On a typical morning, the line at Mexican American bakery La Panadería in San Antonio winds out the door, as locals wait patiently to order a box of pan dulce, a category of sweet breads and pastries popular throughout Mexico. Brothers and co-owners David and José Cáceres grew up selling their mother Doña Josefina’s pan dulce on the streets of Mexico City. When they opened their own bakery in Texas, La Panadería, pan de muerto—citrus-scented buns topped with bone-shaped patterns and dusted with sugar—became one of their signature offerings. The treat is especially popular during Día de los Muertos, a holiday widely celebrated in Mexico to honor departed loved ones, but La Panaderia bakes it all year long. Now, with their pan de muerto recipe, so can you.
Featured in “The Sweet Bread That Fuels San Antonio's Día de los Muertos Celebrations” by Megan Zhang.
- 3¼ cups bread flour
- 1½ tsp. instant yeast
- 1½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. whole milk
- 2 Tbsp. orange essence
- 1 Tbsp. orange flower water
- 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- ½ cup sugar
- 15 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
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