Day of the Dead Bread Recipes (Video)

Americans celebrate Halloween on October 31st, but Latin Americans start with Halloween and continue the celebration with the Day of the Dead which takes place on November 1st and 2nd. During these days, people create altars with food for deceased children on November 1st and for adults on November 2nd. This tradition has been going on for many years and one of the items that most altars have is Day of the Dead Bread, which is often bland, but this recipe from Néstle La Lechera promises to be sweet and tasty and if you like your bread with an orangey flavor then we have you covered with another recipe.  Or you can do both!

day of the dead breadLa Lechera Day of the Dead Bread

Preparation: 15 minutes

Servings: 2 loaves, 10 servings per loaf


1 packet (7 grams) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water (100-110° F)
½ cup NESTLE LA LECHERA Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon anise seeds
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided


Stir yeast and warm water in a large glass bowl; allow to rest 10 minutes. Heat La Lechera and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Add anise seeds, salt and La Lechera mixture to yeast mixture and stir to combine.
Add eggs and 1 cup flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Continue adding remaining flour, cup by cup, stirring well until dough comes together. Knead dough gently for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. Place in large greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Cut 3 small (about 1 tablespoonful) balls from each half. Roll out 4 small dough balls to form the “bones.” Shape each of larger dough pieces into round loaves. Gently press the bones on top of the loaves crossing each other to make an “X.” Roll the remaining 2 small dough balls to form the “skulls.” Put skulls in middle of each “X” and gently press down. Place loaves on the prepared baking sheet and allow to rise in warm place for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Brush tops of each loaf with egg wash.
Bake for 20 minutes; remove loaves from oven and brush again with egg wash and sprinkle each with half of the granulated sugar. Return to oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Serve warm or cool completely. Best eaten the same day prepared.

Day of the Dead Bread (orange flavor)

Preparation: 120 minutes

Servings: 8 servings per loaf