Pan de Muerto

 

2.2 pounds (1 kilo) all purpose flour
5 eggs
5 egg yolks
1 ½ cups sugar
14 ounces (1 can) sweetened ) milk
1 cup warm water
28 grams dry yeast
¼ pound melted butter (1 stick) 
7 tablespoons anise seeds
 
egg wash
sugar 
sesame seeds (optional)
 
Mound flour in the center of the table. Make a well in the center and put all of the ingredients inside. With your fingertips pull the flour into the center and mix well.  It will become a soft, sticky dough. 
 
You may need to add a bit extra flour to work it into a smooth but not stiff dough. Knead the dough for 15 minutes by the hand, kneading and folding to develop the gluten. Resist adding too much flour. 
 
Place the dough into a large bowl, lightly coated with vegetable oil, and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm room for 1 – 1 ½ hours, until doubled in size.
 
Divide the dough into ¾ and ¼ sections. Take the larger section, and divide it into about 3 ounce portions. This will be the large roll. Form each roll into a ball.
 
Take the smaller section and divide it into small pieces to roll out coils about a finger length in size that will simulate the “bones” on the top of each loaf. Spread your fingers apart as you roll, and shape the dough in between your fingers to simulate bones. See photograph. 
 
Coat the rolls with the egg wash. Arrange the “bones” on top of the rolls. Let the dough rise again for 45 minutes-they should double in size. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
 
Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar or sesame seeds. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes until they are golden brown in color and sound hollow when you tap the bottoms. Cool on a rack. 
 
Break off pieces of the bread and dip into hot chocolate.