Traditional Pan Dulce Recipe

‘Pan dulce’ literally means sweet bread in Spanish and it is traditionally made in Gibraltar at Christmas time and Easter time. Pan dulce is a loaf shaped cake (so to speak) which has a firm crumb, is a bit on the dry side and is laden with raisins, candied fruits, walnuts, almonds and pine nuts, perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. This recipe makes 3 loaves with about 12 servings each, so there is enough to give to friends and family.

Traditional Pan Dulce Recipe
Yield: 36 Servings
Difficulty: Medium
Cooking time:
Metric
US/Cups

Ingredients

  • 680 g of self raising flour
  • 5 eggs, medium (or 4 large)
  • 115 g butter
  • 60 g seedless raisins
  • 60 g blanched almonds
  • 60 g walnuts
  • 60 g glacé cherries
  • 60 g candied fruit (candied pumpkin is traditionally used)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75 ml dry aniseed liqueur (known as ‘aguardiente’)
  • ‘Hundreds and thousands’ sprinkles
  • 5⅔ cups of self raising flour
  • 5 eggs, medium (or 4 large)
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 oz seedless raisins
  • 2 oz blanched almonds
  • 2 oz walnuts
  • 2 oz glacé cherries
  • 2 oz candied fruit (candied pumpkin is traditionally used)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup of dry aniseed liqueur (known as ‘aguardiente’)
  • ‘Hundreds and thousands’ sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is creamy.
  2. Add the aniseed liqueur pouring it slowly and whisking the mix at the same time.
  3. In another bowl sieve the flour with the baking powder. Mix the flour and the butter with your hands as if making a crumble.
  4. Pour the the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients and mix until they are combined and it forms a dough.

    Pan dulce, mixing wet and dry ingredients
    Pan dulce, mixing wet and dry ingredients
  5. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and start kneading the dough on it. This needs to be done for at least 15 minutes, until it no longer sticks to your hands, adding some more flour to the surface from time to time as you knead.
  6. Add the raisins, glacé cherries, candied fruit, almonds and pine nuts in a bowl and sprinkle some flour on them. Give them a good mix so all the surfaces are covered in flour. This will prevent them sinking to the bottom of each loaf.

    Covering the fruit and nuts with flour
    Covering the fruit and nuts with flour
  7. Stretch the dough to a layer a few centimetres thick and cover with the nuts and fruits.

    Pan dulce, adding the candied fruit and nuts
    Pan dulce, adding the candied fruit and nuts
  8. Fold the dough and start kneading again until you feel the nuts and fruits are more or less evenly distributed.

    Fold the fruit and nuts into the dough
    Fold the fruit and nuts into the dough
  9. Divide the dough ball into 3 and shape each one into an oval shape loaf.
  10. Brush the top of each loaf with some milk and run a knife along the top creating a crisscross pattern.
  11. Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands sprinkles.

    Pan dulce ready to go in the oven
    Pan dulce ready to go in the oven
  12. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C (355F) without the fan (otherwise the surface will bake and the inside will be uncooked), for 45 minutes.

    Pan dulce
    Pan dulce

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