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Conchas (Mexican Sweet-topped Buns)

Ingredients

Buns

  • 1 package regular active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

Flavored Topping Dough

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel

Instructions

  1. Buns: Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth.
  2. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
  3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a large greased bowl, then turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 1/2 hours. The dough is ready if it leaves an indentation when touched.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare Flavored Topping Dough. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent from drying.
  5. Punch dough down. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Flavored Topping Dough: Beat sugar and margarine until light and fluffy. Stir in flour until mixture is the consistency of thick paste. Divide into 3 equal parts. Stir cinnamon into one part, vanilla extract into one part and orange peel into one part.
  7. Divide each part of dough into 4 equal pieces. Pat each piece into a 3-inch circle. Place 1 circle of Topping Dough on each ball of dough, shaping it down over the ball. Make 5 or 6 cuts across the topping, using a table knife, to form a shell pattern. Cover and let rise until double — about 40 minutes.
  8. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake buns until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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