Bread of the Dead — Pan de Muerto Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, Mexico's festive annual celebration of life —and death — takes place on November 2. The modern celebration, now an official Catholic holiday, owes its roots to the Aztecs, who devoted two full months of the year to honor the dead and assist departed souls to their final destination. During and after the Spanish conquest, the culture of the Aztecs became infused with the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Consequently, the Day of the Dead coincides with All Souls' Day, the day after All Saints' Day. Catholic Culture
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons anise seed
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons white sugar
1.Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add them warm
water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then
add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is
3.Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
4.Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will
take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a
baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
5.Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then
brush with glaze.
6.To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat
and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.