These beautiful breakfast buns are perfect with both a morning coffee or as a slice of sweet sandwich bread.
For the conchas:
- 1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/4t)
- 1/2C warm water
- 1/2C warm whole milk
- 1t + 1/2C granulated sugar
- 1/2C vegetable shortening
- 1t kosher salt
- 1t vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 300g all-purpose flour
- 200g bread flour (+1T just in case the dough is too wet)
- 3/4t ground cinnamon
- vegetable oil for the bowl
For the topping:
- 1/3C powdered sugar
- 1/4C all-purpose flour
- 1/4C almond flour
- 4 – 4 1/2T unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
- 1T cocoa powder
- Put your warm milk and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and add 1t of sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to activate the yeast. It should be nice and bubbly, if it isn’t, you’ll need to throw everything out and start over with new yeast.
- Add the rest of the granulated sugar, shortening, salt, eggs, and flours. With the dough hook attached, begin mixing on medium speed for about 10 minutes. It should be a smooth and slightly elastic dough that pulls away from the bowl. If after 10 minutes, the dough is still too wet, start slowly sprinkling in the reserved 1T of bread flour.
- Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rest for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Grease two baking sheets.
- Divide the dough into 13 equal balls. They should be about 75g each. Place them 2″ apart on the baking sheet and make the topping.
- In the clean bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the powdered sugar, flour, almond flour, 4T of butter, and salt. Mix until it achieves a cookie-dough like consistency. If it appears too crumbly, add the reserve 1/2T of butter.
- Put half of the topping into a new bowl and add the 1T of cocoa powder to it, mixing thoroughly, so there are no white patches left. Now you should have enough topping for 6 white-topped conchas and 7 chocolate conchas.
- Moisten your fingers (and keep a small bowl of water nearby to keep them moist), take about 1T of the topping, and press it to create a 1/8″ thick disk. Gently press it onto the dough balls, so it covers most of the area.
- Cover the baking sheets with a towel and let rise again in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size again.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Score the tops of your conchas to give them their signature shell appearance, but be careful not to cut too deep, you just want to pierce the topping. Bake the conchas for 20 minutes. Let cool and serve fresh!