,With the Dia de los Muertos looming, we thought we’d experiment with the traditional Mexican treat Pan de Muerto. Made with an orange-infused sweet dough, enriched with butter and eggs, the bread is shaped into a boule, then the ‘bones’ are overlaid, with a ‘skull’ placed atop the loaf.
I do love this time of year, when the nights draw in, the air is filled with the smell of wood-smoke and the world around us turns red and gold. These days the shops are filled with the most amazing autumnal squashes, gourds and pumpkins, of all colours, shapes and sizes. Inspired, we decided to use the leftover sweet dough from the Pan de Muerto to make some pumpkin buns. The orange dough was crying out for some chocolate, so each bun has a delicious chocolatey filling. Even if they hadn’t been delicious, I think we’ll have to make these again just for the aesthetic! Cute as a button!
I’ll leave you with a reminder of the ancient Gaelic celebration which pre-dated the modern observance of Halloween: ‘Samhain’ (from dusk on the 31st October to Dawn on the 1st November) – the festival marking summer’s end and the start of the dark half of the year.
Perhaps next year I should create a new loaf to celebrate Samhain. Perhaps half dark, half light - yin and yang. Now, there’s a thought…
Our workshops are run by award-winning sourdough baker Helen Underwood.