Pan de Muertos (Day of the Dead Bread) sightings?
Panaderia Mi Guanajuato in Richmond is selling Pan de Muertos. It is basically a cinnamon sugar sweet roll with little bones decorating it ... 75 cents.
Serranos Bakery in Richmond will be selling it Thursday and Friday - 30 cents.
The new Guatamalan bakery near Serranos will not sell it ... not a Guatamalan thing.
Some years Arizmendi makes it.
Melanie reported on the bread at La Reyna, Windsor ... which must be ordered a day ahead
La Michoacana in Vallejo makes it.
It was reported Tropicana Market is in San Jose, corner of Story and King sells it.
Here's a picture and recipe from Chow
Panaderia Mi Guanajuato
3431 MacDonald Ave, Richmond, CA 94805
773 23rd St, Richmond, CA
Ok, here's my opinion ...
There's only three places I found worth going out of your way for ... in order of preference
- La Michoacana, Vallejo
- Casa Latina, Berkeley
Cheeseboard and Casa Latina I reported on elsewhere in this thread. Cheeseboard had the only version with anise and orange peel. It was just the best.
Casa Latina made the best of the typical bread at the local panaderias ... but it was so light and delicious compared to the rest which barely rose above the level of a concha.
I went to La Michoacana and this was just my favorite overall. They had two shapes. The standard round rolls and bread decorated with bones and a little corpse with arms folded.
But this was different from all the rest, almost like a yeasty babka with cinnamon and raisins. The sesame seeds on the version I tried actually had taste.
They also had a cookie I could become addicted to ... huesitos ... bones. This is a cookie that has white icing and looks like a big pretzel (I think it was meant to represt crossed bones)
There are red sugar sprinkles in spots which I'm guessing .which I guess represents blood.
It sounds gruesome, but is actually kind of cool. I'm thinking this is an recipe particular to this bakery. But they are crackly crisp cookies that make you feel like you are crunching up some bones ... and they are tasty too.
I think they took the pan de muerto dough and double baked it like a biscotti but it was not as hard slightly flakey.
This panaderia just gets better and better.
For lunch I had this wonderful roll stuffed with lots of cream cheese, roasted jalepenos and sliced red onion. The bread was like a crusty roll sprinkled with sesame seeds. Excellent.
The strawberry agua fresca was loaded with chopped fruit like most of their aqua frescas so you get a little fruit salad after drinking the beverage. This time of year I suspect they were starting with frozen strawberries.
Bought an absolutely lovely pan de Muertos from Casa Latina in Berkeley this morning. It is a thing of light as air lovliness. While it is bread it reminds me almost of being as light as a sponge cake.
They have lots of sizes of the round bread with bones on top. They have sugared and unsugared. The cinnamon sugar is also a thing of light lovliness, very subtle dusting. The small roll was $1. Not sure about the prices for the large bread.
How does the one from Casa Latina compare to the one at the Cheeseboard? I just bought one from there but am waiting for the rest of my colleagues to arrive before we cut into it. I was wondering if it was worth going to the Cheeseboard for another one if its that much better???
I bought a med. coffee, a small pan de muertos and a large pan de muerto which all came to $6.50, so I'm guessing that the large ones are ~$4.
Go to the Cheeseboard. It is totally different.
Casa Latina made the best of the local Panaderia varieties but it is only a very nice pan duce type of sweet, sort of concha-like. While Cheeseboard had a crust, yeasty dense texture and was fragrant with anise, almost like a good challah but denser and yeastier.
GO .. RUN to Cheeseboard or Arizmendi tommorrow for this bread. Not only is it good Pan de Muertos, it is one of the better breads I've had at Cheeseboard.
The large gingerbread man bread has a lovely anise flavor. It has a great crust and is lighlty glazed. Wonderfully yeasty too. Excellent, just excellent.
From the website ...
"Day of the Dead Bread will be available October 30 thru November 2nd. It is a slightly sweet, yeasted bread with anise and candied orange peel, shaped like a CoRPsE!"
Heck, looked like a gingerbread man to me ... but that was at Cheeseboard. All this goodness for $2.50 ... it's a pretty large bread too.
re: Melanie Wong
The scariest bread was at Pasteria La Favorita on 1433 Fruitdale in Oakland. It looked like a shrouded body with wormy eyes. Sort of reminded me of Munchs (sp) "The Scream" face-wise. It was $5 though and I was sort of burnt out on the standard panaderia bread in this area after the excellent version from Cheeseboard. They said it was the same bread as the round bone bread, just a different shape.
Up the street, Los Mexicanos Bakery (about 1524 Fruivale) had the standard round bones version ... but what they did have was very cool red gelatina in the shape of brains. I might drop by this joint next time I'm in the area and check out the other gelatinas ... looks like above average versions.
Mi Pueblo had some really sloppy cheap-looking ones. Man, you don't want to be in that lot at prime shopping time ... the competition for parking is fierce ... and I always thought the yuppies at Whole Foods SF were bad. Mi Pueblo had a nice selection of house-made yogurt about six flavors. Anyone tried the churro vendor on the corner?
Oh ... if anyone goes to Cheeseboard ... I'm being really nice passing this on because I didn't buy any yet, but the Pierre-Robert Cave is exquisite ... a quadruple-bypass cream that is almost as light as whipped cream. They are also carrying the Fougerus rouzaire from Pierre-Robert ... the cheese with the fern.Wasn't as impressed with it as when I bought it from Milk Pail ... but then again I had it after that other amazing cheese.
Serrano's is a decent enough panaderia, but not close to my favorite. It took years for me to warm up to them. They are always making trays of fresh pan dulce.
The Pan de Muertos was underwhelming though. It was basically just a plain sweet roll. One was the common one around here -round with bones and, in this case, with some granulated sugar in the center only.
There other was the same roll covered in pink icing. I asked what it was supposed to be and the baker said it was supposed to be a doll but they forgot the arms today ... so actually it was kind of an x-rated roll.
I bought a couple from Katrina's yesterday and some turkey mole tamales. I didnt order the huge one - because I didnt call in advance and just showed up so I got the little guys. What was cool is that he gave me the little heads to stick in the pan that a friend had brought up from Oaxaca.
The bread was ok. For some reason though this bakery really underwhelms me - maybe I need to try the Tlayudas? My money is on La Reyna, Costa Chica, and La Mixteca for Pan Dulce in So Co.
Through circumstances beyond my control I wound up on Petaluma today and amazingly at 6pm Katrina's was open ... so what the heck ... I stopped by.
That looked like the version that the majority of panaderias were selling. I was going to ask anyway if there was anise in it ... I'll bet not ... just a standard sweet roll in a different shape, eh? ... but the woman was tied up with some customer and I was too burnt on that variety of pan de muertos.
Katrina's did have the BEST selection of sugar skulls that I've seen anywhere in the Bay Area ... from tiny skulls the size of a fingernail to large decorated skulls. They even had sugar skeletons sitting on sugar coffins.