Needing help on making pan dulce (or as most of my Honduran friends call them: semitas). Have used three different recipes, one of which was translated (I thought okay). The last one looked the most promising; however it still isn't the right consistancy. Having tried homemade semitas from a friend's mom who is a baker, they're supposed to have the texture and consistancy of a croissant and a gentle, sweet taste. Today's batch while tasty had the texture of a biscuit with a tough shell and the sweet topping didn't fully integrate as is pictured most often. As this was the third try, I remembered to proof the yeast, figured out that I didn't have a warm enough environ for the bread to rise, fixed that problem. As for the topping, I think the dough dried out too much and so the topping couldn't melt into the dough as everything baked. Also not entirely sure but trying to handmix the flour in (no stand mixer), dad reminded me of the dough hook of the hand mixer which combined all the flour in but I think the texture was right for semitas before all the flour was mixed in. Here's the entire recipe, am hoping someone can help me out.
1 tablespoon or one package dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups flour
4 eggs, beaten and at room temperature
Topping (please see below)
Mix 1 tablespoon of sugar and yeast into lukewarm water. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Slowly add in eggs, salt, and the yeast in the water. Add flour in, 1 cup at a time until incorporated. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Divide dough into 16 pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet with plenty of space between each dough ball. Press each ball slightly to flatten it. Let the dough rise for an hour. After the dough is on its way to rising, see to the topping.
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
optional- food coloring
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
With your hands, divide the topping into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and roll it out on a floured surface until it is large enough to cover each piece of dough, about 5 inches in diameter. Lightly press topping onto dough and use a knife to cut a pattern into the topping, but not into the dough.
You can do something as simple as lines across the top, or a criss-cross pattern. If you do nothing, the topping will create its own cracks, which is also interesting looking.
After you add the topping, bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until bread is lightly golden.
Any help would be appreciated!