Conchas Mexican sweet bread

I bake conchas for the first time and they turn out delicious. From all bread I made lately these mini conchas are at the top, they turn out soft, spongy, not too sweet and with a really nice flavor . Conchas (Spanish for sea shell) is a traditional sweet bread from Mexico with a sea shell shaped topping. Forgive me but mine are shaped with hearts because were for my kids Valentine’s Day celebration.

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Conchas are one of Mexican’s favorite treats consumed as breakfast or for merienda (late supper) with coffee or a hot chocolate. Mmmmm . . .

I use the Concha’s recipe from Cocina Identidad but instead of kneading by hand, as Chef Yuri does, I make mine in my stand mixer. I chose his recipe among a lot I search just because of the love he shows in his video while talking about and working with this staple from Mexican pastries. If you speak Spanish (even if you don’t), I highly recommend you watching the video.

My Asian husband asked why my Conchas were so soft and taste better than the ones from the bakeries here in San Antonio, so I confirmed is a keeper. Both the recipe and my husband too!
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Here is my version of how to make conchas in a stand mixer with a heart shape instead of their traditional shell shaped topping.

Conchas Mexican sweet bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Mexican Sweet Bread
Cuisine: Mexican Pastries
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 or more
 
Conchas (shells) sweet bread with a topping shaped as a sea shell. I use a heart shape for San Valentines. In the original recipe the dough is shape by hand. This is how I make it using my stand mixer.
Ingredients
  • DOUGH
  • 300 grams up all-purpose flour
  • 75 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 75 ml. milk (I used evaporated milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • YEAST
  • 1 ½ tbs. flour
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 7 grams of yeast
  • Enough warm milk to form a liquid paste (I used ⅓ cup of evaporated milk)
  • TOPPING
  • 150 grams of vegetable shortening
  • 150 grams of powder sugar (I used granulated sugar)
  • 150 grams of flour
  • Optional flavors: 1 tsp. cinnamon, or 1 tsp. vanilla or substitute 50 grams of flour with cocoa powder.
Instructions
  1. In a bowl stir together the yeast, 1 ½ tbs flour, 1 tbs sugar and warm/lukewarm milk. I used evaporated milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes or until a bubbly foam forms.
  2. In the large bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook mix the flour, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, butter and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Incorporate the bubbly yeast into your dough and knead in the mixer for 6 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter to knead just for a minute or 2just to shape it into a ball.
  5. Place in a large greased bowl, and turn the dough to coat. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Make the topping while the dough rises. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and vegetable shortening until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour until the mixture is the consistency of thick paste. Mix with flavor of your choice or divide the dough to make different flavor. You can also use food coloring gel to color the bread; traditional colors are yellow and pink along with the plain white and chocolate from cocoa powder.
  7. When the dough is done rising, cut into 12 even-sized pieces. However you can make them smaller or bigger as long as they are the same size to ensure even baking. Shape into balls keeping the seal at the bottom, place on a greased cookie sheet, spacing about 3 inches apart.
  8. Divide topping dough into same size balls, and pat flat. Place circles of topping on top of the dough balls patting down lightly but firmly. For the traditional look use a knife to cut grooves in the topping like a clam shell. I use heart cookie cutters for mine. Let them rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Once you put the Conchas in the oven lower the temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
 

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