Why It Will work
- Applying lard and butter in the dough generates flavorful and tender conchas.
- Kneading the dough in a stand mixer rapidly develops a strong gluten network.
- A chilly fermentation builds flavor and tends to make the dough straightforward to perform with.
- Scoring the concha crust with a butter knife provides the conchas their unique seashell visual appeal.
With its soft, spongy dough, sweet, crunchy crust, and buttery taste, nothing at all beats the style of a freshly-baked concha. Sold at Mexican panaderias, the concha (which means “shell” in Spanish) is 1 of the most recognizable pan dulces, or sweet breads. Nevertheless, discovering a fantastic concha can be rather the feat, in particular if you will not have a good panaderia nearby.
Following I left the cafe field to give start to my son, I begun a digital bakery named Mexipino, combining nostalgic flavors and regular desserts from my husband’s Mexican culture and my possess Filipino track record. I needed to build a relationship concerning our two heritages through food items. Because of this, I started to master far more, digging deeper into Mexican breads, and sooner or later made my very own recipe for common conchas, which I’m sharing here. At Mexipino, I like to get it a phase further more and things the Mexican concha like a Filipino ensaymada, a tender sweet bread typically coated with butter, sugar, and grated cheese, with ube halaya (a Filipino purple yam jam) or black bean paste.
Building the Concha Dough
A fantastic concha hinges on the kind of fats and flour made use of in the dough. Typically, lard, or manteca, supplies taste and richness, but at present, many panaderias and bakers use margarine or shortening for its stability, for a longer period shelf life, and as a way to lower fees. I favor a blend of processed lard, the hydrogenated semi-strong white variation usually discovered in most grocery merchants, and butter. Lard tenderizes the dough by coating and weakening the gluten strands, ensuing in a softer texture. Lard by yourself can create a flatter bread, so I insert butter way too, which releases steam all through the bake to build air pockets. In addition, the butter adds a richer taste.
For the flour, I when compared conchas baked with bread flour and all-intent flour and I observed that bread flour, which I connect with for in this article, offers the conchas a firm, springy, chewy texture that mirrored the kinds I ate in Mexico Town. All-reason flour, on the other hand, created a great deal lighter conchas. If you only have all-goal flour on hand, you can substitute for the bread flour, just notice that the texture won’t be as sizeable.
Applying a stand mixer allows realize a brioche-like texture by little by little incorporating the extra fat into the dough and producing a solid gluten composition. Though I present an approximated kneading time under, it’s ideal to carry out the windowpane exam to examine if the gluten is sufficiently developed: At the time a smooth, shiny dough has fashioned that pulls absent from the sides of the bowl, use your arms to take away a piece of dough and extend it gently taut into a translucent sheet. Once the gluten is correctly designed, I start out the bulk fermentation at place temperature and execute a established of stretches and folds to incorporate much more toughness to the dough. I then allow the dough proof in the fridge for 12 several hours, which outcomes in a a lot more flavorful dough and makes it a great deal easier to work with. Afterwards, I portion the dough and shape each into a smooth ball ahead of moving onto the crust.
Preparing the Concha Crust
If you have ever eaten or seen a concha, you’ve got likely taken note of the crackly crust on prime. Traditionally, the crust is built with lard, powdered sugar, and all-goal flour, and is flavored with chocolate or vanilla (which is usually dyed pink for a pop of colour). The stand mixer would make swift function of bringing the crust alongside one another. Plus, with my recipe, you are going to be capable to appreciate both of those popular flavors since I split the crust in half and taste every single half separately. At the time the flavored crusts are designed, I portion and chill each halves to assistance with assembly.
When it is time to shape the crust, you have two selections: You can flatten it with a rolling pin or push it in a tortilla push. Once the crust is flat, I area it on top rated of a dough ball, making sure to tuck in any overhang. To rating the top, it’s conventional to use a concha cutter to engrave the signature seashell pattern, but if you do not have one, I identified that applying a butter knife functions just as nicely. Just make guaranteed to score only the crust and just take treatment to not pierce the dough underneath.
If I’m organizing on generating conchas on a selected working day or for a particular occasion, I make the dough the working day just before, enable it rise in the refrigerator overnight, then bake it the next day in time for an afternoon snack. In the meantime, the crust can be made ahead of time or when the dough is proofing. Conchas are greatest loved the day they are baked, either for breakfast with a steaming mug of café de olla (Mexican coffee well prepared in a clay pot with cinnamon), or eaten as a snack with a tall glass of chilly milk. Individually, I like having conchas all by themselves but sometimes I’ll indulge and split a person in fifty percent, things it with ube halaya or ube ice product, and take pleasure in it for dessert.