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Conchas As Made By Maya

Maya shows us how she reclaims her culture with this traditional Mexican sweet bread. Conchas are the perfect combination of crispy and soft, vibrant and perfect to be shared with loved ones.

by Rie McClenny and Amanda Berrill

Total Time

3 hr 6 min

3 hr 6 min

Prep Time

30 minutes

30 min

Cook Time

26 minutes

26 min

Total Time

3 hr 6 min

3 hr 6 min

Prep Time

30 minutes

30 min

Cook Time

26 minutes

26 min

Ingredients

for 10 servings

Bread

  • ⅓ cup
    whole milk (80 mL)
  • 1 tablespoon
    sugar, plus 1 teaspoon divided
  • .25 oz
    active dry yeast, 0.25 ounce (7 G) (5 g)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons
    vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups
    all purpose flour, plus more for dusting (260 g)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons
    kosher salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, cut into tablespoons, wrappers reserved

Shell Topping

  • 6 tablespoons
    unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons
    powdered sugar
  • ½ cup
    all purpose flour (60 g)
  • ⅛ teaspoon
    baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon
    kosher salt
  • 2 drops pink gel food coloring
    Calories 162
    Fat 2g
    Carbs 28g
    Fiber 0g
    Sugar 6g
    Protein 5g

Estimated values based on one serving size.

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Preparation

  1. Make the dough: Add the milk to a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup. Microwave in 10-second intervals until the milk reaches 110–115°F (43–46°C). Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and the yeast to the milk and whisk to incorporate. Let sit for about 10 minutes, until very foamy.
  2. Pour the milk mixture into a large bowl, then add the eggs and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the flour, remaining tablespoon of sugar, and salt and stir with a rubber spatula until a sticky dough comes together.
  4. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and work into the dough with your hands, making sure that each piece is incorporated before adding the next. The dough should be shiny, smooth, and elastic.
  5. Use the empty butter wrappers to grease the inside of a clean large glass bowl.
  6. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl, using a bench scraper or rubber spatula. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1–2 hours, until doubled in size.
  7. Remove the towel and place plastic wrap directly over the dough’s surface. Refrigerate for 1 hour to chill so the dough is easier to shape.
  8. Make the shell topping: In a medium bowl, cream the butter and powdered sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Continue beating on low speed until the mixture is smooth, 3-5 minutes.
  9. Add the pink food coloring and stir thoroughly with a spatula until the color is homogenous.
  10. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  11. Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With a bench scraper or knife, gently divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.
  12. Shape the pieces into balls by gently pulling the edges of the dough out and underneath, pinching at the bottom, forming a taut surface.
  13. Place 5 dough balls on each prepared baking sheet and cover with kitchen towels. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1–2 hours, until doubled in size.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  15. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the shell topping onto a piece of wax paper and roll into a ball. Place another piece of wax paper on top and roll out to a 4-inch (10 cm) circle, slightly larger than the risen dough balls. Repeat with the remaining topping so you have 10 circles total.
  16. Gently lay a circle of shell topping over each dough ball, pressing it lightly onto the surface. If the edges of the shell topping are sticking out, gently tuck them down and underneath the dough.
  17. Using a paring knife, slice lines through just the topping layer to create a shell pattern, being careful not to cut into the dough.
  18. Bake the conchas for 25 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool for 5–10 minutes before serving.
  19. Enjoy!
 

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