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Gluten-Free Pan de Muerto (Day of the Dead Bread)

Try this gluten-free version of Pan de Muerto, a sweet bread traditionally served on Día de los Muertos, November 1 & 2, in Latin cultures.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Resting time3 hrs
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: gluten-free, gluten-free bread
Servings: 6
Calories: 343kcal
Author: K.C. Cornwell


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water 110 degrees F/45 degrees C
  • 3 cups Gluten Free flour blend sifted with 2 teaspoons xanthan gum (if not already in the blend) & DIVIDED
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons anise seed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest


  • Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).
  • In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour blend, yeast, salt, anise seed and sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft. Stop adding flour if the dough starts to become stiff (you may not need all the flour!)
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly with floured hands.
  • Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
  • Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly.
  • Sprinkle the top with sugar or cinnamon as desired.


I often add a touch of “Not Xanthan Not Guar” from Pamela's Products when I bake breads like this. I've found it is a better binder than gums, and provides better texture. You can find it here: http://amzn.to/2jLzKwy


Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 289mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 332IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3mg