Pan de muerto (Bread for Day of the Dead)
2 Serves
5 Hrs


First Part The Starter
500 g flour
1 ¼ tablespoon salt
60 g sugar
3 tablespoons crumbled fresh yeast or 1½ tablespoons dry yeast
½ cup plus two tablespoons water
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
Unsalted butter for the bowl
Final Dough
The starter broken into small pieces
1 cup sugar
210 grams unsalted butter
500 grams flour
8 egg yolks slightly beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon orange-flower water and/or the zest of one orange
The Glaze
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
¼ cup butter, melted
Place the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a bowl and add the water and eggs gradually.
Beat around five minutes until you can form the dough into a ball; it should be sticky, elastic, and shiny.
Place it on a floured board and shape it like a cushion.
Butter and flour a clean bowl and place the dough in it, covering it with a piece of buttered plastic and a towel.
Set it aside for two hours in a warm place—20o C—until it doubles in volume.
Place the starter, butter, and sugar in a bowl; mix well and gradually add the flour and egg yolks. Add the orange-flower water and/or orange zest. The dough should be sticky, firm, and shiny. Place it on a floured surface and form a round cushion. Butter
Place the dough on a floured board and cut it into two equal pieces. Set half of it aside. Take ¾ of the first half and make a solid ball. Shape it into a semisphere about 20 cm in diameter. Cover it with a buttered piece of plastic and leave it in a warm
Heat the oven to 190o C. Once the dough has doubled in size, carefully place the ball in the center as the skull on each one and the “bones” radiating out from it. Apply the egg yolks with a brush to the surface of the bread and bake until browned and spo