This is a version of the bread that is made for the November 2 celebration known as the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Mexico. You can also mold the bread into different shapes like angels and animals.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add them warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).

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  • In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

  • Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.

  • Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.

  • To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.

Tips

You may substitute 1/2 teaspoon anise extract for the anise seeds.

Nutrition Facts

207 calories; 5.1 g total fat; 31 mg cholesterol; 156 mg sodium. 35.7 g carbohydrates; 4.8 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (112)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2003
Nov. 2 "Day of the Dead " was also my Dad's birthday. I made a batch of Pan de Muertos and my sister and I took it out to the cemetery where we sat beside my Dad's grave and shared the bread and special memories of him while we watched the sun set. I split the recipe into two small rounds -- one for us to share and one to leave at the gravesite for the birds and squirrels. Sentimentality aside this bread was surprisingly good; I was prepared to not care for it much because I'm not fond of anise but we both really liked it. Thanks for a helping me start a new family tradition! Read More
(149)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
11/04/2009
I'm not sure if I did something wrong. I followed the recipe exactly but the bread was very dry and not enjoyable. Smelled great while cooking and the blend of tastes was interesting just to dry for my family. Everyone tried it then left it alone.:o( Read More
(5)
146 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 98
  • 4 star values: 37
  • 3 star values: 8
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2003
Nov. 2 "Day of the Dead " was also my Dad's birthday. I made a batch of Pan de Muertos and my sister and I took it out to the cemetery where we sat beside my Dad's grave and shared the bread and special memories of him while we watched the sun set. I split the recipe into two small rounds -- one for us to share and one to leave at the gravesite for the birds and squirrels. Sentimentality aside this bread was surprisingly good; I was prepared to not care for it much because I'm not fond of anise but we both really liked it. Thanks for a helping me start a new family tradition! Read More
(149)
Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2003
Nov. 2 "Day of the Dead " was also my Dad's birthday. I made a batch of Pan de Muertos and my sister and I took it out to the cemetery where we sat beside my Dad's grave and shared the bread and special memories of him while we watched the sun set. I split the recipe into two small rounds -- one for us to share and one to leave at the gravesite for the birds and squirrels. Sentimentality aside this bread was surprisingly good; I was prepared to not care for it much because I'm not fond of anise but we both really liked it. Thanks for a helping me start a new family tradition! Read More
(149)
Rating: 4 stars
11/02/2003
My daughter made this for her Spanish class. It was so easy. She got it right on the first try! Read More
(81)
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Rating: 4 stars
04/14/2003
Although I am not a big fan of licorice in bread this was pretty good. I had to make it for a class assignment and everyone liked it. This was a lot easier than the one found in the newspaper. Try it! Read More
(55)
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2003
Once again need it for my son's spanish class 25 extra credit points. I baked a practice loaf but didn't need to as it turned out excellent. Good texture and flavor. I also used my bread machine on the dough cycle. Couldn't be easier which is a good thing because my son is baking the next loaf. Read More
(47)
Rating: 5 stars
10/23/2008
I have been making Pan de Muertos for years using different recipes this year I both decided to use a new recipe and use my bread maker. I used the recipe with two minor changes a little extra water no more than two tablespoons and orange extract instead of zest. Is is absolutely the fluffiest version of this bread I've ever made. In my two pound bread maker it made a nearly full sized loaf and on light setting cooked perfectly (if a little crumby on the sides). Read More
(45)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2003
I made this for my Spanish class. It is sweet on the outside and a wholesome taste on the inside. I've had it once before and my proffessor who lived in spanish speaking countries said it wase excellent Read More
(36)
Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2006
Delicious! I baked two small loafs - hoping that would help with the dryness; I also doubled the yeast (used one pkg. of yeast). If you are worried whether it is done or not temp it - bread should be at least 190 degrees F in the center before it is pulled out of the oven. I also found that when it was warm it was more moist. If the bread is a little dry my husband recommends making extra glaze to dip the bread in. He couldn't get enough of the glaze! Read More
(36)
Rating: 5 stars
10/25/2003
I love this bread sooooo much! I make it on the dough setting in my bread machine then bake in the oven. It is great for snacking breakfast or whatever. Smells amazing while baking. Can't say enough about it! Read More
(30)
Rating: 4 stars
12/28/2009
I wanted to give this five stars but I've made this a few times and tweaked the recipe to taste more authentic. Most importantly I use a 50/50 combination of bread flour and all-purpose flour for a nice crust and tender crumb like pan dulce. Otherwise the crumb is too cakey and dry. I also add 1/4 cup of juice to the dough and scale flour sugar and yeast in proportion along with an extra 1 tbsp each of zest and of anise extract (in addition to the seeds). I recently used tangerines in place of oranges for Christmas and the result was amazing - much sweeter and milder. I mix the dough and have it do the first rise in the bread machine then I have it do the second rise on top of the preheated oven (it likes it really warm). I also found I need a much shorter baking time (only about 25-30 minutes) compared to the recipe. Overall the recipe as written is very good but not perfect. Read More
(28)
Rating: 3 stars
11/04/2009
I'm not sure if I did something wrong. I followed the recipe exactly but the bread was very dry and not enjoyable. Smelled great while cooking and the blend of tastes was interesting just to dry for my family. Everyone tried it then left it alone.:o( Read More
(5)