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Sourdough Pan De Muerto – Day Of The Dead Recipe

Sourdough Pan De Muerto Recipe

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The recipe will guide you through the steps to create your own Pan de Muerto, allowing you to embrace the flavors and traditions of this special occasion.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds (optional)
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk)
  • Granulated sugar for sprinkling


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  3. Add the warm milk, melted butter, eggs, orange zest, and anise seeds (if using) to the yeast mixture. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough forms.
  5. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  6. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  7. Punch down the dough and divide it into smaller portions, reserving a portion to create the decorative bone shapes.
  8. Shape the larger portion of dough into a round loaf with a smooth top and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Take a small piece of dough and divide it into smaller portions to form bone shapes. Roll out thin strips and shape them into “bones,” placing them on top of the round loaf in a cross pattern.
  10. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rise again for about 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  12. Brush the risen dough with the egg wash, being careful not to disturb the bone decorations.
  13. Bake the Pan de Muerto for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  14. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with granulated sugar while still warm.
  15. Serve and enjoy this delectable Pan de Muerto with loved ones to honor and remember those who have passed away during the Day of the Dead festivities.
  • Author: Natasha Krajnc
  • Category: bread
  • Cuisine: Mexican