Pan De Muerto (Bread of the Dead)

Serves 20

125g butter

125ml milk

550g plain flour

2tsp dry yeast

1tsp salt

1tbsp anise seeds

190g caster sugar

4 eggs

190ml orange juice

2tbsp orange zest

Icing sugar, to decorate

Pop the butter, milk and 125ml water in a pan over a medium heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is nearly boiling. Take off the heat and set aside.

Put 165g of the flour into a mixing bowl with the yeast, salt, anise seeds and 95g sugar and mix together.

Once combined, gradually beat in the warm milk mixture, followed by the eggs and another 125g of the flour. Keep adding in flour until it forms a soft ball of dough that’s not sticky when prodded.

Put the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until it’s nice and elastic.

Pop into a lightly greased bowl, turn it a couple of times so it’s well coated, cover and set aside in a warm spot to rise. It should take about an hour and a half to double in size.

Punch the dough down and form into simple skull and bone shapes – make a whole skeleton if you’ve got the attention span.

Cover with a tea towel and return to the warm spot to rise for another hour. Pop the oven on at 180C/gas 4 to preheat.

Once the second rising is done, bake the bread for 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Meanwhile, make up the glaze by putting 95g sugar, the orange juice and the zest into a pan. Bring to the boil and keep going for two minutes. Apply to the bread fresh out of the oven while still warm.

Sprinkle with icing sugar before the glaze is set.