The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Conchas

baybakin's picture
baybakin

Conchas


For part II of my panaderia series, I bring the recipe for just about the most prevelant of pan dulces (sweet breads) in my old neighborhood; Conchas.  I've been looking for a good conchas recipe for ages, ever since I could no longer walk down the street to get a batch for 30 cents apiece.

This recipe is adapted from a great book (possibly the best one I've found in english) by Diana Kennedy, Regional Cuisines of Mexico.

Starter:
114g Flour
22g Water
50g (1) egg
1/8 tsp yeast

Final Dough:
453g Flour
150g Sugar (I use "evaporated cane juice" or "Azucar Morena")
28g Unsalted Butter
250g (5) eggs
58g water
8g Salt
2g yeast

Topping:
114g Flour
56g Superfine Sugar
56g Powdered Sugar
56g Unsalted Butter
56g Shortening
(Optional Flavorings: Cocoa powder/Vanilla extract/Cinnamon)

Method:
Mix starter, let rest overnight or until doubled.
Tear starter into pieces, mix with liquids and sugar until incorporated
Mix flour, butter and yeast into liquids and let autolysis for 20 mins.
Fold in salt and kneed until dough is satiny.
Let dough double in a warm area, folding at least twice during fermentation.

Mix topping, incorporate until a dough using the back of a wooden spoon.
Add flavoring to taste.
Divide dough into 16 pieces (about 60g apiece), shape into rounds and place on a silpat or parchment paper.
Pull off 1" balls from topping mix, flatten into discs between your palms.
Press flattened discs into dough balls, flattening them a bit.
Score tops in a shell or grid pattern, cutting half way into the topping, and let double in size.

Bake at 350 for 15-17 mins, until conchas turn golden and sound hollow when bottom is tapped.

Enjoy with a glass of milk or a nice cup of hot cafe con leche.  The shaping takes some practice, but there's a few videos on youtube that can help out.  These simple eggy breads are favorites of mine, and I hope they will be of yours too.


Comments

isand66's picture
isand66

Great looking little breads!  Those look perfect for breakfast or a snack.

Thanks for sharing.

Ian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and crust look perfect.   Nothing like a concha for breakfast.  You got some great spring too!

Very nice baking

baybakin's picture
baybakin

Thanks! My next challange will be attempting these with an italian sweet starter, I bulk ferment the dough anyway, and after so much starter work, may as well have it sourdough anyway.  I wish I could transmit flavor over the internet to you so you could try 'em.

Crider's picture
Crider

Can't wait to try those. I also don't have any local sources for Mexican pastry anymore.

baybakin's picture
baybakin

Sounds like it's time to start making them yourself!  What is your favorite kind?

holds99's picture
holds99

Baybakin,

About ten years ago my wife and I travelled around Mexico, some 3,500 miles, in an Airstream travel trailer.  We found the Mexican breads and pastries to be delicious and they still have real family-operated bakeries there.  I still bake bolillos occasionally.  I haven't been able to duplicate the ones we tasted in Mexico, but have come close.  I will definitely try your recipe for Conchas.  They look delicious.  We had a great trip to Mexico; the geography is that of a beautiful, rugged country and the people, particularly in the small towns and villages, were  friendly and gracious.  I will always have fond memories of Mexico and the people we met there.

Howard

baybakin's picture
baybakin

Thanks! I hope the recipe works out well for you, as it has for me.  I do plan on visiting proper mexico, I've only been to TJ so far (I don't really quite count that), but I have contacts down near Toluca, which I think would be a lovely trip.  Thanks for sharing your experiences!

isand66's picture
isand66

Howard your journey sounds amazing.  If you don't mind me asking, how were you able to afford your trip?  Were you working?

One of These days I would love to travel like you did but I would have to have enough room for my cats and wife

holds99's picture
holds99

No, I wasn't working, at the time I had recently retired. In those days it wasn't very expensive to travel in Mexico. The most expensive item was gasoline, which is sold by gas stations owned by the Mexican Government. It was a real adventure. We were in the mountains in winter and it was freezing cold. We carried 50 gallons of drinking water with us because finding potable water was another real challege. But the people were amazing and Mexico is rich in culture and they have some wonderful artists there. Once you leave the border towns and get 50 miles into Mexico, past the Federales checkpoints, you find a whole different world. The entire area along west coast of Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean, is particularly beautiful.

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks for shariong Howard.

I hope one day when and "if" I can retire I can do some traveling.  Mexico right now is a bit scary with the cartel killing people and taking hostages on a daily basis but I'm sure when it's time I will find some place to explore hopefully as interesting as your trip.

Regards,
Ian

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'll try your recipe, too. I like the long fermentation part in it. Did you ever do the sourdough version?

Karin

baybakin's picture
baybakin

I haven't gotten the chance yet, but it is still on the list, possibly for thanksgiving.