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dia de los muertos & pan de muertos recipe

November 7, 2007

lynn invited us to the artbarn so we went:

THE HEARTH~OVEN is complete… now, we BAKE!
DAY OF THE DEAD @ the Artbarn
We’re baking bread and eating it too!
Thurs. Nov. 1. 6:30pm til midnite
Open Mic style inquiry, exploration and celebration~
of all things life and death…
music, poetry and communing with fire…
Where do we come from? Why does life end? Is there “life” after
death? If so, what kind of “life”? Can we do something while alive so we can enjoy “life” after death?

dia de los muertos reading at the artbarn

bread was baked and eaten and lynn made yummy scones in the oven too. lynn took the picture above of the art predator reading poems (bread, ashes and a 3:15 poem about dying young–click on title to read the poem)

here’s some other info lynne sent about dia de los muertos and how to make pan de muertos–not sure of the source but I trust lynne and this is similar to other references i’ve read:

Very early in October, all over the country, bakeries offer the
delicious Pan de Muerto, Day of the Dead bread, made with flour,
butter, sugar, eggs, orange peel, anise and yeast. The bread is adorned with strips of dough simulating bones and at the top a small round piece of dough that symbolizes teardrops. These breads are placed on the altars or ofrendas, and are also taken to the tombs in the graveyard.

To the indigenous peoples of Mexico, death was considered the passage to a new life and so the deceased were buried with many of their personal objects, which they would need in the hereafter. Many times even their pets were sacrificed so they would accompany their masters on their long journey. From pre Columbian times, El Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead has been celebrated in Mexico, and other Latin countries. This is a very special ritual, since it is the day in which the living remember their departed relatives. Sometimes, when people of other cultures hear for the first time about the celebration of the Day of the Dead, they mistakenly think it must be: gruesome, terrifying, scary, ugly and sad. Nothing further from the truth, Day of the Dead is a beautiful ritual in which Mexicans happily and lovingly remember their loved relatives that have died. Much like when we go to a graveyard to leave some lovely flowers on a tomb of a relative.

This is a version of the bread that is made for the November 2
celebration known as the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in
Mexico. You can also mold the bread into different shapes like angels and animals. Ingredientes – Ingredients:

  • Una taza y media de harina – 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • Media taza da azúcar – 1/2 cup of sugar
  • Una cucharadita de sal – 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Una cucharada de semillas de anís – 1 tablespoon of anise seed
  • Dos paquetitos de levadura – 2 packets of dry yeast
  • Media taza de leche – 1/2 cup of milk
  • Media taza de agua – 1/2 cup of water
  • Media taza de mantequilla – 1/2 cup of butter
  • Cuatro huevos – 4 eggs
  • Entre tres y cuatro y media tazas de harina – 3 – 4 1/2 cups flour


  1. Mix all dry ingredients together except the 3 – 4 1/2 cups flour.
  2. In a small pan, heat the milk, the water, and the butter. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture.
  3. Beat well.
  4. Mix in the eggs and 1 1/2 cups of flour. Beat well.
  5. Put in the rest of the flour, little by little.
  6. Knead the mixture on a floured board for 9 – 10 minutes.
  7. Put the dough in a greased bowl and allow it to rise until it has
  8. doubled in size (about an hour and a half at sea level).
  9. Punch the dough down and reshape it with some “bone” shapes
  10. Let it rise another hour.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 40 minutes.
  12. After baking, sprinkle it with confectioner’s sugar and colored sugar.

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