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Bake this traditional “bread of the dead”, made to celebrate 'El Día de los Muertos'

This traditional “bread of the dead” is made to celebrate the Mexican holiday “El Día de los Muertos” or the Day of the Dead.

This traditional “bread of the dead” is made to celebrate the Mexican holiday “El Día de los Muertos” or the Day of the Dead. It is an integral part of the culture and holiday altar and it is often served with hot chocolate.


- ½ cup warm water

- 1 ounce dry yeast

- ¾ cup sugar

- 2 ¼ cups flour

- ½ teaspoon salt

- 8 egg yolks

- 4 whole eggs

- 1 cup butter

- ½ cup lard

- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel

- 2 tablespoons of orange blossom extract

- 3 tablespoons of anise extract

- 7 ½ tablespoons of milk

- 1 tablespoon flour (for glaze)

- ½ cup of water (for glaze)

- 2 egg yolks (for glaze)

- 1 egg (for glaze)

- Sugar glaze (for glaze)


1. For the dough: Put the water in a glass bowl and add the yeast. Stir to dissolve and set it aside.

2. Add 6 to 8 tablespoons of flour to the yeast mixture to form a stiff dough and then leave it in a warm spot until it doubles in size.

3.  In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the flour and the sugar. Add the salt, 3 whole eggs, 7 egg yolks, the lard, the orange peel, the butter, and the extracts. Add 6 ½ tablespoons of milk and mix well. When it forms dough, knead it briefly.

4. Add the yeast mixture and knead it all together until the dough is smooth and elastic. Grease a glass bowl with butter and place the bread inside.

5. Spread a little bit of butter on the surface and cover the dough with a dish town. Set it aside for 12 hours or until it doubles in size.

6. Knead the dough briefly. Pinch two 2-inch balls, eight 2-inch strips, and eight 1-inch balls. Divide the remaining dough in half and roll it into tow circles. Place the circles on a greased baking sheet.

7. Beat together 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of milk, and 1 whole egg. Brush the big circles with the mixture and place the 2 inch balls in the center of each.

8. Decorate the circumference of the big balls with the 1 inch balls and strips. Allow the bread to rise for 1 hour.

9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

10. Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes.

11. For the glaze: In a small saucepan mix the flour, water, egg yolks and the whole egg over medium heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens and becomes creamy.

12. Brush the baked bread with the glaze and sprinkle it with sugar.

13. Place the bread back in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and sprinkle it with more sugar. Serve when cooled.

14. Enjoy!

Did you like this recipe? Will you make it this Day of the Dead?

Learn more about “El Día de los Muertos” here.