Conchas

90 minutes
to prep

25–30 minutes
to cook

6 medium-size conchas

About this Recipe

Concha means shell in Spanish. These sweet, fluffy and warm sweet breads are topped with a shell pattern. These are delicious with coffee or hot chocolate.

Recipe by: Oscar Narváez of The Chunky Scones,
Photos by: Oscar Narváez

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 cups of high-protein flour (bread flour with 4 grams of protein or more per ¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup of warm water
  • ½ teaspoon of dry baker’s yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

For the paste:

  • ½ cup of high-protein flour (bread flour with 4 grams of protein or more per ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (add 3 teaspoons or more, if you want it extra chocolate-y) of cocoa powder, peanut butter or desired flavoring*
  • About ¼ cup of coconut oil

*See F.E.P. Chocolate List for recommended brands

Lao-Style Pho

Step-by-Step Instructions

For the dough:
  1. Measure 2 cups of high-protein flour (bread flour with 4 grams of protein or more per ¼ cup) and put them in a mixing bowl.
  2. Measure 1/4 cup of sugar and add it to your bowl. Mix well with a whisk until the flour and sugar are hard to difference from one another.
  3. Add 1 ¼ cup of warm water to the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until a uniform dough is formed. A silicone spatula works best to mix all the ingredients! Cover your bowl with a damp towel or a plastic bag (to prevent your dough from drying out) and let rest for 30 minutes.
For the dough after rest:
  1. After the 30 minutes have passed, measure 1/2 of a teaspoon of dry baker’s yeast and add it to your dough.
  2. Measure ¼ teaspoon of salt and add it to your dough.
  3. Hand-mix your dough. Wet your hand with warm water 2-4 times to prevent dough from sticking to your hand.
  4. Mix your dough thoroughly until you have mixed well all the ingredients and your dough is elastic and cohesive. Let rest for one to two hours or until dough has doubled in size.
For the paste:
  1. In a clean mixing bowl, add ½ cup of high-protein flour (bread flour with 4 grams of protein or more per ¼ cup) and ½ cup of powdered sugar. At this point, you can add the flavor for your concha paste. For example, if it is a chocolate concha, add 2 teaspoons (add 3 teaspoons or more if you want it extra chocolate-y) of cocoa powder to your bowl. Mix well with a whisk.
  2. Melt ¼ of cup of coconut oil and add it to your bowl. Mix well using a silicone spatula (recommended.)
  3. With your hands, form the paste into a ball. Cut in 6 equal pieces.
To make your conchas:
  1. Find a clean surface to work. Any countertop can be used as your workstation.
  2. Grab a handful of flour and dust your countertop. This is done to prevent your dough from sticking to the surface.
  3. On the flour dusted area, pour your dough that has been resting and should have risen to double its size by now. If it has not risen to double in size, let it rest until it has done so and then proceed with this step.
  4. With a kitchen knife, cut your dough into 6 or more pieces. Shape into little balls and cover them with a little bit of melted coconut oil. Put on a clean baking tray and let them rest for 30 minutes or so while you work on your paste.
  5. Using a plastic bag cut in half, put each pre-cut ball of paste in the middle of it and press with a cutting board or something flat but heavy to make a tortilla-like paste. As you are working on each ball of paste to make your topping for your conchas, start putting them on top of your balls of dough as you work through them. Keep going until each dough ball has its own topping.
  6. Score your conchas to any design desired. Make them unique!
  7. Put your conchas in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown at 350 F.
  8. Take out from the oven using a heat-resistant glove and let them cool a little bit.
  9. Enjoy your freshly baked conchas with your friends and family with a cup of vegan hot cocoa or coffee.