs to visit. I couldn't believe how happy I was to read the story that accompanied this recipe for conchas.

Conchas de Pan Dulce

It started like this:

"I drove home feeling more than a little annoyed at myself for wasting my precious gasoline and getting laughed out of every Mexican bakery in town. Foolish to think any panadero [baker] in his right mind would hand over to a stranger with a blog his super secret recipe for pan dulce. I got down from my car and walked up to my gate.  It was then when out of the corner of my eye I saw her step out of the shadows.

She was all ruby lips, high cheekbones and flowing dark hair. There was a pair of 5-inch heels on her feet and a peacock blue satin sheath on her curvaceous canela-colored body.

Espera—wait!” I cried after her, but it was too late. I ran up just in time to see her shiny black ’59 Chevy Impala roaring past me. Its back lights grew ever smaller as I stood silently watching them before they disappeared onto Whittier Boulevard.

And that was the last I saw of her.

Who was that mujer misteriosa who walked out of the shadows that evening? I cannot say. All I know was that she was beautiful, her voice was as sultry as a hot city street after sunset—and she was out for the sweetest recipe of them all—revenge. "

This is just an excerpt from the story that drew me in while I was looking for my conchas recipe! I loved hopping around checking out her other fantastic recipes and storied. It's too bad it seems she stopped blogging 3 years ago. But if you have a few minutes and like Mexican food, you have to see what else she shared, besides these lovely conchas!

Conchas de Pan Dulce

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of girlichef, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Bolillos from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Cemitas from The Bread She Bakes
Conchas de Pan Dulce from Cake Duchess
Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread) from Hostess At Heart
Mexican Cemitas from Karen's Kitchen Stories
Pan de Muerto from A Shaggy Dough Story
Teleras (Flat Bread Rolls) from girlichef
Whole Wheat Mexican Bolillos from Kudos Kitchen By Renee

some recipe notes:

I used my sweet dough recipe that I use for mostly every sweet sort of bread and the topping recipe and process from A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate.

The dough is super easy to put together (it's the same dough I always use for sweet types of bread). Just make sure you leave enough time in your day to wait for it to rise. When it was ready, I measured out 14 balls of dough that weighed about 50 grams each. I had a small glass that was about 2.5 centimeters in diameter. I used that glass to cut out the circles of the topping. I obviously didn't divide my topping correctly and ended up with more plain topping than chocolate. Next time I will divide it evenly, because everyone was fighting over the chocolate conchas!  I didn't roll out my plain topping first, and I should have! If you roll out the chocolate topping first, the board and rolling pin gets messy with chocolate. So roll out the plain topping and then the chocolate one. Use a very sharp knife when you cut out your shell design! When you roll the chocolate topping, it may stick if it isn't chilled very well. Use a little cocoa powder to help you roll it. The topping is very delicate. It may break a little while baking and your shell design could completely change, and that is ok! Some of my shells turned out perfectly, some, not so much! But I think the variety of shells is what makes them so beautiful, just like these conchas!!

My kid's observation: "Mom, this is so interesting....the crust, the cinnamon. You should open a stand at the Green Market." I was told this twice, so I guess the conchas turned out ok!!

Conchas de Pan Dulce

by Savoring Italy
Prep Time: 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours
Cook Time: approx 20 minutes

Ingredients (14 buns)
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 (1/2 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter plus 1 Tablespoon (reserve 1 Tbsp for brushing the rolls), melted
    • 4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon powdered cocoa
    Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl. Add 1 T of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

    Beat in the remaining 2 T sugar, eggs and butter. Beat in cooled milk. Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of bowl, until a soft dough forms. Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.

    Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Make the chocolate and vanilla-cinnamon topping: In a medium bowl, beat 2/3 cup sugar, cinnamon and ½ cup butter until fluffy. Stir in the flour and mix until it resembles a thick paste. Take half of it and set it aside. Take the other half and mix it with the powdered cocoa until well blended. Wrap the toppings in plastic and put them in the refrigerator to firm up.

    Cut and shape the dough into 12 - 24 balls, depending on the size you want (I made 6 chocolate and 8 plain. With the leftover dough, I made cinnamon rolls).

    Line a cookie sheet with lightly greased parchment paper. Place balls on the cookie sheet and gently flatten each ball with the palm of your hand. Space balls 2 ½ - 3 inches apart.

    Roll out the chocolate and vanilla toppings under plastic wrap.

    Take a bowl or a glass that is wider than the balls of dough to cut the topping into circles.

    Use a steel spatula to gently lift each circle and carefully place over each ball of dough.

    Very carefully score the toppings to make shell designs. Be sure to use a very sharp knife.

    Gently place it over each ball of dough.

    Preheat oven to 350° F. Let the balls rise for another 20-30 minutes. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.


    1. I'm so happy that you decided to go with conchas - they are absolutely my favorite Mexican sweet bread...I could eat them daily! Yours turned out glad they were a hit.

    2. These look great, Lora! I thought about making them but was totally intimidated by the shell. You nailed it though. I'll definitely check out the blog link you posted—love a good story. Thanks for sharing these!

    3. Your Conchas turned out beautifully! Mine have that "rustic" look. Oh well, they were fun to make and a learning opportunity!

    4. Blogs with stories are ones that I love to visit, both for the entertainment factor, as well as for the opportunity to get to know the blogger a little better. You did a fantastic job with these conchas!

    5. […] from Culinary Adventures with Camilla Conchas de Pan Dulce from Cake Duchess Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread) from Hostess At Heart Mexican Cemitas from […]

    6. Great job! I am always intimidated by making bread but this looks amazing!

    7. Another great bread recipe Lora!! These came out wonderfully! So pretty!

    8. Lora, I like your story about shooing off your mother in law!! Your bread is beautiful as always!!

    9. Lora, these look amazingly tasty. Thanks for sharing with #TwelveLoaves. Okay, I'll try them one of these days.

    10. You always have a way of transporting me to exotic places in my mind with your writing, Lora. I had never heard of conchas before today but now I can't wait to make them for myself. Yours look bakery perfect, but I expect nothing less from you! You are a wonderful baker! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

    11. […] from Culinary Adventures with Camilla Cemitas from The Bread She Bakes Conchas de Pan Dulce from Cake Duchess Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread) from Hostess At Heart Mexican Cemitas from […]

    12. These loaves are so pretty! One of the things I didn't get around to trying the last time I visited Mexico was these lovely little conchas. I've been meaning to go back for another visit so that I can make up for my oversight (and, okay, maybe to soak up some of that lovely sunshine and chug a few margaritas while I'm at it)... it's good to know I can make my own in the meantime, though.

    13. There are so few good writers that food blog! I envy them so much, because a writer I am not. And these conchas look amazing!

    14. I admire the bloggers who can write such interesting stories with each recipe! I wish I could like that! I need to work on doing it more often! But sharing 3-4 recipes and writing for other websites, sure makes time limited. Love the look of these loaves!

    15. These look amazing Lora! I agree that sometimes it's nice to share a story with a recipe - I need to check out that blog :)

    16. can you just come live me and bake bread for us? haha I also love stories and I think I'm really tired because I first I thought that that was YOUR story about this recipe bahahaha and I was like wait.. who are you chasing down haha. <3

    17. I've seen conchas plenty of times at the Mexican bakeries in my neighborhood and always wanted one but never went in to try it. I finally picked one up on Tuesday. I have no idea why I waited so long but it was worth it! I bet making them at home is even better!

    18. […] from Culinary Adventures with Camilla Cemitas from The Bread She Bakes Conchas de Pan Dulce from Cake Duchess Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread) from Hostess At Heart Mexican Cemitas from […]