Traditional recipes

Conchas de Chocolate (Chocolate Conchas)

Conchas de Chocolate (Chocolate Conchas)

When Rick Martinez bites into a chocolate concha, he wants to experience the chocolate beyond its hue. That's why for this recipe, he used Dutch-process cocoa, which has a deeper, richer chocolatey flavor than the regular cocoa that’s often used. But, Rick being Rick, he went one step further for this recipe, and gave the classic Mexican sweet bread a tropical twist: If you like the sound of a choco-coconut concha, try using virgin coconut oil instead of ghee.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 ¼-oz. envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
  • ½ cup warm whole milk (about 110°)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp. (75 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3 cups (375 g) bread flour, plus more for surface
  • 10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 10 even pieces, room temperature

Topping and assembly

  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. (133 g) all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup (73 g) powdered sugar
  • ½ cup ghee, refined coconut oil, or vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
  • 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste or extract

Recipe Preparation

Dough

  • Whisk yeast and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer to combine. Let sit 10 minutes for yeast to dissolve.

  • Whisk eggs, granulated sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Add egg mixture, milk powder, and 3 cups bread flour to yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Fit bowl onto stand mixer fitted with dough hook and mix on medium speed until dough comes together but is still slightly tough, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium high and beat, adding butter a piece at a time and waiting until absorbed before adding the next piece, until dough is smooth, elastic, and very tacky but pulls away from sides of bowl (dough will look broken as you add the butter, but don’t worry; it will eventually come together), about 15 minutes. This may seem like a long knead time, but it will improve the final texture of the bread.

  • Cover bowl tightly and chill until doubled in volume, at least 12 hours. Letting dough rise in the fridge for a longer period of time will produce a dough with the best flavor, but if you don’t have the time, cover dough and let rise in a warm (about 80° is ideal), draft-free spot until doubled in volume, 35–50 minutes. The visual cue is more important here than the time. How long your dough takes to proof will depend on how warm your kitchen is. You don’t want to overproof the dough, so check it at 35 minutes. Finished dough will smell buttery and yeasty and have doubled in size. If it is not there, check again in 10 minutes.

  • Gently deflate dough by pressing it down and folding it over onto itself. Repeat until completely deflated.

  • Do ahead: Dough can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled (do not deflate until ready to form into rolls).

Topping and Assembly

  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat flour, powdered sugar, ghee, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until combined and smooth. Divide sugar topping into 12 equal pieces (about 30 g each) and transfer to a plate. Cover loosely and let sit until ready to use.

  • Turn out dough onto a work surface and divide into 12 equal pieces (about 80 g each). Working one at time, rest a cupped hand over dough so your palm and fingers enclose it and vigorously work your hand in a circular motion on the counter to shape dough into a smooth, round ball (the friction between the dough and the work surface will create tension, stretching dough into a taut dome). Transfer to prepared baking sheets. Arrange 6 balls on each, spacing evenly apart.

  • Beat egg with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl to blend and brush 1 dough ball with egg wash. Using kitchen shears, cut open the sides of a small resealable plastic bag so that it opens up like a book. Place 1 piece of sugar topping on 1 side of open bag and fold other side over to cover. Using a small skillet or saucepan, press down on ball to flatten into a 4"-diameter disk. Carefully peel open bag and invert disk onto dough ball; fit it to the dough so it covers the top and sides of ball completely without overlaps. Carefully remove bag. Using a rubber spatula, scrape off any topping stuck to bag and repeat process with remaining egg wash, dough balls, and sugar topping. Let conchas rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled in size, 1½–2 hours (if dough was proofed at room temperature, this may only take 1 hour).

  • Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°. Select a starting point on left side of dough, and, using a razor or sharp paring knife, very lightly score half-moon lines into topping so they radiate out across topping, starting from the same point and spacing about ⅓” apart. You want to be careful not to deflate the dough, so don’t press down and let the weight of the knife do the cutting (you don’t need to cut through the topping).

  • Place 1 baking sheet of conchas in the fridge and bake the other sheet until dough is golden brown, topping is very lightly darkened, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 195°, 20–30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Repeat with remaining baking sheet of conchas.

  • Do ahead: Conchas can be baked 3 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Reviews Sectionthe sugar topping was stiff and cracked easily, making the classic concha look kind of impossible :/ it tasted good though, even though I rushed the prove a [email protected]¢@r00n69_xXportland, OR03/12/20

Recipe Summary

  • 2 ½ teaspoons yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ⅜ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, stir together the yeast and warm water. Mix in the milk, 3/8 cup sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter, salt, egg and half of the flour. Gradually mix in the remaining flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter to knead as soon as it pulls together enough.

Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a large greased bowl, and turn the dough to coat. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Make the topping while the dough rises. In a medium bowl, beat 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour until the mixture is the consistency of thick paste. Divide into two parts, and place one part in a separate bowl. Mix cinnamon into one half, and vanilla into the other half.

When the dough is done rising, cut into 12 even-sized pieces. Shape into balls, and place on a greased cookie sheet, spacing about 3 inches apart. Divide each bowl of topping into 6 balls, and pat flat. Place circles of topping on top of the dough balls patting down lightly. Use a knife to cut grooves in the topping like a clam shell. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.


Chocolate Conchas are perfect with a cup of strong, black coffee in the morning, but they are also a wonderful afternoon snack.

No matter what time of day I eat a Concha, it puts a smile on my face and takes me right back to my childhood. I hope you take the time to try this amazing Latin specialty, and please let me know if it makes you as happy as it makes me in the comments section below!

Helpful Utensils

An essential if you want to get serious about your Mexican cooking and so fun to use!

A great kitchen gadget for ensuring equal portions like in this recipe or for precise baking.

Take the guesswork out of temperatures and just buy a damn thermometer already.


Mexican chocolate and vanilla Conchas

This recipe shows you how to make Mexican chocolate and vanilla Conchas. These breads can be found all over Mexico and could be considered the best known Mexican bread. Mexican chocolate and vanilla Conchas are the bread Mexicans living abroad certainly miss most.

Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the early 1500s, the indigenious population in Mexico lived on corn, squash and beans. The Europeans who established Mexico City wanted “wheat”, a grain they knew from Europe.

Early Spanish settlers imported wheat not only because wheat-based breads were a main part of their diet in European, but also because of the catholic church. For the ritual of the Eucharist, which involves the consumption of a thin wafer made from wheat.

Over time the bakeries in Mexico started to make Conchas, the sweet bread roll with a crumbly cookie dough that acts as its topping. The precise origin of the bread is not known , neither the reasons for the marriage of the unbaked, yeasted bread roll and sugary-cookie topping.

Each time we made these breads for guests (Mexicans or Non-Mexicans) everybody loved them. They are easy to make but one needs to leave the dough rise long enough for them to turn out nice.


What the heck are conchas?

Conchas are a popular type of pan dulce (or Mexican sweet bread) that’s commonly sold in panaderias (or bakeries) across the U.S. and Mexico. The word ‘concha’ translates to ‘shell’ in English, which describes their fun seashell-like appearance. The bread is lightly sweet, fluffy and airy and the topping is perfectly crunchy and oh-so satisfying.

While this recipe is easy to make, it does require some patience because you have to let the dough rise. But I promise the end result is so worth it!


Sweet Conchas!

I can finish a normal sized Concha, 4 to 5″ round, in exactly four bites. If it has been a long time since I had one or if I am very hungry, maybe three bites. Ok, I admit it, sometimes two bites. But never one.

Conchas are named after the shape of their sugar topping, which resembles a seashell. Conchas do have a hardened crust, but it is sugary, thick, crispy and crumbles right into your mouth as you take a bite. Right after you brake through that crust, there is a fluffy, soft, sweet roll made with flour, butter, yeast and eggs. With such a pleasing experience, no wonder it is one of Mexico’s most favorite sweet rolls or pan dulce.

I have seen some in bakery shops around DC, but they just don’t taste like the ones we love at home. So on our most recent trip to Valle de Bravo in Mexico, I ventured with my boys, and many of their cousins and aunts, into a panaderí­a, or bread shop. They make such incredible conchas, it makes me wish I had a bigger mouth to eat them each in a single bite.

This panaderí­a, named Santa Marí­a, like most in Mexico, has 2 daily shifts for making fresh breads of all sorts. On the second shift of a Monday afternoon, Mrs. Agustina López, who runs the bakery, saw my little battalion and announced that they give baking classes to little cooks.

As the kids got a very hands-on class from her son Félix, master baker there, I soaked up all their secret ingredients and techniques, which they were very happy to share.

First of all, they have a beautifully aged and seasoned giant mixer. The kids took turns throwing (yeah, throwing) the flour, salt, yeast, water…

They were attempting to also throw the eggs into the mixer. See? I had to put my camera down to convince them that really, those eggs needed to be cracked first, though it seemed more fun to throw them all in. Just like that.

After, the roaring giant mixer helped knead a soft, gooey, elastic and very moist batter.

Félix showed them what that dough felt like. Then he left it to rise, and took it to another giant piece of equipment: a batter cutter.

Juju seemed to not believe his luck with those beautiful pre-cut pieces of dough… All the possibilities!

After the kids shaped them into thick, flattened rounds, Félix demonstrated how to make the sugar cover.

Which was even more fun to make, because all you do is mix together flour, confectioners sugar and a heaven-full of butter with your hands until soft.

Half that sugar cover is mixed with cocoa powder, because some people prefer their conchas chocolatey… Or some little cooks like to throw in something else to get even more messy…


The kids were concentrated on making that sugar cover just about right before layering it on the concha dough flattened balls… Félix’s bakery assistant was so kind and patient with the kids.

Now that is one charming looking oven. The moment I saw it, I imagined how just about anything baked in there has to taste so yummy…

With the bottom made out of aged earthenware tiles and brick walls…

And one can just dream of how many conchas can fit in there…. 500, 1000, 2000… Each one to be eaten in just…. two…. big…. bites.


Conchas Rellenas

In Mexico you may see these simply called conchas rellenas.

They, of course, are not how the traditional concha is served. But it sure is a fun way to eat them.

Variations of Stuffed Conchas

For the Nutella lovers there’s also a version that has nutella and sliced strawberries — they are also delicious!

Below are other types of stuffed conchas, some are rather strange combinations but have become quite popular.

  • Similar to the one in my recipe, mascarpone is also used.
  • Nata is another variation.
  • Concha rellena con frijoles: Yup refried beans stuffed in a concha. Sometimes cheese or chorizo or longaniza can also be added.
  • Conchas rellenas con chilaquiles: Sweet, spicy, soft and a little crunchy.
  • I’ve also seen conchas stuffed with cold cuts and cheese.

As you can see, it only takes a little imagination to create a unique variation!


What are conchas?

Conchas are a Mexican bread covered with a sugar coating and shaped like a seashell. It’s pretty easy to figure it out when you see their seashell shape. The crust is a thick and sugary. When you take a bite, it’s a little bit crispy and it crumbles. Once you brake through the sweet and delightful crust, you get to enjoy the soft and fluffy roll.

It’s a sweet bread made with flour, butter, yeast and eggs. It happens to be one of Mexico’s favorite sweet rolls, and when you make them, you’ll realize why! As I mentioned, all you need is time to bake them. The process is not as difficult as it seems.


Conchas mexican sweet bread

These conchas mexican sweet bread, are a typical mexican bread. Anyone who has not tried a right out of the oven concha has not lived properly, that in Mexico is a fact. This is a typical bread in shape similar to a seashell that is generally made to be vanilla flavored or chocolate. It is a bread that melts in your mouth, it is fluffy and soft.

Mexico has a great and long history and tradition when it comes to gastronomy. Everything mexican that we eat today is a mixture of our native ancestors and the spaniards. They brought along a bunch of new ingredients, one of them was critical: wheat.

With wheat we started making delicious breads in a lot of different shapes, textures, flavors, etc. that we know nowadays. Actually, mexican baked goods are the most varied in the world, and that is something we should be proud of.

Anyways, the recipe we have for you now is to make these all time favorite conchas. In Mexico you can actually by them pretty much anywhere (literally) there´s some place that sells them just around the corner. But it won´t harm you to know how to make them at home, for when you feel like eating something homemade, or right out of the oven, when still hot (which is how they taste better), or, like us, because you may not be in Mexico and feel like eating conchas.

Conchas are one of the most traditional sweet rebads in Mexico. They are known all around the country and sold everywhere. The bread itself does not have a particular flavor, it is the sweet covering, the topping, that gives it the peculiar flavor. This covering is usually made in two flavors, vanilla and chocolate, the white ones are vanilla and the brown ones are chocolate flavored.

If you like this recipe, you have to see our pan de muerto, a mexican classic for the day of the dead.


Mexican Conchas Recipe for Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican Sweet Bread

So May is right around the corner. How did that happen? And were is spring weather? I definitely need a little Mexican food to lighten my spirits. Good thing this month’s Food N’ Flix film selection is Coco, a fabulous animated series set in Mexico. For this film, I decided to prepare on Cultureatz a Mexican Conchas Recipe which is a Mexican sweet bread recipe that is part of the pan dulce bread family.

You are probably wondering what is a concha? The concha Mexican bread recipe is a sweet chewy bread often decorated with a gorgeous seashell-like pattern made with a concha topping. These are sold year round but they are especially popular during holiday festivities such as Cinco de Mayo.

Coco, the movie

Coco is a 2017 animated movie by Pixar. It features an impressive all-Latino voice cast and it was a massive success. Some people say it beats Toy Story. Twelve-year-old Miguel Rivera has had enough of family traditions and obligations. The only person he likes is his great-grandmother, Coco. All he wants to do is play music (a big no-no in his family) and be his own person.

He has no interest in spending the day with his family for el Dia de Los Muertos. His rebellious behavior accidentally transports him to the land of the dead and he gets cursed. The only way back is to get a blessing from a dead family relative before sunrise. In a series of events, Miguel makes ancestral discoveries and saves a dead family member from completely vanishing. But does he make it back to the land of the living? Watch the movie Coco to find out click here to see the movie!

So I really loved the movie. It is really well made, entertaining, I think respectful of the Mexican culture, and it has a good message. I totally recommend it.

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Famous Mexican Holidays

The movie is centered around El Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, a huge holiday celebrated in Mexico which begins in October 31st and ends on November 2nd. It is a day when families gather to remember their ancestors that have passed away. Families will go to cemeteries to clean the grave and create altars containing filled with flowers, pictures, and memorabilia of the diseased, as well as their favorite foods and beverages. Of course, there is a touch of sadness but it can be a happy event when surrounded by loved ones and the decorations are so colorful.

Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration held every May 5th and it is the day chosen to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unexpected victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Many countries, like the US, with a large population of Mexican descendants or immigrants host Cinco de Mayo festivities. These events highlight Mexican culture with festivals, parades, dancing, music, and lots of traditional Mexican food!

Food sightings in this movie

So I have a confession: I do not have a listing of food sightings like I normally do. I saw the movie one month before I realized it was the next movie for the group. I did not feel like watching it again so soon. So instead let me tempt you with classic Mexican dishes often served on holidays. One could make pan de muerto, mole negro, tamales, sugar skulls, Mexican hot chocolate, fruits, flan, calabaza en tacha, posole, atole, or anything made to look like a skeleton. And make sure you surround your dishes with marigolds.

How to Make Mexican Conchas Recipe

The conchas pan recipe is one of the many types of Mexican sweet bread recipe. Now even if this is a classic Mexican pastry, did you know that the concha pastry has French influences? France is known for crispy bread rolls, baguettes, and sweet pastries. And the Mexican concha bread rolls was the result of a revamped recipe during Mexico’s French occupation in the 1800s. Think baguette, now think Mexican bread rolls with a crunchy sweet crust. And that is how the Mexican conchas recipe was born.

Year-round people in Mexico line up at their local pan Mexican bread store, called panaderia, in the morning and in the evening for this inexpensive breakfast or late supper treat. I love how elaborate the topping design looks but it is so simple to make this concha bread recipe.

It is a regular bread recipe topped with a sweet topping that is made separately. Just place it on top and score it a few times. Now you will leave the bread to rise one more time before baking. As the bread rises, the topping breaks and gives the Mexican conchas recipe its distinctive seashell pattern. So cool, right?


Watch the video: Pan Dulce. Conchas (November 2021).