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Pan de Muerto: The Bread That Brings Back The Dead (& How To Make It)

Food & Drink By O. DELGADO742 views
Pan de Muerto: The Bread That Brings Back The Dead (& How To Make It)

The smell of the panaderia is irresistible; that doesn't change when you die.

Pan de muerto as an ofrenda dates back to prehispanic people, like the Aztecs and Mayas, who made "bread" out of maíz, amaranth, and honey as offerings to their gods and spirits, often in the shape of bones.

One particular bread called "papalotlaxcalli" (butterfly bread) was decorated with butterfly shapes and baked as an offering to the goddess who watched over first-time mothers.  

Pan de muerto continues to be an essential part of our ofrenda and altar.  Like the irresistible smell of the panaderia, it's sweet taste and aroma are believed to pull the spirits back to their homes and families in the living world.

 

 

According to tradition, an ofrenda must include the four elements: wind, water, fire, and earth. 

The pan we place on the altar represents the earth, its round shape represents the dome of the sky, and the crossed-bones represent the dead.

Pan de Muerto is traditionally made with butter, flour, anís, and orange blossom, and topped with sugar or sesame seeds.

 

 
 
 
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But the shape and decoration vary depending on regional tradition and personal taste.

 

 
 
 
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#pandemuerto #Oaxaca #Mexico

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And bakers have now started making pan de muerto with different flavors and fillings...

 

 
 
 
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It looks complicated, but pan de muerto is actually pretty simple make. 

You probably have all the ingredients you need already in your house: flour, yeast, sugar, salt, eggs, butter.

The video below was easy to follow and fun to do with the fam.  All you need are the ingredients above, a space to roll out and shape the dough, and a couple hours to relax while the bread rises.  Be prepared to get a little sticky and floury.

 

 

...Or you can always just head over to the panaderia. 

 

 
 
 
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Have you set your altar yet? Pan de Muerto at El Gallo Bakery #elgallobakery #panaderiaelgallo #bakedfreshdaily #since1949 #pandemuerto

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