Dead Bread

Zombie head guagua bread

It’s Tasty Treat Tuesday for today’s Women in Horror Month Challenge. There are so many yummy treats I wanted to try but I got chatting to a friend about bread-making and it reminded me of the ‘dead bread’ we had while living in Ecuador.

Guaguas de pan

It’s a traditional sweet bread, shaped like people and eaten during their ‘All Saints Day’ celebrations on 1st and 2nd of November. While we were there, our friends took us to the local cemetery and explained that it’s the custom for people to visit their family graves on these days, clearing the gravesite and in some areas removing the deceased and dressing them in new clothes (although we didn’t see that so I’m not sure if they were teasing us.) The guaguas (pronounced wawa) were an offering for their deceased loved ones, left on graves as a tasty treat for the departed, so they could join in with the festivities. Washed down with a cup of colada morada (a delicious purple corn syrup drink), it was a yummy treat and a memorable day.

Let’s get baking!

It took a little while to find a recipe but then I discovered Laylita’s site with a very simple recipe for guaguas. It’s been a very long time since I made bread so thought it would be a fun skill and project to do with the Lamb. We measured out all of our ingredients and left the yeast and milk to rise while we went for a run around the local park with the pup. When we got home (and warmed up – it was certainly less snowy the last time I ate guaguas!) we added the rest of the ingredients, including a splash of nutmeg, which isn’t a traditional spice for guaguas but it’s currently our favourite spice so gets added to everything!

Skulls, spider and dog dead bread

After a thorough kneading, we set it aside to rise overnight. The Lamb was amazed at how big it had grown when she woke up (which is kind of how I feel about the Lamb. I’m sure I put her to bed as a baby then overnight she’s grown into a lovely, kind little munchkin!) and we quickly set to work creating our guaguas.

Some of the dead bread had jam ‘wounds’

We made assorted shapes, from skulls to the traditional guagua body shape, but this being Beagle HQ we also had to make some dogs. The pup watched intently while I did the egg-wash, seeming to know she’d get whatever egg wasn’t used, then all our guaguas were popped in the oven. Don’t they look adorable? Perhaps not as perfect as the ones we had in Ecuador, or those made by Laylita but it was a fun activity. I had planned to decorate them with some coloured icing but they mysteriously started disappearing into the Lamb and Hubby’s tummies! A yummy treat indeed!

Dead bread dog

Have you made ‘guaguas’? What other ‘deadly’ treats are you making for Women in Horror Month?

While you’re here, why not check out my books, free fiction or shop. Alternatively, you could buy me a coffee!

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