Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Book Cover

Frida Kahlo's Pan de Muerto

This recipe makes 30 small breads. The hard part is making them look like she did: shaped like skulls and dancing whirligig bones. Just making it tasty is not complicated, but you do have to start the dough the evening before your party is scheduled, then bake them just beforehand.

7 ½ cups white flour


2 cups sugar
1 ¼ cup butter
2 pkgs active dry yeast

dissolved in 5 tbsp warm milk

12 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract

Put flour into a large bowl, cut in the butter, make a well in the center and pour in the yeast and milk, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla. Work it with a spoon, then your hands, until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If dough is too soft, knead in more flour. Shape into a ball, grease and flour it lightly, and let stand in a warm place for 2 ½ hours, until doubled. Refrigerate overnight.

Shape chilled dough into balls the size of a peach. Then shape or decorate them in any way that makes you think of your deceased ancestors. Place on greased baking sheets and let rise until doubled, about 1 ½ hours. Dust with sugar and cinnamon, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until the bottoms sound hollow when tapped.

Eggs in a Nest