Welcome back friends! This week we’re baking the concha bread, or pan dulce, Dante tries to steal in Disney and Pixar’s heartfelt and visually stunning Pixar film, Coco.
When Miguel’s family brings him back to the land of the dead to ask Mama Imelda for help, they enter the Department of Family Reunions and Dante tries to steal a plate of sweets off of one of the desks. The Concha bread is on this plate, and it can also be seen in various scenes throughout the film.
Like the tamales, I wanted to research and find a traditional recipe for this treat. I then took my recipe to my friends to see if they thought it was traditional enough and they approved! There are different variations of toppings out there, but I chose to go with something closer to the film, with no food coloring.
I’ve never really worked with yeast before; it’s really fascinating to see the dough doubling in size! The topping is cinnamon deliciousness and I highly recommend eating these freshly baked and warm, but they do hold up well the following few days.
- 1 packet (1/4 ounce) of active dry yeast
- 1⁄2 cup of warm water
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 cup of warm evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1/3 cup of butter (melted)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour (plus enough to lightly flour a surface)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- In a large bowl stir together the yeast and the warm water., then let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the egg, evaporated milk, sugar, melted butter and salt.
- Stir in 2 cups of the flour and then gradually stir in another 2 cups of flour and the cinnamon to make a dough.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic, then shape into a ball.
- Transfer the ball of dough to a large greased bowl and turn it to coat the surface of the dough.
- Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 to 1 1⁄4 hours).
- Punch down the dough, then cover, and let it stand for another 10 minutes.
- Make the topping (see below).
- Divide the dough into 12 portions and shape each portion into a smooth ball.
- Place the dough balls about 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and press down on each dough ball slightly.
- Divide the topping into 12 balled up portions; then pat each ball flat.
- Place one round of topping on each dough ball.
- Using a sharp paring knife, cut grooves in the topping to resemble a scallop shell.
- Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake rolls for 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Remove from the baking sheets to cool on wire racks.
- Serve warm or cool.
- 1⁄2 cup of butter, softened
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the sugar, beating until well mixed.
- Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and vanilla; mix until well incorporated.
Welcome back friends! This week we are creating the churros a Skeleton brings back with him to the Land of the Dead in the heartfelt and visually stunning Pixar film, Coco.
When Miguel’s family brings him back to the land of the dead to ask Mama Imelda for help, they join a customs line and our friend with the churros is at the front of this line. We never really get to know this Skeleton, but he likes churros and that’s a perfect excuse to make them!
These are delicious and they taste exactly like churros should taste, but they came out the size of fries due to my pastry tip being small! I plan on buying myself a bigger pastry tip, but the moral of the story is, churros are delicious in any size!
- vegetable oil (corn or canola)
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
- In a medium saucepan, heat the water and butter together until the butter melts.
- Add the salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar, then stir until they’re dissolved.
- Bring mixture to a full boil, then mix in the flour, stirring vigorously to blend well. Continue stirring for about a minute or until mixture forms into a doughy ball, but remove from the heat after about 30 seconds or the churros will not puff properly.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue mixing until all the egg is completely incorporated and the dough is glossy. Set aside to cool and rest for about 5 minutes.
- Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish and set aside.
- In a heavy/deep pan or deep fryer heat at least 2 inches of oil to 375 F.
- Test the temperature of your frying oil. Drop a small ball of the dough into the hot oil. It should bubble up to the surface immediately. If is doesn’t, the oil is not hot enough and you’ll end up with soggy, greasy churros.
- Spoon the dough mixture into a cake decorators’ piping tube with the largest star tip available. Rolling down from the top, squeeze 4-inch strips of dough into the hot oil. Don’t crowd the churros. 3 or 4 at a time is about right. Fry 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.
- Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set onto paper towels to drain. Roll churros in cinnamon/sugar mixture and serve warm.
Welcome back friends! This week we are creating Abuelita’s tamales from the heartfelt and visually stunning Pixar film, Coco.
Our first two recipes from Frankenweenie (the Double Dutch Cherry Muffins and the Dutch Apple Cake) were featured as actual recipes in a cookbook during a scene in the film, but this is the first recipe we are creating based on our interpretation of what is seen in the film.
Miguel’s family, especially his Abuelita, are very traditional so I tried to find the most traditional recipe for tamales I could. I then took that tamale recipe to my friends and asked them whether or not they believed it was genuine and got a resounding yes!
Tamales take time to make as there are many steps, but if you have family or friends to help, it could go by much quicker! Your reward is a tasty meal that can be enjoyed fresh or frozen for later!
RED CHILI SAUCE
- 15 large dried chillies (ie: anaheim, new mexico, california or pasilla)
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of melted shortening, or 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove any stems and seeds from the dried peppers.
- Place the peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for 2 to 5 minutes, or until you smell a sweet roasted aroma (check often to avoid burning).
- Remove the peppers from the oven and soak them in enough hot water to cover for about 30 minutes, or until cool.
- Put the peppers, 2 ½ cups of the soaking water, cumin, garlic and salt into blender (save the remaining soaking water).
- Cover and blend until smooth.
- In a small to medium saucepan, melt the shortening and stir in flour over medium heat until browned.
- Gently stir in blended chili mixture.
- Simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. If the sauce gets too thick, stir in up to 1 cup of the remaining soaking water until you reach the desired thickness.
- 3 ½ lb. of pork shoulder or butt, cut up and trimmed of fat
- 10 cups of water
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 ½ teaspoons of salt
- 3 to 4 cups of red chili sauce (see above)
- ¾ cup of shortening
- 6 cups of masa harina
- 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 50 dried corn husks (8 inches)
- In a Dutch oven, bring the pork, water, onion, garlic and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt to boil.
- Simmer covered for about 2 ½ hours or until the meat is very tender.
- Remove the meat from the broth and allow both to cool.
- Using two forks, shred the meat.
- Strain the broth and reserve 6 cups.
- Start to soak corn husks in warm water for at least 20 minutes; rinse to remove any corn silk and drain well.
- In a large sauce pan, heat the red chili sauce and add the shredded meat; simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
- To make the masa, beat shortening on medium speed in a large bowl for 1 minute.
- In separate bowl, stir together masa harina, baking powder and 2 teaspoons of salt.
- Alternately add the masa harina mixture and broth to shortening, beating well after each addition. Add just enough broth to make a thick, creamy paste.
- To assemble each tamale, spread about 2 tablespoons of the masa mixture on the center of the corn husk.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of the meat and sauce mixture in the middle of the masa.
- Fold in the sides of the husk and then fold up the bottom.
- Using strips of corn husk, tie each tamale together.
- Place a mound of husks or a foil ball in the center of your steamer basket.
- Lean the tamales in the basket, open side up.
- Add water to your steamer to just below the basket.
- Bring the water to a boil and reduce heat.
- Cover and steam for 40 minutes, adding water when necessary.
- You can freeze these for future meals, leave them in the husks and place them in freezer bags.