Pan Dulce – Mexican Sweet Bread

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Pan Dulce or Mexican Sweet Bread is a staple of Mexican cuisine. The tradition of making sweet bread goes back to when Spain introduced wheat flour and then influenced by the French. There are many different kinds of sweet bread. They are sold everywhere from bakeries to big supermarkets. Traditionally enjoyed with a cup of hot chocolate, sweet bread makes for a delicious excuse to take a break during a busy day or as breakfast.

One of the most popular sweet bread you can find in Mexico is the Elotito or Little Corn, named like that because of its shape (no corn involved in the making of it). We miss them so much that we tried to recreate them at home and we are so happy with the results that we had to share the recipe with you.

Elotitos
15 – 20 Pieces

Bread
– 500gr Plain Flour
– 10gr Dried Active Yeast
– 1 Pinch of Salt
– 100gr Sugar
– 1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
– 125ml Water
– 2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
– 180gr Pork Lard (We know this is not a very common ingredient in the UK but we wanted to stick to the original recipe. You can use vegetable shortening or any other kind of fat.)

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Filling
– 100gr Plain Flour
– 90gr Icing Sugar
– 90gr Butter
– 1 Egg Yolk

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Method

Bread
Tip the flour into a bolw and mix with the salt, sugar and yeast. Once mixed, add the whole egg plus the egg yolk. Work with the mixture until obtaining a gritty texture. Add the water little by little and mix well. Add cinnamon and lard. Work the dough until everything is mixed and the texture is soft and supple. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Filling
On another bowl tip the flour, icing sugar, butter and egg yolk. Mix all the ingredients until you get an even paste.

Preheat oven to 200C
Once the dough has rested for 10 minutes, make little dough balls of approximately 40-50gr each.
Add some flower to your work surface and with a well-floured rolling pin work each dough ball until you get an even oval shaped base. This shouldn’t be too thin, it should be of about 8cm long. With a spatula make a diamond shaped pattern on one side being careful of not pressing to hard. Turn around and leave the pattern side underneath.
Place a small amount of the filling along the length of the oval and bring the ends together pressing a little just to close the filling inside. Press the ends together.
The final shape should have the diamond pattern visible and resemble a corn cob. Don’t worry if they are all different, that’s part of the beauty of homemade baking.
Place them on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes or until they are nicely golden.
Once out of the oven, let them rest for about 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Sprinkle some sugar on top before they are completely cold.

If you choose to make this Elotitos with pork lard, they will last between 3 to 4 days. The time will be longer if you use vegetable shortening. If you can resist and leave some for the next day, they are even better. The texture is firm but soft at the same time with a beautiful cinnamon flavour.

This recipe might look a little overwhelming but it is quite easy to put together. The result is lovely, a very authentic and delicate pastry to enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate. We hope you enjoy it!

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