Guagas de pan Recipe
Guagas de pan
Flavors of Ecuador
Total time: more than 2 hours

Prep. time: 30 minutes including decoration
Resting time: 1 + 2 hours + 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Chef's Note

In Ecuador, on November 2, the Day of the Dead, it is usual to make "guagas de pan," a sweet bread shaped like a swaddled baby, which represents the world of the living, and to serve it with "colada morada," (a fruity drink) that represents the world of the dead. See the  tradition.

Hints and tips
To create uniform figures, draw the shape on parchment paper, cut it out and place it on the dough to cut out the shapes.

- 125 ml / 1/2 cup hot milk
- 1 Tbsp. dry yeast
- 60 g / ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 500 g / 4 cups flour + extra if necessary
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 120 g unsalted butter at room temperature

- 2 egg yolks for brushing
- Raisins
- Decorating paste or icing in various colors
  1.  In a bowl, combine the yeast with the warm milk; let rest until foamy.
  2. Add 60 g (1/2 cup) flour and mix well. Cover. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  3. Mix in the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and remaining flour. Combine well, then mix in the butter.
  4. Work the dough until smooth and elastic. Add a little flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours.
  6. Punch the dough down on a floured work surface.
  7. Roll the dough out to a 2-3 cm thickness. Use a template or paper stencil and cut out the figurines.
  8. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with oil or butter and let rise at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. They should increase in size by about 50%.

Finishing and baking.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C/350° F for 2 cm figurines or 190° C/375° F for 3 cm figurines.
  2. Brush the surface with beaten egg yolk. Stick 2 raisins in each figure to create eyes.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
  4. Let cool completely before decorating.
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