Burned bread, panquemao or toña
Typical in Easter and Easter, the panquemao or toña is a very popular sweet in Alicante that is consumed throughout the Valencian Community during those days. We bring you an easy and homemade recipe so that you can enjoy this sweet all year round.
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Toña, mona, panquemao, fogaseta o fogaza, pa socarrat... This sweet receives very different names depending on the region in which it is prepared, although its ingredients and the way in which they are made coincide.
The panquemao is a brioche typical of the province of Alicante and Murcia, which is consumed almost throughout the Valencian Community at Easter. It is the same mass as the Easter monkey in this region, although the monkey is usually shaped like an animal, has a boiled egg and is less toasted than the toña. Toñas or panquemaos are consumed throughout the year while Easter monas are typical of Holy Week.
Panquemado valenciano is shaped like bread. Its interior, tender and spongy, contrasts with its outer layer, dark and toasted. Hence its name. Panquemao or toña is usually accompanied with hot chocolate, although there are also those who prefer it with Easter sausage.
Recipe of the panquemao or toña
As with all recipes, depending on the area, one ingredient or another is used to make the Alicante toña. In the post-war period, due to the lack of flour, the panquemao was made with potato, a way of making it that has survived to the present day.
In some places, water or milk boiled with cinnamon and anise is added, in others orange blossom water and even bergamot. All panquemao or toña should have flour, milk, yeast, sugar, eggs, oil, lemon or orange rind and salt. The main secret in its elaboration is in the intense kneading and in letting the dough ferment for several hours so that the burnt bread becomes spongy.
How to make spongy burned bread
1. Heat the milk for 20 seconds in the microwave (it should be warm, not hot) and dissolve the yeast in it.
2. In a bowl we mix the milk with the yeast, the sugar and the orange blossom water (this ingredient is optional).
3. Add the eggs, flour, oil, salt and orange zest and knead in a mixer or by hand until all the ingredients are integrated. The dough should be homogeneous but slightly sticky.
4. Put the dough in a deep container, if possible, porcelain or earthenware, cover it with a cloth and let it rest in a place that does not have too much moisture. We let it ferment between one and two hours, depending on the ambient temperature.
5. Separate the dough in the portions you want, bowl and let it rest again 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, paint the toñas dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. We take it out and let it cool down.