Our local bakery has been posting about these being available from their Great Harvest bakery for a limited time. We are going to support local and purchase some from them, but I was also curious about how to make them.
Conchas (Pan Dulce)
- 3 tbsp warm water
- 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ⅓ c granulated sugar
- ¾ c evaporated milk or regular whole milk
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 4 c all-purpose flour
- ½ c unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- ⅔ c granulated sugar
- 1 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- food coloring gel (optional)
- To the bowl of a stand-up mixer with the hook attachment (you can also do this in a large bowl and knead it by hand!), add the warm water. Pour the active dry yeast on top and mix in into the water. Allow to stand until foamy, about 5 to 7 minutes. If it doesn’t get foamy then you’ll need to do it again.
- When the active dry yeast is foamy, pour in the vegetable oil, melted butter, granulated sugar, evaporated milk, salt, vanilla, ground cinnamon and eggs. Break up the eggs with the back of a spatula and allow the dough hook to mix it up a bit, about 30 seconds.
- Next, pour the flour in all at once and run the machine for about 5 minutes on medium speed, until the dough is soft and smooth. If you’re doing this by hand, once the dough comes together, you’ll want to dump it out onto your floured counter and knead it for about 10 minutes, until it’s nice and smooth.
- Rub a large bowl with oil or spray it with cooking spray and place the dough in the center of the bowl. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel and allow it to rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
To make the streusel topping
- In the bowl of stand-up mixer with the paddle attachment (you could also mix this by hand if you don’t have a mixer), add the butter, sugar, flour and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Divide the dough in two. To one part of the topping, add a drop of food coloring gel. To the other topping, add the cocoa powder and knead until it’s cohesive.
To assemble the conchas
- Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into 12 equal parts. Or better yet, weigh them into balls of 100g. Form the balls of dough into rounds. Repeat until you’ve worked through all of the dough.
- Take about 2 tablespoons of the topping and rollout using our palms, flatting it into a thin round. Drape it over the round of dough, patting down lightly. Using a knife, cut grooves in the topping like a clam shell. You can also do other types of cuts like criss cross, circles, etc. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool. Serve with hot chocolate or coffee.