Vegan Vanilla Conchas
This recipe is featured in Dia De Los Muertos
For the conchas:
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 148 ml (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) soy milk, at room temperature
- 503 ml (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) bread flour
- 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) salt
- 118 ml (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 71 ml (1/3 cup) cooked mashed sweet potato
- 118 ml (½ cup) vegan butter
For the topping:
- 71 ml (1/3 cup) vegan butter
- 71 ml (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
- 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 118 ml (½ cup) all-purpose flour
- 2.5 ml (½ teaspoon) ground cinnamon
- For the conchas: In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the soy milk. Let sit 5 minutes.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, with the dough hook, combine the dry ingredients: the flour, salt, and sugar. Mix to blend.
3. Add the mashed sweet potato to the yeast-milk mixture, and whisk to combine. Add to the flour mixture and mix on low until the dough begins to come together, about 3 minutes. Add the softened butter little by little and increase speed to medium. Mix for 15 minutes, until the dough has come off the sides of the bowl and is smooth and stretchy but not sticky (if the dough is too sticky add a little more flour).
4. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough and fold the side over unto each other and flip. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
5. The next day take the dough from the fridge, remove the plastic wrap and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place 21-24°C (70-75°F) until the dough comes to room temperature, about an hour.
6. Divide the dough into 10 pieces weighing about 70 grams (2.5 ounces), and set aside, roll them tightly into rounds and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment. Press down on the rounds to form a dome shape.
7. For the topping: Cream butter and sugar with a whisk or hand mixer. Add vanilla, flour, and cinnamon and mix well. Knead lightly to fully incorporate. It should have the consistency of a soft play-dough. If it’s too sticky or wet add flour in small amounts until you’ve reached the right consistency.
8. Divide topping into 10 balls the size of a large gum-ball. Take two sheet of plastic wrap, and one at a time place a ball of the topping between the two plastic sheets and press down with hand until it is large enough to cover the top of concha. Peel one side of the plastic wrap off, then take the piece of plastic wrap with the topping on it and place it down on the concha. Slowly peel of the plastic wrap. Repeat this process until all 10 conchas are done.
9. Using a concha cutter, dusted with flour, press down on the topping and the concha to make the design. (Don’t be afraid to press down hard and flatten the concha a little.) Preheat oven to 177°C (350°F). Let conchas rise for 40 min. in a warm place 21-24°C (70-75°F) or until doubled in size.
10. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 -25 min. or until the sides and bottoms of your conchas are golden brown.