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Bread of the Dead (Pan de Muerto)

  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 40 min
  • Servings 6

A shortcut version of the traditional Mexican bread baked in the weeks leading up to Dia de los Muertos. Not spooky, just sweet (and delicious). ...MORE+ LESS-

Girl Versus Dough
October 20, 2014


containers Pillsbury™ refrigerated crusty French loaf
Colored sanding sugar, for topping
tablespoons melted butter
eggs, beaten


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  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom of a baking sheet.
  • 2
    Unroll French loaves from their containers and place them on the baking sheet. Slice each loaf into four equal pieces.
  • 3
    Place six of the pieces evenly on the baking sheet. Divide the two reserved pieces in half, then roll each piece into a long log, about 12 inches long. Divide each log into three equal strips.
  • 4
    Place two strips like crossed bones on top of each of the pieces on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of each loaf with the beaten eggs.
  • 5
    Bake 20 to 25 minutes until loaves are puffed, golden brown and baked through.
  • 6
    Brush warm loaves with melted butter, then sprinkle with colored sanding sugar. Cool completely before serving.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe
More About This Recipe
  • Dia de los Muertos (or the Day of the Dead) is celebrated in Mexico on November 1 and 2. Pan de Muerto, or Bread of the Dead, is eaten leading up to this special time of remembrance.

    Have you ever tried Pan de Muerto, or Bread of the Dead? Better yet, have you ever tried it in Mexico on Dia de los Muertos? That’s where the sweet bread originates, and while it’s got some history, it’s also quite tasty, too.

    I tried authentic Pan de Muerto for the first time way way waayyyyyy (OK, not that way, but pretty way) back in high school for a Spanish class field trip. I remember it being perfectly soft and sweet, with a glazed crust and slight orange flavor. This version tastes just a little different, but it’s not nearly as labor-intensive as the traditional stuff.

    All you need are a couple Pillsbury refrigerated crusty French loaves, as well as some beaten eggs, melted butter and colored sanding sugar to bring the Bread of the Dead to life.

    First, divide the loaves into four equal pieces each on a greased baking sheet. Reserve two of the pieces, and space the six remaining pieces evenly on the baking sheet.

    Divide the two remaining pieces in half, then roll each half into a long log, about 12 inches. Divide the log into three equal strips. Once you cut and roll and cut both reserved pieces, you should end up with 12 strips.

    Place two strips, crosswise like bones, on top of each piece of dough on the baking sheet. Brush the dough with the beaten eggs, then bake until puffy and golden brown.

    While the baked bread is still warm, brush the tops with melted butter, then sprinkle with the colored sugar.

    Wait 'til the bread is fully cooled, then serve in remembrance of deceased ancestors in the time-honored tradition of Pan de Muertos.

    Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) is off to eat more candy. I mean cupcakes. I mean both. I mean… Check out Stephanie's Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!

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