Easy-to-Make Pan de Muerto

Oct 25, 2017

When it comes to making homemade bread, like this sweet, aromatic pan de muerto, there is this erroneous idea that we need to get into a real workout to knead the dough. Well, I have good news! You can bake pan de muerto the easy way by making the dough in a standing mixer with the help of a kneading blade. The result is this effortless smooth and elastic dough that will make a delicious pan de muerto to enjoy during your Day of the Dead  celebration. This bread has a light orange flavor due to the orange zest, and a delicious aroma of orange blossom water. I hope you like it!

– Enriqueta Lemoine

SAVOIR FAIRE by enrilemoine


Preparation time: 140 min
Cook time: 35 min
Total time: 175


  • 1/4 cup 
    lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup 
    sugar, divided
  • 2 tsps 
    dry active yeast (1 envelope)
  • eggs at room temperature, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup 
    lukewarm milk
  • 8 tbsps 
    salted butter, melted and divided
  • 1 ½ tsps 
    orange blossom water
  • 3 ½ to 4 cups 
    all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp 
  • 1 ½ tbsps 
    orange zest
  • ½ tbsps 
    vegetable oil


  1. In a bowl, add the water and 1 tbs of sugar and stir. Add the yeast and set aside until the yeast rises, about 10 minutes.

  2. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, half of the butter and orange blossom water.

  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, sift 3 cups of flour. Add the sugar, salt and orange zest, as well as the egg, milk and butter mix.

  4. Add the yeast mixture and let the mixer do the kneading until you have a runny dough.

  5. Add more flour as needed and continue kneading until the dough is malleable and smooth.

  6. With a brush, cover a big bowl with oil.

  7. Make a ball with the dough and place it in the oiled bowl. Brush the dough with oil and cover it with plastic film, leaving a whole so the dough breathes. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, until it doubles in size.

  8. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  9. On a floured surface, place the dough and divide it into 2-4 pieces depending of the size you want for your bread, plus 1 piece to make the “bones”.

  10. Shape the pieces of dough as balls and place them on the baking sheet.

  11. Cut the reserved dough into strands and roll them with your fingers to create the “bone” effect.

  12. Place the “bones” crosswise over the balls of dough and finish with a little ball of dough right in the middle of the cross.

  13. Set aside and let your pan de muerto rise for 30 minutes.

  14. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden.

  15. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet.

  16. Place the pan de muertos on the cooling rack. Brush them with the rest of the melted butter and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar.

Leave A Comment