Recipe: Pan de Muerto

Recipe by Rut Salas from Eno

From Ambrosia | Vol. 4: Mexico City

Serves 15



1 kg all-purpose flour

250g granulated sugar

250g cold butter, cubed

50g fresh yeast

10g salt

250ml whole milk

250g eggs

5 ml orange blossom water

10g orange zest

200g butter, for glazing

Toasted sesame seeds or granulated sugar for dusting (optional)


orange zest into steel bowl

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, fresh yeast, salt, and orange zest) in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment for two minutes.

Add the liquid ingredients (milk, eggs, and orange blossom water) and mix at low speed. Incorporate the butter gradually.

Continue mixing at medium speed until dough becomes elastic without being sticky, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Divide the dough, portioning 80g for each bun, and 16g for each set of cross "bones" that will be used to decorate the top of the buns.

On a clean work surface, round out each 80g bun by cupping your hand over the dough and moving it in a circular motion.

creating rope into "bone" shape with hands

Divide each 16g portion of dough into two equal halves. Use your hand to roll them into ropes, keeping your fingers 1 cm apart and applying some pressure to create slight ridges or bumps along the cross "bones".

Drape the cross "bone" strips over the top of the rounded buns to form an "X."

Let the dough rest and ferment in a warm place (preferably, 122°F) for one hour. Bake at 320°F for 15 mintues.

Let the buns cool. While the buns are cooling, melt the remaining butter in a small pot over low heat.

brushing butter on bread  

Using a pastry brush, glaze the buns with the melted butter. Sprinkle sugar or tasted sesame seeds to finish.

sprinkle sugar over bread