Concha is a kind of sweet bread, also known as Pan Dulce. It’s a breakfast, dessert, or brunch staple in Mexico. Conchas have a brioche-like texture, the size of a cookie, and a delicious taste. The light dough goes well with fruit, vanilla, cheese, or chocolate custard. Hazelnut and heavy cream are also excellent pairings for conchas.
What I like most about them is that they are delicious even without any added ingredients, since I always make them vanilla or cinnamon infused. The dough is fluffy and foggy, with a crunchy top crust.
I wanted to practice for Valentine’s Day this time, so I produced these heart-shaped conchas.
- What Makes These Heart-Shaped Conchas Special?
- How to Make Heart-Shaped Conchas?
- How to Store and Serve Heart-Shaped Conchas?
- What is the difference between concha and pan dulce?
- Is pan de huevo the same as conchas?
- What are popular concha flavors?
- What is the flavor of concha?
- What are the black specks in conchas?
- Do traditional conchas have fillings?
- Why do Mexicans eat pan dulce?
- How many types of pan dulce are there?
- Why are my conchas dense?
- What do you eat with concha?
What Makes These Heart-Shaped Conchas Special?
Conchas are remarkable in their own right, but these heart-shaped conchas are love-letter pastries. I used vanilla extract in both the dough and the streusel topping. You may also add cinnamon, but I left it out since I wanted to serve them with fruit and cream.
crimson food coloring was used once again to color the topping pink and crimson. So I baked a breakfast pastry that screamed Happy Valentine’s Day! You, too, can!
How to Make Heart-Shaped Conchas?
When I said the ingredients were simple, I really meant it. You just need a handful, which I’m fairly certain you have in your pantry. Gather the items mentioned below, as well as some patience and talent. Here’s the rundown!
- I chose bread flour since it is softer than all-purpose flour, but you can’t go wrong with either.
- Milk Milk will provide a melt-in-your-mouth texture as well as a buttery taste. You may even utilize one that has been vaporized.
- I used dried yeast, but fresh or sourdough yeast can also work. Sourdough will add taste and air bubbles to the dough.
- Sugar, granulated I used white sugar, but brown would suffice. It is required to sweeten the dough and activate the yeast.
- granulated sugar For a satin smooth texture, make the streusel using powdered sugar.
- You may use butter, margarine, or shortening, depending on your preference. I used butter since I loved the smell of it.
- Egg Egg results in a buttery, spongy texture.
- Vanilla Sweet vanilla gives the perfect aroma.
- Food coloring in the color red This is optional, although it makes the conchas more visually appealing.
Get the ingredients ready and lets get on it!
Step 1: Making the Dough
First, activate the yeast by combining it with a teaspoon of sugar in warm milk. Milk must be between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the yeast to bloom, which takes around 20 seconds in the microwave. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes or until bubbles emerge.
Prepare the flour and season with salt in a mixing basin. Combine the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl: softened butter, vanilla extract, egg, active yeast, and lukewarm milk. Mix it briefly on low speed, then add the flour spoon by spoon.
Continue to mix until the dough develops and becomes smooth. The secret to fluffy conchas is mixing. You may knead it by hand as well, but it will take longer. The dough will be sticky, but do not add extra flour; instead, continue combining.
This will wake up the gluten and result in a smooth yet soft dough. This normally takes 10 to 15 minutes on low speed, and if your dough is still sticky, sprinkle it with flour. However, well-prepared dough is flexible and sticky.
Place the dough in the oiled basin, cover with plastic wrap, and let aside for at least an hour.
I prefer to let it rise twice before shaping my conchas, but if you don’t have a lot of time, one time would enough. If you’re following my approach, knead it softly once it’s doubled and set it aside for another hour.
Step 2: Preparing the Streusel Topping
There are just four components in the streusel topping: flour, powdered sugar, vanilla essence, and melted butter. I prefer to knead this by hand with room-temperature butter. The warmth of the hand melts the butter to the perfect consistency, almost like play-dough.
It should be silky and smooth, yet it should not adhere to your hands. If you’re using food coloring, split it in half and add the red dye drop by drop. 3 drops are sufficient for pink, but at least 10 drops are required for scarlet, depending on the strength of your hue.
Step 3: Shaping the Conchas
Divide the dough into equal-sized sections. I always weigh the balls; these are 100 grams apiece; you may do fewer or more as desired. Dust the kitchen surface (ideally wooden, such as a board) with flour to make smooth balls. Make a pointed peak on one side and trim it to the centre with a knife on the other. Form smooth heart lines with your fingertips or a spoon.
Spread some butter on the baking sheet and arrange the hearts since they will expand. 2-3 inches would enough.
Step 4: Shaping the Streusel Topping
Also, divide this dough into equal portions. Roll out parchment paper sprinkled with flour into circles using a rolling pin. If you thin it too much, it will break apart. Brush the heart-shaped dough with butter to help the topping adhere better.
Cut the extra dough from the coat and cover the conchas. Smooth out the lines by softly pressing it. Decorate them with a knife or conchas craver. Because the shell is an English name for Concha, I prefer to carve it into a shell-like texture.
Step 5: Baking
Allow them to rest for another 30 to 45 minutes to double in size. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. You can always use a toothpick to double-check.
How to Store and Serve Heart-Shaped Conchas?
Conchas may be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, wrapped with plastic foil or in Tupperware to preserve them pillow-soft. You may keep them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days, but they will not taste the same. The same is true for subzero temperatures.
They are best served hot from the oven, so here’s a recipe for a small batch to enjoy all at once. If you’re entertaining a large group, just double the recipe!
What is the difference between concha and pan dulce?
In English, pan dulce translates to sweet bread, whereas concha refers to shell.
Is pan de huevo the same as conchas?
A concha’s bread foundation is the same dough used for Pan de Muertos, Rosca de Reyes, and Pan de Huevo. In fact, all of these breads are variants on the Pan de Huevo.
What are popular concha flavors?
The most popular flavors are white vanilla and brown chocolate, but you may also create strawberry, coffee, cinnamon, orange, Oreo, or experiment with various tastes.
What is the flavor of concha?
Concha is a typical sweet bread with a crunchy, sweet coating. It is often flavored with chocolate or vanilla. Concha is easily identified in bakeries because its outer layer is frequently shaped like a shell.
What are the black specks in conchas?
The black specks are merely naturally dark bits of the corn’s pericarp (skin), where the kernel tip joins to the cob. The hue of the flecks may vary according on the crop and year. They are similar to those found in hard taco shells, corn or tortilla chips, cornmeal, and natural whole corn products.
Do traditional conchas have fillings?
Conchas are sometimes filled. Concha buns are often split horizontally in Mexico City and other areas of the nation and filled with everything from whipped cream to custard to refried beans.
Why do Mexicans eat pan dulce?
It’s considered a delicacy in Hispanic culture since it does more than just keep people nourished. It’s a delectable treat that encourages dialogue while also honoring basic cultural values like food and community. Pan dulce, or “sweet bread,” is a famous pastry in Mexico and across the Hispanic world.
How many types of pan dulce are there?
Scholars believe that there are up to 2,000 distinct varieties of pan dulce in Mexico.
Why are my conchas dense?
When you add too much flour, the dough becomes thick. Add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and stir for a few minutes before adding more. Remove the dough from the machine and knead by hand for 5 minutes on a clean and floured work area for a softer concha dough.
What do you eat with concha?
They may be eaten for breakfast with hot cocoa, coffee, or milk, as a snack at any time, or split in half to form sandwiches. However, a concha purchased from a bakery or supermarket is likely to have a stale bread foundation with an insipid topping.