Gluten Free Pan de Muerto Recipe

A few years ago I wrote a post about Dia de los Muertos.  I asked that my readers send me a story about who they wanted to honor and remember on this very special Latin holiday.  Over the years I have received so many emails and stories that it warms my heart! I am thrilled to hear that so many children and adults are celebrating this holiday with their Spanish class.  I have received emails from parents and teachers telling me about their friends and family….

Please read through the recipe first.  Assemble the ingredients and tools so that you don’t forget anything and to make it easier. This may seem hard but it really isn’t.  Just think of the people that you are honoring while making this bread and it will be a memorial.

Honor your family by Dia de los Muerto, Gluten Free Pan de Muerto, using smaller pans for “un poquito pan de muertos” are perfect to let your little helpers add the glaze and sugars as they wish.   It is a perfect serving size as well.  See the tools and pans area for suggestions.

gf pan de muerto

Dry Ingredients 
3 cups Maninis Multiuso GF Flour or King Arthur, Cup4Cup – Gluten Free All Purpose flour 
1/2 cup cornstarch or tapioca
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove ground
1/4 tsp anise ground – optional children may not like it

Whisk together in a bowl and set aside.

Wet Ingredients

3 large eggs room temp + 1 egg for egg wash = 4 eggs
1 stick or ½ cup of butter or non-dairy Earth Balance – room temp *plus 2 pats to grease the baking pan

1/3 cup of milk or non-dairy milk – coconut or almond
¾ cup cane sugar or 1/2 cup of honey
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 medium size orange – all of the zest

Mix all of the above wet ingredients in a standing mixer.

2 Tbs active dry yeast or 1 packet
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
Warm the milk/coconut milk to 110 degrees. Add the apple cider vinegar and the yeast. Keep in a warm place for 5-10 minutes until you see the mixture froth or bloom.

Add 1/2 cup of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the standing mixer. Add the bloomed yeast mixture.

Continue to slowly add 1/2 cup of the flour mixture allowing time for the ingredients to fully incorporate.

Use a large flat silicone spoon or scraper to scrape down the sides of the mixer.
Make sure that all of the flour is incorporated.

Grease the bottom and sides of the pan with butter.

Add the dough. Use a silicone spoon or spatula to smooth and spread the dough evenly.
TIP – if the dough is too sticky dip the silicone spoon into warm water and it will help smooth it out!

Cover with cling wrap and put into a proofing oven or a warm place that is at least 75 room temp degrees for 1 hour.

Tools and Pans 

Large scoop and 1 large flat and 1 small scraper silicone spoons.
Thermometer to check temp of milk to activate yeast.

If you want to make one large bread, use a le Creuset braiser pan or an oven proof 12 fry pan with the sides at least 2 inches high.

You could also use  2 – 9 inch cake pans.

For small individual size breads, use a cupcake pan.

Cling wrap.

Egg Wash

1 egg room temp with 1 Tbs water.
Beat well and brush on top of the bread when it is done proofing or rising.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take the bread out of the oven and let cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes.

While the bread is cooling make the glaze.

This makes the shiny, white gloss on the bread to add more flavor and help the sugar stick.
2-3 Tbs powder sugar
Juice from 1 medium orange
Large pearl sugar or colored sugar for decorating – any color

Brush on the glaze and add the decorating sugar. Traditional designs are of skull and cross bones. If you have a cookie cutter use to place on top then sprinkle sugar to create the shape. Just be creative!




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