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All Souls’ Day Bread. 1969.

November 3, 2014
Mexico: Her Daily & Festive Breads (1969) by Barbara Howland Taylor. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Mexico: Her Daily & Festive Breads (1969) by Barbara Howland Taylor. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Taylor, Barbara Howland. Mexico: Her Daily & Festive Breads. Claremont, CA: Creative Press, 1969. [TX769 .T36 1969].

Mexico, Her Daily & Festive Breads offers a brief popular history of Mexican baking, from the Aztecs’ celebration of corn goddesses to the arrival of wheat with the Spanish conquistadors, to the multitude of shapes and styles of bread encountered during the authors’ time in Mexico during the 1960s.

The book itself does not include recipes. However, laid into the opening pages of UTSA’s copy are three typed pages entitled “Bread Recipes for Mexico: Her Daily and Festive Breads by Barbara Taylor,” providing recipes for Sweet Rolls, Salt Rolls, All Souls’ Day Bread, and Three Kings’ Bread.

All Souls’ Day (or Day of the Dead) was celebrated yesterday on November 2nd, but perhaps you might still wish to  honor your departed loved ones with this recipe:

All Souls’ Day Bread

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. anis seed, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tsps. water
  • Pink colored sugar or granulated sugar

Soften the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water; set aside. Cream together butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt until fluffy. 

Blend in 1/2 cup of flour, 1 tbsp. water, anis seed, and orange peel. Add eggs and egg yolk; beat 2 minutes. Blend in softened yeast and 1 cup of remaining flour; beat 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour. Cover; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured board. Remove one-fourth of the dough; cover and set aside. Shape remaining dough into a ball. Place on greased baking sheet and flatten to a 6-inch diameter. Divide the reserved piece of dough into quarters. Roll two quarters into two 7-inch ropes. Combine eggs white [sic] and 2 tsps. water. Place ropes in an X pattern atop loaf, attaching to loaf with egg white mixture. Form one of the remaining quarters into a 2-inch ball. Make a 2-inch wide indentation in the center of the X. Place ball of dough in the depression and attach with egg white mixture.

Divide the final quarter of dough into 4 portions. Shape each into a teardrop and secure with egg white mixture onto sides of loaf between the spokes of the X. Cover; let rise until nearly double, about 35 minutes. Bake in 325* F. for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Brush with egg white mixture; sprinkle with pink sugar. Repeat brushing and sprinkling again after 5 minutes. Makes 1 loaf. 

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