How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas (Mexican Pan Dulce)

How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas is a step by step tutorial to make at home the most demanded type of bread in any bakery in Mexico.

What Are Conchas?

This type of sweet bread is named after its signature seashell pattern, which can be found in sweet white or chocolate topping.

Conchas are well-known in Mexico as one of the most demanded sweet bread in any bakery, and is made with a soft, bread layer in the bottom, which is covered by striped topping which is made with natural flavors and in some cases can be found in color pink which is colored with food coloring.

Conchas are not too sweet, which make them the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or a cup of hot chocolate.

How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas

How To Make The Masa Madre

To make the Conchas bread, you will need to start making the Masa Madre, and let it to preferment from 30 minutes to one or two hours.

The benefits of using the Masa Madre on this recipe are many: add more flavor and texture to the bread, this is why Conchas bread has become one of the most known Mexican bread around the world.

To make the Masa Madre add in a bowl, 50 gr of flour, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 dry yeast, and 1/4 cup of room temperature water.

Stir well all the ingredients, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it preferment. The Masa Madre will be ready when double its size and has air bubbles.

How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas Topping

Conchas topping is made with a Streusel, which is used by bakers to top cakes and some pies.

The Mexican Bread Conchas Topping is made of equal parts of flour, icing sugar and shortening, you can also use butter instead of the shortening.

For this recipe add in a bowl: 50 gr of flour, 50 gr of icing sugar and 50 gr of shortening, mix all the ingredients with your hands until you get a soft dough.

This sweet topping can be stored in a closed jar in the fridge up to 2 months, every time you want to use it, just knead the dough until is soft again.

To make the chocolate Conchas Topping, add one or two table spoons of powder cocoa instead of one or two spoons of flour, to keep all the ingredients balanced.

How To Make The Conchas Bread Dough

1 – Add All The Ingredients To The Stand Mixer Bowl

Add all the ingredients to the stand Mixer bowl and start kneading the dough with the hook on slow speed, knead about one minute and add the salt, keep mixing the dough for about 8 to 10 minutes

In case you don’t have a stand mixer, you can do the dough on a surface with your hands, knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic, it should be easy to remove the dough from your fingers.

2 – First Raise Of The Conchas Bread Dough

Grease with a small amount of shortening or butter a glass bowl and put in the dough, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it raise until double its volume.

When using butter to make the dough, it is normal that the dough needs a longer time to raise.

3 – How To Make The Portions For The Conchas Bread Dough

When the dough has risen for the first time, take the dough on a lightly floured surface, flat softly with your hands the dough and cut in 8 portions, as it’s shown on the image below.

How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas

4 – How To Shape The Conchas Bread Dough

Take each portion at a time and put it in your hand upside down, as this side is sticker, take all the edge to the center and it will form a ball, shape all the portions this way and set them on one side of the lightly floured surface.

Take one piece at a time and roll the dough with your hand to form a soft ball. (Bakers technique)

Place each rolled portion on a baking tray with parchment paper and press each portion down with your hand, this will give each portion the shape of the conchas bread.

How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas

5 – How To Add The Conchas Bread Topping

Once you have all the Conchas dough shaped on the baking tray it’s time to put on the Sweet Topping.

Take the sweet topping you made earlier and take a small portion, white or chocolate, both will be worked the same.

Knead the sweet topping in your hands to make it soft. Lightly floured a surface and put the sweet topping there, push down to flat each portion with your fingers. like its shown on the image below.

How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas

When each portion of the sweet topping is ready, you will need to take some shortening on your hands and make it soft, then coat each concha top, by doing this it will help the topping to get stuck to each concha.

Top each concha with a topping, it can be white, chocolate or a mix of the two.

With a knife make some light cuts on the topping only to give the shell pattern.

Note: It’s well-known in Mexico, white conchas has the shell shape, while the chocolate cochas might be found with a squared shape topping.

How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas

6 – Allow the Conchas To Rest For A Second Time

Place the tray with the conchas in a warm place in your kitchen, you can cover the tray with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for about 1 to 2 hours, until they double their size.

How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas

7 – How To Bake The Conchas

Bake the conchas in a preheated oven (380 F – 180 C) for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: You might need to rotate the baking tray while baking the conchas to get dough golden brown.

Take out the conchas from the oven when they are done and place the tray in a place out of reach of children (and any pet), let them cool off completly before serving.

Conchas Ingredients List:

  • 2 cups of unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 poolish
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/3 cup of milk (if flour is too dry, it might need more milk, add a spoon of milk at a time)

How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas – Closing Thoughts

We hope you make this recipe at home to have a taste of the delicious Mexican Sweet Bread, we are sure your family and friends will love them.

You can have the Conchas as a treat with a cup of coffee or a cup of hot chocolate on any cold day!

Happy Baking

Related: Honey Buns Recipe Easy

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How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas

5 thoughts on “How To Make Mexican Bread Conchas (Mexican Pan Dulce)”

  1. I have been looking for recipes for Mexican bread conchas as I do think they are very nice to have for breakfast or a mid morning snack with coffee. This recipe looks ideal to try.

    I often make a double batch when I make bread, so I would be interested to know if I can freeze the Mexican bread conchas, or if freezing will spoil the sweet topping.

    • Hi Line Crowley

      Yes, you can freeze the Conchas bread in a bag for food freezing, you can put a waxed paper between the conchas, it will be easier for you to take one at a time from the freezer, allow the conchas to defrost at room temperature and you can warm them in the oven for a couple of minutes.

      Thanks for reading our blog. 

  2. Hi, this is a fantastic article. I’m delighted I learned how to make Mexican Bread Conchas. It appears to be quite simple to make. Furthermore, knowing that it can be made with unbleached flour, sugar, poolish, eggs, butter, and milk gives me great comfort because I was concerned that I could be missing some of the ingredients. My family and friends will undoubtedly enjoy this, as I will be the one preparing it for them.

    Thank you very much.

  3. I made homemade bread, but not sweet. How to make Mexican Conchas bread is a challenge for me.
    I didn’t even know about that.
    I turned to wholemeal bread and taught my family to use wholemeal flour as it is healthier.
    I could make Mexican bread Conchascu wholemeal flour.
    I have never read so carefully and I have not considered so many details. It is eaten with a cup of hot chocolate.
    It must be tried.

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