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Pan dulce

Pan Dulce (Mexican Sweet Rolls)

Pan Dulce (Mexican Sweet Rolls)

These traditional rolls, often found in Latino bakeries under the name conchas, or shells, feature a sweet, cinnamon-y topping.

Ingredients

Starter

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Dough

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk save the white
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor

Topping

  • 2/3 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup 4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 egg white reserved from above

Instructions

  1. Combine the starter ingredients and let them rest for 1 hour, until the mixture is bubbly.
  2. Add the dough ingredients to the mixture, and mix and knead to form a sticky, elastic dough.
  3. Allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until it's doubled in size; it may be a bit slow, so be sure to give it plenty of time. Combine the topping ingredients, except for the egg white, to form a thick paste; set aside.
  4. Transfer the dough to a greased or floured work surface, and divide it into 10 pieces. Roll each into a ball.
  5. Divide the topping into 10 portions, flattening each portion into a disk.
  6. Place the balls of dough onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving space between them. Brush the top of each ball with lightly beaten egg white.
  7. Press a disk of topping onto each roll, and flatten slightly.
  8. Allow the rolls to rise for about 30 minutes, covered. Just before baking, use a pan dulce cutter to press a pattern into the topping. Press down firmly, through the topping and into the dough.
  9. Bake the rolls in a preheated 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until they're golden brown. Enjoy warm, with jam.
  10. Store, well-wrapped, for 3 days at room temperature, or freeze for up to a month.
  11. Tips from our bakers Lacking a traditional pan dulce cutter doesn't mean these are impossible. After placing the topping on the dough, use a razor or sharp knife to score a decorative pattern into the dough and topping.

Recipe Notes

Lacking a traditional pan dulce cutter doesn't mean these are impossible. After placing the topping on the dough, use a razor or sharp knife to score a decorative pattern into the dough and topping.

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