Conchas are a soft, enriched, brioche-type of bread, topped with a sweet and crunchy sugar cookie topping. These are some of the finer things in life.
Conchas are a Mexican favorite, and have grown in popularity over the years. I had gotten them from the market a few times before deciding to make them myself. I don’t regret this decision at all. I tried another version with my sourdough starter and loved that as well. I even made the topping with some maple extract and boy was it good! I used it as the bun for a breakfast sandwich!
They are usually enjoyed with coffee or hot chocolate, but are good at just about any time of the day. A little bit of work, but oh-so worth it!
Conchas (Mexican pan dulce)
- 120 g bread flour
- 195 g all purpose flour
- 4 g instant yeast
- 2 eggs
- 125 mL (1/2 cup) milk warm
- 35 g sugar
- 56 g 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 6 g 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 30 g shortening or leaf lard
- 15 g butter softened
- 100 g powdered sugar
- 120 g all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp if not using almond
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Pinch salt
- In a stand mixer, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
- Add milk and eggs, and knead for 5 minutes.
- Add softened butter a tablespoon at a time until it comes together in a cohesive dough. Add salt. Knead for around 8-10 more minutes, or until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl and you can pull a windowpane (grab the dough and pull slowly to stretch as thin as you can without it tearing. If you can see light through it, you're done kneading)
- Proof dough until doubled. Make the topping.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Add in shortening and butter. Mash with a fork until no dry ingredients remain. Add extracts and combine thoroughly.
- The dough shouldn't be too soft. The consistency should be like a thick cookie dough. If you find it is very soft, add equal parts flour and powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time until it gets thicker and less sticky. It should be tacky but not sticky, and slightly firm.
- Refrigerate the topping for 20 minutes to stiffen up a bit. This will make it easier to work with when it comes time to pressing it out.
- After the dough is doubled, punch down and cut into 8 equal pieces. Shape into tight balls. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, a damp cloth, or an upside-down pan or bowl so they don't dry out while pressing out the topping.
- Divide the refrigerated topping into 8 equal round pieces. Make sure they're slightly cold or you may have problems with sticking. Press with a tortilla press or roll out to about 1/8" thick. Place topping disk over each ball and press down lightly to adhere and flatten dough ball just a bit. (Not too hard) Stamp each top with a concha stamp, or use a round cutter or knife to lightly cut your design.
- Proof the dough balls until visibly bigger and puffy. Heat oven to 350. Bake conchas for 18-20 minutes, Keep an eye on the topping and try to catch it before it browns. Buns should register 190ºF with a probe thermometer when poked in the center.
- Cool on a wire rack. Keep covered on the counter for up to 4 days. The topping will soften as it sits.