Conchas – Mexican Sweet Bread

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IMG_20150923_160440[1] 23/09/2015

Conchas are Mexican sweet breads that can vary in flavour but the traditional version is lightly spiced with cinnamon. I first tried these little buns on my travels in El Paso, TX. We were literally meters from the Mexican border but may as well have been in the heart of the country as the flavours and treats on offer in the little Mexican bakeries there just seemed so homely and authentic. Here is my version of rich, buttery, sweet breads for you to enjoy.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Method:

  1. In a large bowl stir together yeast and warm water, let stand for ten minutes. Stir in evaporated milk, sugar, melted butter, egg, and salt. Stir in 2 cups flour. Gradually stir in remaining 2 cups flour and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to make the dough.
  2. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Knead 3-5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl, turn the dough to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 60-75 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for the topping, in medium bowl, beat softened butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until well mixed. Stir in 1 cup flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and vanilla.
  4. Punch down the dough then cover and let stand ten minutes. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place 3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press balls down slightly. Divide topping into 12 balls, pat each ball flat. Place one round of topping onto each dough ball.
  5. Use a sharp knife to cut grooves in the topping to resemble a scallop shell. Cover rolls and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Bake rolls 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet and cool on wire racks.

IMG_20150923_160530[1] IMG_20150923_160605[1]

This bread is awesome eaten just warm from the oven. I recommend warming any rolls that you don’t eat immediately in an oven for about 5 minutes to refresh.

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