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Pan de Muerto with Sesame Seeds

October 11, 2017

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Vive Mejor and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

My favorite time of the year is here!  Although the season hasn’t quite changed from summer to fall completely, we are already in full fall mode at my house.  With the air conditioner still on, I preheated my oven and baked my heart off.  First on the fall baking menu is pan de muerto, of course!

Everyone has their own special pan de muerto recipe.  This time, I decided to use as my recipe source for this delicious Dia de Muertos treat.  Giving it my own spin, I added orange zest to the dough and finished off the bread topping with sesame seeds to give it a bit of color contrast to this festive bread.

Traditionally used to decorate Dia de Muertos altar, this deliciously spongy bread is also enjoyed in the evenings leading up to the November 1 and 2 muertos holiday.  With a hot beverage such as Lipton tea, Latin families gather around the table for a slice and share stories to remember the loved ones they have lost throughout the years.

Keeping traditions alive, even if it’s just the act of baking a bread and sharing it with your family is a great way to instill the Latin culture in our future generations.  With recipe websites like it is possible to prepare dishes with your own special touch your family will remember for years to come.

Bake this tasty treat and add it your own twist.  From adding nuts and dried fruits to decorating it in your own special way, your recipe will be your own from now on to share.

Want more ideas? Find your meal inspirations one click away by visiting  Get more help with your menu planning by following the hashtag #MiCocinaViveMejor on social media or follow ViveMejor on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to take your weekly menu to another level.

Pan de Muerto with Sesame Seeds

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: Makes 1 loaf


  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup water (110° F)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup orange zest
  • 1/4 cup Country Crock Spread, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • For topping
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Combine yeast with warm water in medium bowl and set aside until foamy; about 10 minutes. Stir in milk, eggs, orange zest and Country Crock Spread. Set aside.
  2. Sift flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in anise seeds. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Stir in yeast mixture into flour mixture with wooden spoon until dough forms. Add a little more flour if the dough is too wet or a little more milk if it's too dry.
  3. Knead on lightly floured surface until dough is smooth but slightly sticky. About 10 minutes. Transfer dough to a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area until doubled in volume. About 90 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  5. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for approximately 3 minutes. Cut 1/4 of the dough off and reserved in covered bowl. Shape remaining dough into a round loaf on prepared baking sheet. Tear off a small portion of the reserved dough and roll into a knot. Roll out remaining roll into a thick rope, using fingers to make a shape of "bones". Cut rope in 4-5 pieces and arrange on loaf in a star or cross formation. Place dough "knot" on top center of dough ropes. Cover loosely and let it rise in warm place until doubled in size. About 45 minutes.
  6. Combine egg white and water. whisk until well combined. Brush loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Serve with Lipton hot tea.