Conchas by Winnie Archer – Featuring Our Guest Blogger Kim Davis
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
½ cup lukewarm milk
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
3½–4 cups all-purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray for greasing the cookie sheet
Cinnamon and Vanilla Topping
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Prepare the conchas dough by dissolving the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl. Add the milk, sugar, butter, egg, and salt. Next, stir in 2 cups of the flour and mix until smooth. Add more flour, a little at a time, until the dough is easy to handle and forms a ball.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, and then turn it so that it is greased side up. Cover the bowl, place it in a warm place, and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1½ hours. You’ll know the dough is ready if an indentation remains after you press on it.
4. While the conchas dough is rising, prepare the topping. Beat together the sugar and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour and mix until a dough with the consistency of a thick paste forms.
5. Divide the topping dough into 2 equal portions. Mix the cinnamon into the first portion and the vanilla extract into the second portion. Divide each portion of topping dough into 6 equal pieces, and then pat each piece into a 3-inch circle. Set the circles aside.
6. Next, grease a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Punch the conchas dough down and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape the pieces into balls and place the balls on the prepared cookie sheet.
7. Place 1 topping circle on each ball of conchas dough. Shape the circle so that it fits over the ball. Make about 5 cuts across each topping circle to create a shell pattern.
8. Cover the dough balls and let them rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. When 15 minutes of rising remain, preheat the oven to 375°F.
9. Bake the conchas for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Makes 12 conchas
Residing in Southern California, Kim Davis turned her hobby of reading and cooking into the blog, Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder. With a focus on culinary cozy mysteries, she makes a recipe from each book she reviews, both photographing and creating step-by-step videos of the dish to help novice cooks. Kim has been a guest blogger on Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen and Dying for Chocolate.
Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .
Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .
But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!