Conchas

To give our version of this Mexican sweet roll an even more tender, heightened pillowy texture than the traditional recipe, we enrich the dough with more butter and milk. The classic crunchy, sugary streusel topping takes these rolls to a whole new level of buttery sweetness.

Conchas
 
Makes 15
Ingredients
  • 4¼ cups (531 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup (150 grams) evaporated milk
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) water
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • Egg Streusel Topping Three Ways (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 2 cups (250 grams) flour, sugar, yeast, and salt at low speed until combined.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat evaporated milk, ⅓ cup (76 grams) water, and butter over medium heat until a candy thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). With mixer on low speed, add hot milk mixture to flour mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1 cup (125 grams) flour; beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Gradually add remaining 1¼ cups (156 grams) flour, beating until a soft dough forms.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment; beat at medium speed until dough is smooth but still sticky, about 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until very soft, smooth, and no longer sticky, about 1 minute. If dough seems too sticky, add ¼ cup (31 grams) more flour. (Dough should be on the soft side, so don’t add too much flour, or buns won’t be as soft.)
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  5. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Punch down dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 15 equal portions (65 grams each), and shape each portion into a smooth ball. Flatten each ball into a 3-inch round, and place on prepared pans. Top with Egg Streusel Topping Three Ways. Using a small paring knife, carefully cut a scallop shell or crisscross design into streusel, leaving a ¼-inch border. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until almost doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  8. Bake until topping is just beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Egg Streusel Topping Three Ways
 
Makes 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (8 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons (98 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (8 grams) finely grated Mexican chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) Chinese five-spice powder
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together 1½ cups (188 grams) flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and egg yolk; stir egg mixture into flour mixture until clumps form.
  2. Divide mixture into 3 equal portions of 1 cup each. Using hands, form each portion into a paste, making sure all ingredients are well combined and emulsified with no butter chunks left over. Place one portion in a small bowl, and stir in finely grated chocolate and cocoa until combined. Place second portion in another bowl. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, five-spice powder, and remaining 1 tablespoon (8 grams) flour. Leave third portion as is.
  3. Beginning with plain streusel mixture, divide and shape each portion into 5 balls. (You will have a total of 15 balls.) On a lightly floured surface, press each ball into a 4-inch patty. Place on a large plate, separating layers with plastic wrap or parchment paper to keep from sticking together. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

 

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