Conchas is the Mexican Sweet. These sweet and fluffy Conchas are one of the most popular types of pan dulce in Mexican and US bakeries. Concha dough is less flexible than other enriched doughs (like brioche dough) but shares the same light, airy texture. The word ‘concha’ translates to ‘shell’ in English, which describes their fun seashell-like appearance. The bread is lightly sweet, fluffy and airy and the topping is perfectly crunchy and oh-so satisfying.
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While this recipe is an easy to make, it does require some patience because you have to let the dough rise. But I promise the end result is so worth it. Here is how to make this sweet bread at home.
• 2 ½ teaspoons yeast
• ½ cup warm water
• ½ cup evaporated milk
• ⅜ cup white sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ⅓ cup butter or margarine, melted
• 1 egg
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ⅔ cup white sugar
• ½ cup butter or margarine
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Tips for making the Best Conchas
In a large bowl, stir together the yeast and warm water. Mix in the milk, 3/8 cup sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter, salt, egg and half of the flour. Gradually mix in the remaining flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter to knead as soon as it pulls together enough.
Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a large greased bowl, and turn the dough to coat. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Make the topping while the dough rises. In a medium bowl, beat 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour until the mixture is the consistency of thick paste. Divide into two parts, and place one part in a separate bowl. Mix cinnamon into one half, and vanilla into the other half.
When the dough is done rising, cut into 12 even-sized pieces. Shape into balls, and place on a greased cookie sheet, spacing about 3 inches apart. Divide each bowl of topping into 6 balls, and pat flat. Place circles of topping on top of the dough balls patting down lightly. Use a knife to cut grooves in the topping like a clam shell. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.