I have partnered up with my friend Girlichef to bring you a new series called She Made/Ella Hace. We're both American girls, married to gorgeous Mexican men. See? We already have a lot in common. And we both love Mexican food. The only difference is that Girlichef lives in the U.S. and I live in Mexico. We don't always have the same ingredients available and we often times have different ways of preparing the same dish. Once a month, we will choose a dish or ingredient to see just how different or similar our cooking styles really are.
For our first installment we chose Conchas, a classic Mexican pastry. Growing up, I would only choose Conchas when we visited the local panaderia (bakery). The Conchas always looked so pretty, I had a hard time choosing between the chocolate, vanilla and strawberry topped pastries. All are delicious, but I've always had a weakness for the Chocolate.
One of the very first recipes I shared on this blog was my recipe for Conchas. That was 2 years ago and well, times have changed. The recipe is still pretty much the same, but I have made a few changes in my technique. So I thought today would be the perfect time to share my New & Improved Concha Recipe with lots of step-by-step photos.
And be sure to visit Girlichef's blog to see her Conchas!!!
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 packet instant or quick active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup very warm water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon strawberry milk powder
In a large bowl combine all of the sponge ingredients, except the water.
Stir in the very warm tap water. If you're like me and don't have running hot water, just heat the water on the stove for a couple of seconds.
Cover the sponge with plastic wrap and let set for 10 to 15 minutes or until full of tiny little air bubbles.
While the sponge is proofing, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat just until the butter begins to melt. DON'T let the milk come to a boil. Remove from heat. Don't worry about the butter. The residual heat from the milk will continue to melt it.
Remove the plastic wrap and whisk in the milk and melted butter mixture, along with the egg, salt and ground cinnamon.
Stir in 2-2/3 cups of the flour until well combined.
Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. (If the dough gets too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it's no longer sticky.)
Return dough to the mixing bowl. Cover and let set for 60 to 90 minutes or until dough has almost doubled in size.
With a pastry blender or your handy dandy potato masher, cut in the butter until well combined.
Stir in the vanilla.
Continue to mix by hand until the sugar topping forms a ball. Divide in three equal pieces and place each piece in a small bowl. Stir in the cocoa powder and ground cinnamon into one of the doughs of sugar topping, mixing until well combined. (Mixture might be sticky. Do not add more flour.)
Stir the strawberry milk powder into one of the other doughs of sugar topping. You could just use red or pink food coloring, but my kiddies love the added strawberry flavor. And I have to admit, adding the strawberry milk powder reminds me of the delicious Conchas I used to eat at my Aunt Teddy's panaderia.
Leave one sugar topping ball of dough plain. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Refrigerating the dough will make it much easier to work with.)
Place the risen dough on the counter. Look how soft and puffy that dough is!!!
Divide the dough in half.
Divide each half into 6 large or 12 small balls of dough. Place seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let set another 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.
Meanwhile, divide each ball of sugar topping into 2 or 4 equal pieces, depending on whether you divided each half of the Concha dough into 6 or 12 pieces.
Flatten each piece of sugar topping with your hands or between 2 pieces of plastic wrap until about the size of your Conchas.
Lay each piece of sugar topping a top a ball of Concha dough; flatten slightly with your hands. With the tip of your knife, score the sugar topping into decorative shapes. Bake at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the Conchas turn a light golden brown.