Bread Breakfast Recipes Snacks

Pan Dulce

I was just thinking that this morning was one of those mornings where I feel like I’ve been struck by a train for no reason at all.

I was just thinking that this morning was one of those mornings that can only be healed with two things, sweet bread and milky, sugared coffee.

I seem to have a vague memory of a bottle of champagne last night. Although I certainly didn’t drink the whole bottle (I checked, it’s in the fridge), champagne is one of those buggers that sneaks up on you in the middle of the night, scrambles your brain around and then makes you demand sweets and coffee just a little harder than usual the next morning.

Today I have a funeral to go to and then a birthday party. Very funny God. Veeeery funny. These are the kinds of days where I have to throw up my hands and say ‘Ok! You got me!’. These are the kinds of days when I mentally search my closet trying to find a dress that goes from somber to celebratory. These are the kinds of days that demand a touch of sweetness first thing in the morning. Thank goodness for Pan Dulce.

By the way, have you entered the Martha Stewart Blog Contest!?  Thanks for the heads up Ev!

Pan Dulce is a Mexican sweet bread. The bread itself is a slightly sweet, rich egg bread. The rolls are topped with a patterned sweet dough made out of butter, shortening, sugar and flour. The process takes as much care and patience as any yeasted bread, but the outcome is well worth the effort.

This bread recipe probably took me the better part of the afternoon. With the rolls that I didn’t immediately stuff in my face, I wrapped tightly and stuck n the freezer. Now any time I find myself with a rough morning or tricky day before me, I can thaw out a sweet bread, brew some coffee, and instantly make my morning more bearable.

Pan Dulce

adapted from recipezaar

Print this Recipe!


  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 2/3 cups white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 5 large eggs, beaten


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
*Please excuse the numbering of the instructions below. I don’t know how to make it stop doing what it’s doing. Sorry friends.
  1. For Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water.
  2. Let stand 6-8 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups bread flour, salt, sugar and shortening and blend thoroughly.
  4. Add yeast mixture and 2 eggs.
  5. Mix completely.
  6. Add remaining eggs and mix.
  7. Add remaining bread flour and mix until the dough forms a loose, soft, and elastic dough.
  8. It should be a little sticky but firm enough to shape easily with buttered hands.
  1. Butter the work surface into a 4×6-inch rectangle, 1 1/2 inches thick.
  2. Cut into 16 medium or 24 small squares.
  1. Cover lightly with plastic wrap for 1 to 1 1/2 hours and let dough rise.
  2. Shape each dough square into a dome-shaped circle.
  3. On a lightly greased cookie sheet, place rolls 2 inches apart.
  4. For Topping: In a food processor using a metal blade, add the butter, shortening, powdered sugar, 1 cup flour and vanilla. You can also use a stand mixer for this process.
  5. Process until smooth, then divide into 2 equal parts.
  6. Leave one part plain and shape into a log. You can use a bit of pink or yellow dye to color this potion of the dough before shaping into a log, wrapping in wax paper, and chilling.
  7. Add cocoa and cinnamon to the other half of dough and wrap in wax paper.
  8. Chill the 3 logs until ready to use.
  1. Cut off 2 tablespoons of topping from the log and flatten with palms into a circle.
  1. Place topping circle on top of dough circle.
  2. It should completely cover dough.
  1. Use a sharp knife to cut a crisscross or shell design on top.
  2. Let rolls rise again in a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Bake for 12- 15 minutes, until lightly browned.