It’s concha time


Conchas, cooling on a rack. Jessianne Solis/The Runner

  When I see conchas, it brings me back to when I was a child, and my grandpa would take my siblings and me to the panaderia super early in the morning to grab all the fresh baked pan dulce. It brings so many fun memories. Ever sinse we have been on lockdown, I have been wanting to try and bake different kinds of bread and I thought this was the perfect time to make something from my childhood. I used a recipe from a website called Mexico In My Kitchen called Concha Recipe, written by Mely Martinez. I used this more as a base line for how to make conchas and added and changed some steps and ingredients to be my own.


  Prep time: 25 minutes

  Cook time: 24 minutes 

  Rise/ proof time: 3-4 hours 

  Start to finish: About 4 hours and 50 minutes  

  Yield: 16 Chocolate conchas

  Equipment you need: 

  •   An oven  
  •   2 baking sheets (only if you have room in your oven to put 2 in. If not, use 1 and bake half a batch at a time) 
  •   1 large oven safe mixing bowl (metal or glass) 
  •   1 medium mixing bowl  
  •   Measuring cups  
  •   Measuring spoons  
  •   Whisk  
  •   Rubber spatula  
  •   Cling wrap  
  •   Dish towel  
  •   Cutting board or a clean surface (for kneading) 
  •   An electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, or just use your hands. That’s what I did.




  •   3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 
  •   2/3 cups white sugar   
  •   2 ½ teaspoons instant dry yeast  
  •   ½ teaspoons salt  
  •   ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature or soften) 
  •   2 large eggs  
  •   1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
  •   ½ cup warm milk (put in microwave for about 50 seconds)  
  •   1 teaspoon cinnamon (I added this into dough) 
  •   ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (I added this into dough) 
  •   Cooking spray  

Icing paste:

  •   ½ cup plus 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening  
  •   ¾ cup powdered sugar  
  •   1 cup allpurpose flour  
  •   1 teaspoon cinnamon  
  •   2 ½ teaspoons of cocoa powder (this Is optional,you can add any flavor. Or just have plain white icing. You can also add food coloring if you would like)


  Preheat your oven to 100°F or press the proof setting on your oven if it is available. 


Concha bread dough on a floured surface. Jessianne Solis/The Runner (Jessianne Solis)
  1. Whisk together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl until well combined.  
  2. Add room temperature butter into dry mix and work it in with your hands until its evenly distributed 
  3. Add the eggs and mix until you get a crumbly texture that hold its shape when you squeeze it like wet sand.  
  4. Now add the milk in increments and knead in the bowl for about three minutes to make it one cohesive dough. (Only add a little bit of milk at a time because you don’t want to have the dough be overly sticky) 
  5. Dump the dough onto a floured cutting board or clean surface and knead for about 7 or 8 minutes. You know the dough is ready when you poke your finger into thedough and it springs back. 
  6. Dust a small amount of flour over the dough ball, just so it’s not sticky.  
  7. Spray the same bowl used to make the dough with cooking spray and place the dough back in the bowl.  
  8. Cover the bowl with cling wrap first. Then, place the dish towel in top and place the bowl. 
  9. Now place the bowl into the preheated oven for 2 hours to proof or double in size.  



Icing for conchas. Jessianne Solis/The Runner




    Icing Paste:

  1. While the dough is proofing, you can get started with the icing. Put the vegetable shorting in the medium mixing bowl and make it soft by mixing it around the bowl with a rubber spatula. Then add the powdered sugar and mix till combined 
  2. You then add the cocoa powder and cinnamon until you get an even color through out the paste. After well combined, add the flour until you get a soft pasty dough. Now you have your icing.  







Conchas ready for the oven. Jessianne Solis/The Runner
  1. Once you dough has doubled in size, keep the oven at 100°F for later
  2. Now you put a little bit of shorting to the top of each puck so that the icing can stick well to the dough, DO NOT SKIP THIS STE. After you do that, you want to evenly divide the icing into 16 balls.  
  3. Once you have 16 icing balls, put flour on your hands and take one of the balls and flatten it out into a disc shape on your hands first. Place it on top of the greased dough and pat the icing around all the edges of the dough. Continue with the rest of the dough balls.  
  4. At this point, you can make your concha print with a knife or traditional concha cutter, you can honestly have full creative freedom with this step.
  5. You know want to place the conchas back into the oven to proof for another 1 to 2 hours so they can rise again, but no longer that 2 hours to avoid over proofing. 
  6. Once your proofing is done, take out the conchas and heat your oven to 325°F. After the oven is done heating up, Place conchas back into the oven for 20 minutes. If you are using two baking sheets, rotate the sheets after 12 minutes so the top sheet can be on the bottom rack and the bottom sheet can be on the top rack, and bake for another 12 minutes.

Once the time is up, let cool and enjoy with a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or any way you please.