Pan de muerto (Day of the Dead bread)
½ cup(s), heated between 100°F to 110°F
4 Tbsp, divided
1½ tsp, active dry
Extra virgin olive oil
2 large, at room temperature
3 cup(s), 13.5 oz
Fresh orange juice
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together warm water, 1 tbsp sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 2 tbsp sugar, oil, anise seed, salt, orange zest, and eggs. Stir in flour. With dough hook attachment, mix dough on medium-low speed until smooth and elastic, 3 to 4 minutes. (Dough will be slightly sticky, but resist adding any more flour.) Alternatively, mix the dough by hand, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl coated with nonstick spray, place dough and turn to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, 1½ hours.
- Pull off roughly one-fifth of the dough. Pinch off a golf ball-sized piece and roll into a ball. Divide the rest into four equal pieces, shaping each into a 4- to 5-inch rope; press ends of each rope to slightly flatten (to make them loosely resemble bones). On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, shape the remaining four-fifths of dough into a ball. Make an indentation in the center of the ball, and place the round dough piece in indentation. Arrange “bone” pieces in a crossbones pattern over dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap coated with nonstick spray. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake dough until lightly browned on top and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 32 to 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small microwave-safe bowl, combine remaining 1 tbsp sugar and orange juice. Microwave on High until mixture begins to boil, about 30 seconds. Stir until sugar dissolves. Brush mixture over warm bread.
- Serving size: 1 slice