5.06.2014

Homemade Conchas


This “pan dulce” (sweet bread) is called “conchas” in Mexico or “semitas” in Honduras, I won't be surprised to find more names out there for it. Growing up, this was a classic treat to go with our coffee,  I remember a little bakery by my house that use to sell this fresh, out of the oven. The line of customers trying to get a few pieces was endless. 


I haven’t found a good concha around here but that’s ok because I have a good recipe. They are not hard to make but they do take their time to rise properly so, patience is on the ingredient list. They are not as sweet as they may seem. In a way, conchas remind me of a brioche although less buttery. The sweet part comes from the topping which is a mixture of flour, sugar and vegetable shortening or butter. By the way, this topping makes a fantastic base for a crisp, I have experimented with a few fruits already, it comes out really good. I'm working on a recipe with this topping, I'm hoping to post it soon, in the meantime enjoy this one! 



Ingredients:
(makes 16 conchas)

4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 ½ teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1/2 cup warm water

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add all the ingredients and mix for five minutes (starting the mixer on low speed then increasing it to medium). Mix until the dough is smooth. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and let it ferment for 2 hours, meanwhile make the topping. Divide the dough in 16 pieces (about 80g per piece), shape each piece into a round then lightly press it to form a patty. Place each piece of dough on to a baking sheet  lined with parchment paper or a baking mat. When you are done shaping the bread, grab a piece of topping dough (about 30g per bread) and roll it out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, not too thin. Place it right on top of the bread and using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, score the top. 


Be very careful not to cut to the bread dough. Cover the bread and place it in a warm part on your kitchen. Let the bread rise for 3 hours or until they feel airy to the touch. Bake the conchas on a preheat oven (350˚F) and bake them for 18 minutes. Let them cool on wire rack.  

For the topping 

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup granulate sugar
1 ½  cups flour
3 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon cinnamon 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add all the ingredients and mix well for about 1 minute, it should look like tart dough. 

8 comments:

  1. These really are beautiful, almost an art form to put together. Looks like a great recipe!

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  2. Wow, Najwa these are beautiful. I've never seen anything like this. Can't wait to try these.

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  3. These look delicious! I love the texture that is created on the top from cutting slits in the top!

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