Mexican Concha (Shell) Recipe

September 13, 2013

 Whenever I walk into a panaderia, the warm inviting smell of cinnamon and sugar always lead me to these buns.  They are warm and soft, pillowy and comforting.  Yes, comforting.  When the sugary topping dissolves on the taste buds, and instantly a smile comes across my face.  And with that smile, I decided to try my hand at these delicious shells.  Baking bread is definitely different from baking cakes... you have to let it grow ( or rise in this case ) and knead it with love.  I was so proud of my first batch of Conchas that I decided to share this with you.  Please let me know what you think.  Enjoy!


    • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 1/2 cup warm water ( 105 degrees F to 115 degrees F or 40 to 46 celsius)
    • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk ( scalded, then cooled)
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • 3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour

    Flavored Topping Dough

    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup butter or 1/4 cup margarine
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest


1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl.
2. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour.
3. Mix until smooth.
4. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface.
6. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
7. Place in a large greased bowl, then turn greased side up.
8. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. (Tip: The longer you let it rise, the soft the bread.)  While this is rising, prepare Flavored Topping Dough.
9. The dough is ready if it leaves an indentation when touched.
10. Punch dough down; divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball; place on greased cookie sheet.
11. Divide the three flavored dough into 4 equal pieces.
12. Pat each piece into a 3-inch circle. Place 1 circle of Topping Dough on each ball of bread dough, shaping it down over the ball.
13. Make 5 or 6 cuts across the topping, using a table knife, to form a shell pattern.
14. Cover and let rise until double — about 40 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 celsius). Bake buns until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Flavored Topping Dough

1. Beat sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.
2. Stir in flour until mixture is the consistency of thick paste.
3. Divide into 3 equal parts.
4. Stir cinnamon into one part, vanilla extract into one part and orange peel into one part.



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