Mini Pan de Muertos with Tropical Fruit
Yield: 6 Mini Loaves
These mini loaves are perfect for sharing but if you do have any leftover it makes pretty amazing bread pudding.
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 4 heaping teaspoons dried yeast
- 4 cups white bread flour, divided
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature, plus 1 more for brushing
- 2 tablespoons orange flower water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped dried tropical fruit, such as mangoes, pineapple, and papaya
- Heat milk to between 105-115°F. Pour into the bowl of mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sprinkle yeast over the top and let sit 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of flour and let sit another 30 minutes.
- Add butter and half of the sugar to the yeast mixture and beat to combine. Add the 5 eggs, one at a time, letting the first one incorporate completely before adding the next. Add remaining flour, flower water, and salt, and switch the attachment to the dough hook. Knead the dough on medium speed for 8 minutes. Add dried fruit and knead 2 more minutes.
- Oil a large bowl and transfer dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Remove dough to a lightly-floured work surface and divide into 6 pieces. Take one piece of dough and cut off one-third of it. Cut this smaller piece into thirds. Roll two of the smaller pieces into long ropes and the third into an oval shape. Take the larger piece and form it into a tight ball. Criss-cross the top of the ball with the long ropes, shaping the ends to look like bones and place the oval directly in the middle, shaping to look like a skull. Place the loaf on a parchment covered baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough until you've made 6 mini loaves.
- Beat the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and brush each loaf with the egg wash. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar over the loaves and place on the lower rack of the oven. Bake 35 minutes, or until dark golden brown and baked through (the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom). Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Breads will keep, covered tightly at room temperature, for up to 3 days.