Concha means shell in Spanish. These sweet, fluffy, and warm sweet breads are topped with a shell pattern, hence the name concha bread. These are delicious with coffee or hot chocolate. Mexican Independence Day is September 16, and just in time, Vegan Mexican Food, a resource of the nonprofit Food Empowerment Project, has been updated and expanded. Thanks to these organization for this tasty contribution, as well as the photo.
- 3 cups warm water
- 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
- Approximately 5 cups all-purpose flour (It varies according to brand and protein content. We recommend about 4 grams of protein content per 1/4 cup. Check nutrition facts on bag.)
- 3/4 cup organic sugar
For the paste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup organic sugar
- 1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (see note)
- About 1/2 cup vegetable oil or vegan butter (melted)
For the concha bread: Add 5 teaspoons of yeast into a mixing bowl with the 3 cups of warm water (approximately 110 F). Mix slightly. Let yeast sit until activated, approximately 10 minutes, or until you start seeing bubbles.
Add 1 cup of flour, mix well. Add ¾ cup of organic sugar and additional 4 cups of flour as needed, mixing well, until dough becomes thick.
Pour the dough on a clean surface and knead dough until it feels cohesive and forms into a ball. Place dough back in mixing bowl. Cover bowl with wet towel so as to prevent dough from drying out. Let dough rest in a warm area for 1 hour.
After one hour, pour the dough onto clean surface and cut into small pieces. Make 2- or 3-inch balls using all the dough and place on a baking sheet. Slightly press each ball against the baking sheet to flatten them somewhat. It should look like a gordita of sorts.
For the paste: (topping for balls of dough): Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add oil or melted vegan butter and mix well until a paste is formed.
Form paste into about 1/2 inch balls.
Cut a plastic bag in half and place each paste ball between the two sheets. Press into circles or tortilla shapes by flattening with a cutting board. A tortilla maker and plastic sheets can also be used to ease the process.
Place each “tortilla” on top of the concha dough balls, shaping is down over the ball. Repeat for each concha.
Once you have all conchas ready on the baking sheets, score the top of the concha with 4 diagonal lines. Repeat scoring in opposite direction 4 times to create a crosshatch or repeating diamond pattern. Repeat for each concha.
Place baking sheet in 370º F preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool. Enjoy.
Note: See F.E.P. Chocolate List for recommended brands.
- Here are more recipes for vegan quick breads.