Pan de Bustamante: A Taste of Mexican Culinary Heritage
In the vibrant world of Mexican cuisine, there is a delightful bread that holds a special place on the tables of many households: Pan de Bustamante. This traditional bread hails from the state of Nuevo Leon, in northeastern Mexico, and it carries a rich history and a unique flavor that captivates all who try it.
Pan de Bustamante is a sweet and aromatic bread, often enjoyed for breakfast or as an afternoon treat alongside a hot cup of coffee or a glass of milk. Its distinctive flavor comes from the use of ingredients like cinnamon, anise seeds, and piloncillo, a type of unrefined cane sugar with a rich molasses-like taste. These ingredients blend together to create a symphony of flavors that dance on the palate.
What sets this sweet bread apart is its soft and fluffy texture. The dough is meticulously prepared, requiring time and patience to achieve the perfect consistency. Once the dough has risen, it is shaped into individual rolls or braided loaves, allowing it to develop its characteristic shape.
As the bread bakes in the oven, the irresistible aroma of cinnamon fills the air, teasing the senses and creating anticipation. The golden-brown crust forms, giving the bread a delightful crunch, while the interior remains tender and moist.
Traditionally, Pan de Bustamante was baked in clay ovens, which added a unique smoky flavor to the bread. Today, it is commonly baked in modern ovens, but the essence and soul of this traditional bread remain unchanged.
This sweet bread holds a special place in the hearts of many Mexicans as a symbol of their culinary heritage. It is a bread that brings people together, evoking memories of family gatherings, celebrations, and moments of pure joy. The act of breaking bread and sharing Pan de Bustamante with loved ones creates a sense of unity and connection.
Whether you have Mexican roots or simply appreciate the wonders of world cuisine, Pan de Bustamante is a treat worth savoring. Its sweet aroma, delicate flavors, and tender texture make it a beloved bread that embodies the essence of Mexican culture. So, take a bite and embark on a flavorful journey through the traditions and flavors of Mexico with Pan de Bustamante. If you’re intrigued by other Mexican pan dulce (sweet bread) recipes, be sure to explore our Concha recipe for a delightful treat. Enjoy!
Pan de Bustamante
- 500 grams all-purpose flour
- 8 grams table salt
- 11 grams active dry yeast
- 275 ml. lukewarm whole milk
- 2 tsp. anise seeds
- 90 grams piloncillo or dark brown sugar if not available
- 80 grams unsalted butter cubed & at room temp. (soft but still cool)
- 2 large whole eggs (100 grams total)
- 30 grams vegetable shortening
- 100 grams chopped pecans
- 50 grams raisins
- 1/4 tsp. anise extract
- 120 grams all-purpose flour
- 120 grams powdered sugar
- 120 grams vegetable shortening
Prepare the dough:
- Gently steep the milk and anise seed together for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool until warm.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer, set with the dough hook, add eggs, warm milk, brown sugar, anise extract and yeast, mix until sugar is dissolved, approximately 3 minutes. Reduce mixer to low speed and add in flour, 1 cup at a time until well incorporated. Increase speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl.
- Add salt and continue to knead for an additional 10 minutes. Add cubed butter and shortening, one pat at a time until well combined.
- Continue to knead for 8 minutes or until the dough can be stretched very thin without tearing. Add in chopped pecans and raisins and knead for a couple more minutes until fully distributed.
- Lightly butter a large bowl and place dough, turning to grease all of the dough, cover and let rise in a draft free area for one hour or until double in volume.
- Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl (except optional ingredients), stir to combine. Divide topping into two equal pieces. Wrap in plastic and set aside until ready to use.
Shape the dough:
- Divide the dough into two equal parts. Place dough balls onto parchment lined baking trays, and using hands or rolling pin shape into 1 in. thick oval. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Grease the palm of your hands with shortening and gently smooth a bit of fat onto each piece of dough.
Assemble & Bake:
- Working with each topping bowl one at a time, place topping onto a large piece of floured parchment paper. Place another large piece of parchment on top and roll out the topping into thin sheets close in size to the size of each piece of dough. Place a topping disk over each piece of dough (it should cover most of the surface) and gently press down to stick the topping onto the dough, tucking any excess underneath. Using a floured knife, score each one making rows of lines diagonally going both left and right to create a diamond pattern. Make sure to flour in between cuts to prevent sticking. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350.
- Bake for 18 minutes (rotating halfway) or until the bottom is golden brown. Bread temperature should be 190+ degrees.