Day of the Dead Bread-
Pan de Muerto

Day of the Dead Bread

The Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico on All Souls Day (November 2). The observance is based on the belief that all the departed return for one day each year to visit with their living loved ones.

The celebrations are often held in cemeteries. This holiday is also observed in Hispanic communities in New Mexico such as the village we live in- Magdalena. This bread is shared by the celebrants.

(Day of the Dead art - such as these dolls in a Bucerias, MX, shop window - is very popular.)

You don't have to be Hispanic to enjoy this wonderful bread. How about starting your own family tradition to commemorate your loved ones on the Day of the Dead? Or, just try this bread because it tastes so good!


¼ cup milk
¼ cup butter
¼ cup sugar
3 teaspoons (or 1 pkg) dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup of 110 F (very warm) water
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose or bread flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon anise seed
2 more teaspoons sugar

Bring milk to a boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in the butter, ¼ cup sugar and salt, Set aside to cool. Dissolve the yeast in a medium sized bowl and allow to sit until foamy. Add the lukewarm milk mixture.

Separate the yolk and white from one egg. Reserve the white for later.

Add the flour, the egg yolk, and the whole egg to the yeast mixture. Mix well until you can form the dough into a ball.

Dump the dough out on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Return to the mixing bowl, cover, and set in a warm place to rise. After about 90 minutes, remove the dough from the bowl and knead a few times on a well floured surface to remove any air bubbles.

Grease the baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Divide your dough into seven roughly equal pieces. Form six of them into dough balls and press them together. Roll the remaining piece of dough into a long rope. Cut the rope into six pieces and form into bone shapes. Press the "bones" into the spaces between the larger dough pieces as you see in the above photo. Place the dough on your baking sheet. Beat the egg white with 1 tbsp of water. Brush the shaped dough with the egg white mixture and sprinkle with sugar and spices.

Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Ethnic Breads

Ethnic Bread Recipes (alphabetical)

Yeast Bread Recipes

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