Pan de Muerto is a soft, round, sweet yeast-risen bread –– similar in texture to challah –– with a crunchy cinnamon sugar glaze studded with fresh orange zest and spiced with orange flower water, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. We lay two crossed links of dough over the top to symbolize crossbones, representing those no longer among the living. The bread is excellent sliced and toasted for breakfast or dipped in Mexican hot chocolate as an afternoon snack.
The bread of the dead — is traditionally placed on Dia de los Muertos ofrendas to celebrate a family’s ancestors. The Day of the Dead, celebrated on November 1–2, is a time when the souls of the dead reunite with the living. Pan de Muerto is taken to the gravesite, often along with photos and the favorite foods of the deceased and is eaten there. Food is very important to the celebration, for it is believed that the dead are drawn back to the living by the scent of their favorite foods. The tradition dates back hundreds of years and honors the belief, held by many in the Latino and Indigenous communities, that their ancestors are a part of the community — present on another plane of existence. Macrina’s Pan de Muerto is made in honor of this wonderful tradition.
Our Pan de Muerto is available online and in cafés until 11/2. Each loaf feeds four living souls or countless spirits present on another plane.