What exactly is a concha? It is the most popular of many different pan dulces or sweet breads found in Mexico. This sweetbread shares its name with the Spanish word for shell. Often the markings in the top layer of the bread resemble the marking of a shell. The bread is a staple for breakfast or late evening snack and has two layers and can be dipped in coffee or eaten with a hot chocolate, hot milk or coffee. The bottom layer is very like a traditional sweet bun and the topping is a mixture of sugars, flour and lard and food colouring. The ingredients are flour, sugar, yeast, salt and lard.
Wheat flour was introduced to Latin American by the Spaniards and wheat flour not corn flour was important to the bread used in the Catholic Church and the concha was often referred to as el pan nuestra de cada día – the daily bread in the Lord’s prayer.
Why do I mention conchas in this blog? My husband and I made a batch of conchas, covered with the crumbly pink icing to share them with Mexican migrant workers in our area. Conchas are not found in our grocery stores.