Pan Dulce { Brioche dough part 2 }

Spending the early part of my childhood in Texas one of my fondest memories was of Pan Dulce, and if anything could transport me magically through time it would be those sweet rolls.   My grandmother would often have them on hand or send me to Alejandro’s on the corner,  and if I was lucky he would still have a few left….sigh   It’s been years since I had even thought of those wonderful rolls, and when I saw the recipe for them in Nick Malgieri’s latest cookbook bake! , I knew I just had to make them.    The task of making the fresh dough was the only thing keeping me from those incredible buns, then I happened to be going through my Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a day, and saw the recipe for brioche dough!   Making this dough took a leap of faith, since other than the artisan bread, I had never baked using yeast before.    If you read my last post then you know  how good that dough turned out, so look out world I was going to make Pan Dulce!

Pan dulce

4.9 from 7 reviews
Pan Dulce {conchas , Mexican Buns}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast Bread
Serves: 12
  • 1½ cups lukewarm water
  • 1½ Tbsp granulated yeast (2 packets)
  • 1½ Tbsp coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 8 eggs lightly beaten
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1½ Cups unsalted butter, melted (3 sticks)
  • 7½ cups all purpose flour
Topping for Pan Duice
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup confectioners sugar
  • ⅔ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted after measuring
  1. Mix the yeast, salt, water in the bowl of your mixer, mix well
  2. Add in eggs, honey and melted butter, and continue to mix until well blended
  3. Add in flour and using your dough hook, incorporate all the flour, mix just enough so that all the flour is mixed in.
  4. The dough may look loose and wetter than you think it should be, it may also look like it has lumps, that's ok.
  5. Transfer dough to another bowl, cover with a towel and allow to sit and rise for two hours.
  6. Chill dough for at least 2 hours, before making the rolls*
  1. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter using the paddle attachment
  2. Add in confectioners sugar and flour and continue to mix until creamy.
  3. Add in vanilla and increase speed to whip into mixture.
  4. Scrape down bowl and remove half of the mixture. Mixture should have the consistency of a soft dough.
  5. Add cocoa powder to remaining dough and mix well.
  6. roll doughs on floured surface making logs of each flavor topping.
  7. roll logs in plastic wrap and set aside
  8. cut out twelve 2 oz pieces of dough, using floured hands roll each piece into a ball, by pulling the dough down and around, pulling it tight at the bottom.
  9. Place dough ball on baking sheet and continue the process until all are done.
  10. cover with a towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  12. After the rolls have puffed slightly* take each cylinder of the topping and slice into six equal pieces.
  13. Flatten the pieces out with your hand until they are as big as the roll top.
  14. Place each piece on a roll, and flatten the buns out some
  15. use a knife blade side up, and mark the topping on each bun by making 3-4 lines in the dough with the knife(don't cut the topping, just leave deep impressions)
  16. make any type of cross patterns that you like.
  17. Cover the buns and allow to rise for another 20 minutes
  18. Bake for 20 minutes or until the roll is a nice deep golden brown.
I did make this from fresh dough that had risen at room temperature for 2½ hours and they were perfect! you can also just use coarse granulated sugar as the topping


Since I gave you a recipe for brioche dough for those lovely Caramel Pecan Buns, and you still have half a batch on hand, I thought it was only fair to give you something else to do with the dough!  I made these buns 3 times and they came out perfectly each time.  The last batch I made was from fresh dough that had not been refrigerated and they were perfect!  I did make them a little too big, and I would advise using no more than 2 ounces of dough for each bun, they make a perfect size to serve with coffee or traditionally hot chocolate!

Since we’re talking about Mexico, I would like to mention that my friend Maggie from Maggie Cooks is holding her first giveaway, please stop by and offer your support,  you never know you might end up winning!

I’m afraid that’s all for today my friends, it’s off to bed for me!  These first few weeks always take their toll on all of us at work while our bodies get use to the demand of performing at that level, right now everything hurts…lol   I hate to think its just old age catching up to me but in my younger days it wouldn’t have fazed me a bit, and there might have been a bit of celebrating at the end of each day, if I remember correctly!

Enjoy the rest of your week, the weekend is coming soon!




  1. Chef Dennis you did a wonderful job on the pan dulce. I loved having it for breakfast on Sunday mornings, especially with a big mug of Mexican hot chocolate. As always the photos are lovely. Thanks for sharing this recipe, brought back great memories =]

  2. Yummy! I actually had pan dulce yesterday! I can’t wait for winter to come so I can have some soaked in hot chocolate!! 🙂
    on this month they make them green white and red like the mexican flag!
    thank you for the shout out chef dennis you are a great friend!!!! 🙂

  3. Chef these are perfect…. they look delicious! I would love to try your recipe soon. Thanks 🙂

  4. These look fabulous! When I was a kid, living in New Mexico, I had them….but I’ve never seen them since. I’m thrilled to see this recipe! I adore Maggie and her blog and I’ve already entered for her giveaway!

  5. I’ve never had this not have I heard of it! These look so incredible!!

  6. i never realized you could make pan dulce from brioche dough… the wonders of brioche keep on amazing me!

  7. I had to scroll up to the top of this post to make sure I was reading your blog. I was more than just surprised that artisan bread was your first adventure in yeast. 🙂

  8. Wow – there are so many different things you can call “pan dulce” in the Spanish-speaking world that I’ve managed to never see or try these! (Where I was born, pan dulce is the Christmastime panettone.) I do love brioche, though, even if it’s been years since I made it. That topping enough makes me wonder whether I dare press Ye Olde Kenwood into service. Hmmm…

  9. What a fantastic post and the pictures make my mouth water. It is great that you mentioned Maggie’s giveaway. The items she has are so cute.

  10. OMG! this sounds fantastic! it remembers my granny too, and my childhood, the breakfast with “chocolate caliente y pan dulce” omg, more than water in my mouth I have a tear on my chick, beautiful memories, thanks for share the recipe!!

  11. These look incredible. I need to get the guts to make this! I am so intimidated by bread. Looks amazing

  12. Oh this brings back happy memories for me too! I lived in Tucson, AZ for 15 years, you would see Conchas everywhere. I had a dream last night I was making brioche. Guess that is a sign I need to make both your recipes! These look fantastic! Take care, Terra

  13. Everything you make looks just amazing! I am definitely trying out this recipe for pan dulce (and the caramel pecan buns, and…) 🙂

  14. Yum, I’ve never made these and I’m looking forward to it! I sure wish I had one right now with my cup of coffee. It would complete my coffee moment!

  15. This pan dulce looks wonderful, Dennis! Once I got over my fear of yeast, there was no stopping me. This recipe will be next on my list to try.

  16. Pan Dulce…!!! Something that I really like is the sweet breads. Thanks for sharing this.

  17. This is something new for me…….looks so tempting…..Bookamarked.

  18. How stinkin cool!!! These look and sound amazing!

  19. Oh wow, I love pan dulce! I haven’t had it in forever, but you’re sure making me want to make some now. 🙂

  20. Love, love, love this, Chef Dennis! I am hoping to get a concha cutter for my birthday, but in the interim, I really like the way that you scored yours – they look so pretty! Thanks for sharing!!

  21. Wow you’ve made some pretty buns! I love the topping =)

  22. I’ve never heard of these before, thanks for the introduction.

  23. I have always thought that there is a trick to getting these buns just right. Where I worked some people brought these in from bakeries and some were like big crackers and some were pretty tasty.
    Based on your picture, yours look like they have a wonderful texture-well done.

  24. Chef you are amazing!!! I have never seen this before so I am a newbie but man does it look fantastic! You make it look and sound so easy!

  25. I’ve never had this type of bun before, but it looks like something I would LOVE (not that I need another fattening thing to LOVE ;-)). Our friends from Illinois adore Mexican food, perhaps when we see them next time, I shall try my hand at these. Are they a breakfast bun?

    • I don’t think there just for breakfast, these buns are served with hot chocolate traditionally, but go well with coffee, or just about anything!

  26. I so wish I was your next door neighbor right about now!

  27. These look phenomenal – I’m going to have to give the recipe a try.

  28. Piggy Chef…. I made this before and I love this Mexican bun . My version , the bun is the fluffy Asian type of dough whereby it more airy and light. You reminded me how long ago since I last made this:). I shall try your version and by the way , can I reduce the nos of egg to just 4 ? :p thanks so much for the recipe. And btw I am thinking of getting the book artisan bread in 5 minutes , do u think it is a good book to add to my collection of bread books by Peter Reinhart ?? and that lastest book by Nick Malgieri ‘bake’ would you recommend me to get them both? So much to ask you 🙂
    Have a nice day

  29. Hi Chef, love to try this pan dulce… I never tried this before and I hope I could get the same taste. I

  30. This is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cool! Pan Dulce is very popular here because of my proximity to Mexico. I have ALWAYS wondered how they made the topping! I was so excited to tell my husband! Great post, Dennis!

  31. Ooh not only brioche but a Mexican version. I only bake the poorer, simpler challah! 🙂

  32. I’ve never heard of pan dulce before, but sign me up for anything with brioche!

  33. Funny, what a coincidence I made pan dulce 2 weeks ago from scratch for a ‘Mexican breakfast’ theme challenge.

  34. If I ever get the chance to try Mexican buns, I want them to look like this 😉

  35. I’m not a huge bread baker. I don’t have the patience for it. And I’m okay with that. I will just come to your house and indulge over there! This looks amazing!!

  36. I’ve never heard of pan dulce before, but it seems like a tasty breakfast treat to me! And I definitely feel ya about being worn out! I’m ready for the weekend, that’s for sure =)

  37. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting your new posts, grabbed your url again, so hopefully I can fix it. Love Maggie’s buns I love working with yeast will have to try these. Hope you both have a great weekend.

  38. This is the first time I’ve heard of Pan Dulce. Now I want to try it!

  39. Oh boy, this one also always takes me back to my days in Texas. I lived there until I was 35, but as a kid, we would always go down the street to the Mexican bakery and buy these for a nickel!

    Thanks for the memories!

  40. First of all yum! This looks like the perfect comfort food! And Dennis I just now realized that I didn’t update my feedburner when you changed. Oof! All fixed now!

  41. Chef Dennis, I did a double-take when I saw this photo! We used to eat at a truck stop (near Laredo) that had an in-house bakery. I could never decide between these two, so I’d get both. 🙂 I couldn’t remember what they were called, so THANK YOU for recreating a very happy food memory.

  42. Those buns look delicious! I do have a question about how the texture is on these. I haven’t had conchas but I do love the Asian-style buns that resemble them (pineapple buns) which resemble these.

    • they have a very nice light texture, soft not chewy, while not falling apart. being that I made them from brioche dough I think their lighter than most. I’m not familiar with the Asian style buns but they do sound very good!

  43. Great site! Just ran into Ito this evening! Love the posts and recipes. Do stop by my blog sometime: Annarasa – essence of food.

    Apu @ Annarasa

  44. A Brionez says:

    I’ve got the dough rising and I can’t wait to taste test! Question: in the topping instructions it says to add vanilla, but I don’t see vanilla in the ingredients? I assume 1 tsp is sufficient? Thanks!

    • Thanks so much for letting me know, yes 1 tsp will be great! Let me know how they turn out, mine brought back so many childhood memories!

  45. caroluski says:

    I made these today. I know its been more than a year since you posted these but I only comment after I’ve tried and I was very impressed with the results. These were a staple
    at our house growing up and still are and when I sent a pic of my results to the family
    They were in awe and couldn’t believe I had made them. Thankyou yet again Chef D

    • I’m so happy to hear that you made those delicious buns… they were a big part of me growing up in Texas, I do love them. The dough is incredible and so easy to make, I don’t know if you tried using it for the sticky buns, but OMG they are amazing!

      Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoyed them!


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