Hi, I'm Parker 👋
Instead of buying me a coffee, check out the best coffee I've ever had (And it's instant!)
Export 9 ingredients for grocery delivery
Have each ingredient ready and measured (by weight) before starting, and thoroughly read the notes above. Mix the all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed, just to mix it well.
Add the butter and mix well (using the stand mixer with the hook attachment), then mix in the eggs and vanilla extract and slowly pour the milk in little by little until the dough looks cohesive (you may need less or more milk, as some flours soak up more liquid than others). Keep beating the mixture for about 7 minutes at medium speed. Add a little more flour around the inside of the bowl (2-3 tablespoons), just enough for the dough to separate from the container. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
YOUR DOUGH SHOULD FEEL VERY SOFT AND ELASTIC.
Place the dough on your floured working table and knead it just enough to shape it into a ball.
Place this ball in a large greased bowl to rest. Cover it with a plastic wrap (or wax paper) and a kitchen napkin. Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 2 hours until it doubles in size. I usually turn the light on in my oven and place the bowl inside, close to the light. Be aware that if your kitchen is cold, the dough will take longer to rise. Be patient and do not try to proceed to the next step until the mixture has doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, you can prepare the sugar topping. Soften the shortening with your spatula until it is very creamy, and then add the confectioner’s sugar. Finally, add in the flour little by little (if using, add the ground cinnamon in this step). Set this paste aside to use later. If you’re making half of the Conchas with the chocolate topping, then divide the paste in two and add the cocoa powder to one half, mixing it until it integrates very well.
Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, place it onto a floured surface and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 16 small balls (60 grams each). To shape the balls, lightly flour your hands and place each small ball on the working surface and gently press down with your hand, rotating your hand to form the balls.
Place them onto greased baking sheets and continue until you’ve finished shaping all of the dough.
Using your hands, grease the top of each ball with a little shortening. Do not skip this step, as it will help the topping adhere to the dough.
To add the topping, flour your hands and divide the topping paste into 16 balls. Use your hands to press down on each one to form a small, flat circle (I like to use a sheet of plastic, like when making tortillas). Place this disk onto the ball of dough, and press it down very firmly.
Once you’ve finished placing the topping on the buns, use a concha cutter or a knife to decorate them with the traditional concha shape.
Allow the conchas to rise in a warm place until they are almost double in size. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, this step could take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Do not leave them to rise any longer, because if you let them grow too much they will collapse inside the oven. Bake in a preheated oven at 325º degrees for 20 minutes, or until the bottom of the conchas are lightly golden. If you are placing more than one baking sheet in your oven, rotate them after 10-12 minutes. Move the sheet on the bottom rack to the top rack and vice versa to have an even baking.
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy the results. Baking (with or without yeast) can sometimes be tricky, and it can help to try out different recipes to see what works for you. There are many other concha recipes out there on the web, for example, the one at Pati’s Mexican TablePati’s Mexican Table or the one from Marcela Valladolid. The only recipe I’m not very confident about is the one at the King Arthur website, since it is very different than a regular concha recipe you will find in Mexico.