Natural Magick: Pan de Muerto

This was taken out of the book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Natural Magick” by Miria Liguana and Nina Metzner. If you like this recipe, please buy the book.

There are numerous variations of this recipe, but most include anise seed, which attracts Spirit; orange, which attracts wisdom and luck; and eggs, the Mother symbol. Yeast breads in general are good for attracting Spirit because they rise to a light dough rather than a dense, quick bread dough.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 to 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp whole anise seed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the butter, milk, and water until very warm but not boiling.

Meanwhile, measure out 1 1/2 cups of the flour and set aside the rest. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast, salt, anise seed, and sugar.

With an electric mixer, beat in the warm liquid until well combined. Add eggs and beat in another 1 cup of flour. Continue adding more flour until the dough is soft but not sticky.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Resist the temptation to add more flour; it will result in a lighter bread if you keep the flour to a minimum. The dough will become less sticky as you knead.

Place dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp towel, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down the down and shape into two round loaves. Place on a cookie sheet and let the loaves rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Bake the loves in a preheated 350F oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and paint on the glaze.

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsps grated orange zest

Combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Apply to the top of the bread with a pastry brush. Sprinkle on red colored sugar while the glaze is still damp.

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