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Conchas Shell Bread

Conchas are a Mexican pan dulce or sweet bread commonly sold in panaderias (bakeries) in the U.S. and Mexico. The yeast breads are named for the “concha” or shell shape of the baked on topping. This topping can come in a variety of colors for special occasions or holidays.

Natalia Del Pino and her family are members of Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Natalia learned to bake Mexican sweet breads with her grandmother. Some of these family recipes are over 100 years old.


Dough Ingredients
Warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons melted shortening
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar

Put 3 tablespoons of warm water (about 110 degrees) in a small bowl and add
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon yeast  mix and let it bloom (rise) for about 6 minutes

In the meantime, in another bowl mix the
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons sugar, mix

In another small bowl mix the
1egg, beat, then add
1/2 cup warm milk ( can use water if you desire)
2 tablespoons melt shortening ( I melt it in the microwave)

Now, put the yeast mixture in the electric mixer bowl, add the milk and egg mixture, then add 1 cup at a time of the flour mixture, until you use up all the flour.  The dough should be the just a little sticky.  If it's to heavy add  1 tablespoon of warm water.  Then, mix the dough, using the dough hook for 9 minutes in the mixture. It will wrap itself around the dough hook.

Take out and cut it into 10 small pieces and make 10 little balls. Put each ball on a floured cookie (big cookie sheet) parchment paper.  Place each little ball on the cookie sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Then flatten each little ball, so it a flat thick piece of dough.  

Now, make the Petun (frosting) Mix

Frosting (Petun) 
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening (you could make it 1/2 cup butter n 1/2 cup shortening)
1 cup flour

Mix by hand until it comes together. (At this point you can divide the petun in half and add food coloring.) Now, make 10 little balls.  Then, get wax paper (10 inches) or clear wrap.  I fold it in half so it will roll out 1 little ball of Petun.  Get a rolling pin and roll the petun into double the size of the dough balls.  Do one at a time. Place the round circle of Petun over one of the dough balls on the cookie sheet. You will do this 10 times, so each dough ball is covered with the Petun.  Cover gently with a kitchen towel. Place the dough balls in a warm place until it doubles, usually 1 hour. I put my outside in the hot weather and it doubled in 35 minutes. Before put the cookie sheet in the oven, take a small knife and make a seashell design on each Petun ball.  Heat the oven to 350 and place the cookie sheet in the oven for 15 minutes.

You can tell when they are done by looking at the color, so it's baked.  Take out and enjoy them while still hot.

Ideas: You could take half of the Petun and add food coloring to it, to make pink or another color. Pink is standard color for the Petun.  Or you could add cocoa powder to make it chocolate.

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This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN. Contact is Joe Iovino.

This video was first posted on November 24, 2020.



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