This article was originally published in Spanish on MUNCHIES MX.
In Mexico, the season has come when we meet with our loved ones who left this world before us. In this Mexican tradition, our beloved dead love —and we do too. Every year for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) different bakeries throughout Mexico City challenge each other to make the best pan de muertos (bread of the dead). In 2016 the competition is very stiff.
Bakeries now have started to play with different flours: almond, amaranth, rice, chocolate, potato, and even chia and coconut oil. The bakers also have begun to include options for vegans and celiacs.
During the Pan de Muertos Festival and Calaverita 2016 in the community space of Huerto Roma Verde, there were many loaves of organic pan de muerto that were vegan and gluten-free, as well as more traditional chocolate and nutella versions, and those sweetened with agave nectar and filled with cream.
Being vegan does not mean having to give up our traditions, and bakers know that. The use of only vegetable and cruelty-free ingredients does not compromise the taste; the texture is just as fluffy and the flavor is fruity. And it passes the most important test: when dipped in hot chocolate, this combination takes you to heaven with your beloved.
Here are our favorite breads so you can take a visual tour of the bakeries that make them and eat pan de muertos without remorse through the end of Dia de los Muertos on November 2nd. As the saying goes, "the pain is less severe with bread."
The pan de muerto from Sarnath is made with orange blossom and orange. In addition, the bakery's chocolate skulls are delicious and their colors brighten the Altar of the Dead.
People say that many have wanted to get the recipe for the sugar sprinkled on Sweet María's pan de muertos, but no one has been able to match its texture and sweetness. In addition, its spongy texture and orange flavor is perfect for dipping it into hot chocolate.
The variety offered at this bakery is wide enough to satisfy the tastes of the dead and the living. We recommend the almond nougat and the Marmoleado with chocolate.
This bakery gets its name from its French influence, but when coupled with Mexican tradition it's unstoppable. We recommend the cream-stuffed bread.
The pioneers of vegan bread in Mexico City give us a bread free of any suffering. We believe it's one of the most Mexican ones of all because it contains sprinkles made of our beloved amaranth.
The pan de muertos with the most elegant flavor in Mexico City is perhaps the one from La Bohème. Instead of orange blossom or orange, this bakery perfumes the dough with lavender flower. The result is a sweet, fluffy bread with anise. It goes very well with coffee and chocolate.
In this classic place in Coyoacan, there are flattened-yet-spongy breads. Their gluten-free version resembles a cookie and allows them to play with more flavors like chocolate—without the need to dip it in foamy hot chocolate—or fruit, which is very fresh and healthy.