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Pan Dulce

Also known as Sweet Breads and Concha, Pan Dulce is a general term for Hispanic pastries. It is a staple in Mexican cuisine and is considered an indigenous food. During the Spanish conquest, wheat was introduced in Mexico due to religious necessities. It did not initially please the palate of the Indigenous people although it changed after one of their people dipped the bread in hot chocolate.

Pan Dulce Trivia

  • Concha or Sweet Breads became of the most loved Instagram trends after the El Bolillo Bakery in Houston launched their “Unicorn Conchas.” El Bolillo maintains a steady supply of Conchas and is constantly developing other trendy confectioneries and bread.

Pan Dulce Buying Guide

You can choose different flavors of Pan Dulce based on the color of their toppings. White concha toppings are the most classic but other colored toppings such as yellow for butter, brown for chocolate, and pink for strawberry are available in Mexica panaderias (bakeries) in Texas.

Pan Dulce Production & Farming in Texas

Mexican panaderias are scattered all over Texas. They produce traditional, classic, and even modern conchas for Texans to enjoy. One of the most famous Mexican panaderias is the El Bolillo Bakery which went viral over their Unicorn Conchas. The El Bolillo Bakery is located in Houston and is known for its colorful confections.


Azteca Mexican Bakery is another local producer of Pan Dulce in Dallas. Customers gave positive reviews on their delicious conchas.


Like any other bread, Pan Dulce needs to be baked using fresh ingredients as it will affect the taste and texture of the bread.


Preservatives and Chemicals

Pan Dulce traditionally baked in small, Mexican panaderias are made the old-fashioned way and should not contain any preservatives or chemicals. After all, the Mexicans are deeply proud of the Concha’s history.


However, commercially produced pan dulce contains preservatives and chemicals to improve their textures and flavors and extend their shelf-life.



Pan dulce should be wrapped in a sliced bread plastic bag that should be sealed and airtight to keep its freshness. Other bakers like to present pan dulce in woven baskets topped with a red checkered cloth for the ultimate, rustic appearance.

Enjoying Pan Dulce

Pan dulce or conchas can be eaten like donuts, dipped in hot coffee, warm milk, or even a glass of Mexican hot chocolate. Others would like to eat it plain or topped with refried beans, or even custard.


They have a wonderful and comforting taste no matter how you will eat them. However, it’s better to fully experience the culinary history of pan dulce by eating it plain rather than with other external flavors. You need to taste its rawest origins before you can appreciate it paired with other sweet or savory condiments.



Like any other bread, avoid storing the Pan Dulce in the refrigerator as it will stale faster. It should be stored at a cool, dark place at room temperature. Keep it away from heat, moisture, or direct sunlight to maintain its pristine condition.






500 grams All-Purpose Flour plus extra for dusting

125 grams Sugar

7.5 grams Active Dry Yeast

3 grams salt

100 grams Non-Salted Butter at room temperature

100 ml eggs (use a measuring cup, it equals about 6-½ Tbps )

5 ml Vanilla extract

120 ml of warm milk



100 grams Vegetable Shortening plus extra to grease the dough and baking sheets

100 grams Confectioner Sugar

120 grams All-Purpose Flour

5 grams Cocoa powder for half of the topping, if desired

5 grams Cinnamon optional for the white topping



  1. Have each ingredient ready and measured (by weight) before starting, and thoroughly read the notes above. Mix the all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed, just to mix it well.


  1. Add the butter and mix well (using the stand mixer with the hook attachment), then mix in the eggs and vanilla extract and slowly pour the milk in little by little until the dough looks cohesive (you may need less or more milk, as some flours soak up more liquid than others). Keep beating the mixture for about 7 minutes at medium speed. Add a little more flour around the inside of the bowl (2-3 tablespoons), just enough for the dough to separate from the container. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.



  1. Place the dough on your floured working table and knead it just enough to shape it into a ball.
  2. Place this ball in a large greased bowl to rest. Cover it with a plastic wrap (or wax paper) and a kitchen napkin. Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 2 hours until it doubles in size. I usually turn the light on in my oven and place the bowl inside, close to the light. Be aware that if your kitchen is cold, the dough will take longer to rise. Be patient and do not try to proceed to the next step until the mixture has doubled in size.



  1. While the dough is rising, you can prepare the sugar topping. Soften the shortening with your spatula until it is very creamy, and then add the confectioner’s sugar. Finally, add in the flour little by little (if using, add the ground cinnamon in this step). Set this paste aside to use later. If you’re making half of the Conchas with the chocolate topping, then divide the paste in two and add the cocoa powder to one half, mixing it until it integrates very well.
  2. Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, place it onto a floured surface and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 16 small balls (60 grams each). To shape the balls, lightly flour your hands and place each small ball on the working surface and gently press down with your hand, rotating your hand to form the balls.
  3. Place them onto greased baking sheets and continue until you’ve finished shaping all of the dough.
  4. Using your hands, grease the top of each ball with a little shortening. Do not skip this step, as it will help the topping adhere to the dough.
  5. To add the topping, flour your hands and divide the topping paste into 16 balls. Use your hands to press down on each one to form a small, flat circle (I like to use a sheet of plastic, like when making tortillas). Place this disk onto the ball of dough, and press it down very firmly.
  6. Once you’ve finished placing the topping on the buns, use a concha cutter or a knife to decorate them with the traditional concha shape.
  7. Allow the conchas to rise in a warm place until they are almost double in size. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, this step could take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Do not leave them to rise any longer, because if you let them grow too much they will collapse inside the oven. Bake in a preheated oven at 325º degrees for 20 minutes, or until the bottom of the conchas are lightly golden. If you are placing more than one baking sheet in your oven, rotate them after 10-12 minutes. Move the sheet on the bottom rack to the top rack and vice versa to have an even baking.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 231.4 75.4
  • Carbs: 36g 12%
  • Sugar: 11g
  • Fiber: 1.4g 5%
  • Protein: 6g 12%
  • Fat: 7g 10%
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4g 7%
  • Trans Fat 0.7g 0%
  • Cholesterol 18.9mg 6%
  • Sodium 143.6mg 5%
  • Vitamin C 1%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Calcium 27mg 3%
  • Iron 1.3mg 17%
  • Magnesium 11.4mg 4%
  • Phosphorus 154.4mg 16%
  • Zinc 0.4mg 3%
  • Copper 0.1mg 7%
  • Manganese 0.3mg 15%
  • Selenium 11.4μg 17%

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