Valentine's Day is coming up and I don't know about you, but if someone gave me vegan heart-shaped conchas, I would be the happiest person in the world, haha 🙂 (NOTE: it doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to make things in the shape of a heart, just prepare them any day you want :P).
This type of traditional mexican bread, oh boy oooooooooh boy, what a treat! It’s so good! Definitely one of my favorite types of bread/dessert. It's just that the combination of the fluffy bun and the sweet and crunchy topping, and then if you upgrade it to the next level and serve it with some hot mexican cocoa when it's chilly... It's pure perfection!
Watch it step by step
This recipe is a staple at home whenever we’re feeling like having some bread for dessert on the weekend or for family gatherings, it’s really yummy. You can’t actually tell it’s vegan, hihi. So, as long as these vegan heart-shaped conchas don’t overbake, they turn out super fluffy and soft. There is no need to use egg because I promise you, the texture is great.
The only thing I would recommend is to use a good instant yeast, which does not leave that strange bitter aftertaste, because if there’s something I’ve learnt over the time about baking bread, is that the quality of the yeast you use is key to determine the taste of bread, beyond just the level of fluffiness. Because, as long as they have not expired and we do not kill them with the temperature of the water or environment, etc., they all should work just fine to make doughs rise successfully, but definitely some have a stronger flavor than others. But aside from that, these conchas are easy to make and so delicious!
To give these conchas a heart shape, we are going to make a paper "template" to trace the hearts and make them the same size, but if you have a good size heart-shaped cookie cutter, use it instead of the paper template.
An important thing to take into consideration when making these vegan heart-shaped conchas is the thickness of the dough. Remember that the thicker the dough, the puffier the conchas will be, but at the same time you will get fewer pieces. Also, depending on the size, the baking time is likely to slightly vary. So, keep that in mind and keep an eye on your conchas when baking them.
Let’s make these Vegan Heart-Shaped Conchas ♥
Vegan Heart-Shaped Conchas
- 1 cup dairy-free milk, warm
- 70 g sugar (6 tbsp)
- 2¼ teaspoon instant dry yeast
- 42 g margarine or coconut oil, melted (3 tbsp)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 400 g all purpose flour (3⅓ cups)
- 125 g powdered sugar (1 cup)
- 195 g all purpose flour (1½ cups + 2 tbsp)
- 125 g margarine, at room temperature (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk
- Red or pink food coloring
- Mix the milk with the sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for 8-10 minutes to activate the yeast.
- Add the margarine or oil, vanilla, salt and mix. In a large bowl, add the flour and little by little pour the previous mixture. Mix until you get a sticky dough.
- Knead for 8-10 minutes until very smooth, but not sticky to your hands.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size (approx. 1 hour).
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a work surface previously dusted with a little bit of flour.
- Roll the dough out (to the thickness of your preference; I went for about 5mm thick). Cut the dough into a heart shape, either with a paper template, as shown in the video, or with a cookie cutter.
- Transfer to a tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat – leave enough space between each piece-.
- To prepare the topping: in a bowl, add the icing sugar, flour, margarine, vanilla, food coloring (add the latter little by little until desired hue), and mix with your hands until you get a homogeneous dough. Add a tablespoon of milk only if the dough requires it, that is, it breaks easily and feels slightly dry.
- Divide the vanilla topping into 9 parts. Flatten them with a tortilla press or a plate or even just with your hands (it's much easier if you place them between two pieces of plastic to make them flattening easier), until you get thin disks. Cut each disk into the same heart shape and size. Place on top of the dough hearts and press lightly. Repeat this process until all the conchas are complete.
- Using a flour dusted knife or concha cutter, make your preferred pattern on the topping by pressing the knife or cutter into the toppings (you can do just lines or a grid).
- Cover the conchas with a kitchen towel and let them rise for 20-30 min. in a warm place.
- Fifteen minutes before they finish rising, preheat the oven to 345 °F (170°C).
- Bake on the center rack of the oven for 17-19 min. or until the conchas are lightly golden brown on top and bottom. NOTE: The time may vary depending on the thickness of the dough and the size of the heart. This time (17-19 min) is approximate for a dough thickness of 5 mm and a heart size of 14x12 cm.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool completely before eating (they’ll finish baking with the rest of the heat inside the conchas).