Friday, September 23, 2005

Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread)



2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3/8 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 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 the flour. Gradually mix in the remaining flour, turning 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 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 on part in a separate bowl. Mix cinnamon into one half and vanilla into the other half.

When the dough id done raising, 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 patting down lightly. Using a knife to cut groves in the topping like a clam shell. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

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

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