Ecuadorian Sweet Rolls Recipe

Sweet Rolls
Lyn Holly Coorg/Getty Images
  • 3 hrs 40 mins
  • Prep: 3 hrs,
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: 30 servings
Ratings (12)

Pan dulce is a sweet buttery bread that is popular throughout Latin America. In Ecuador, this soft, rich bread dough is often shaped into pillowy rolls. The rolls are sprinkled lightly with sugar, and they make a nice breakfast or snack - an everyday treat in Ecuador. This same dough can be used to make a fancier holiday bread (Pan de Pascua), by adding an assortment of candied fruits, dried fruits soaked in rum, and nuts, and shaping the dough into a tall round loaf, like panetón.

What You'll Need

  • 6 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup sugar

How to Make It

  1. Place the warm (but not too hot) milk in the bowl of a standing mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and set the mixture aside for 5 minutes, until the yeast is bubbly. (Note: If you can find fresh cake yeast (more easily obtained in South America than in the US), use about 2 ounces of the cake yeast instead of the dry yeast - it adds authentic yeasty flavor to these rolls).
  2. Add the sugar, 2 cups of the flour, 2 eggs, the butter (cut into small pieces), and the salt. Use the dough hook attachment to knead the mixture until everything is well mixed. Add the remaining flour gradually, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead until the dough is soft, smooth, and stretchy, adding a bit more or a bit less flour, as needed.
  1. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  3. Divide the dough into about 30 pieces. Each piece should be around the size of a golf ball (about 2 ounces each). Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Place the balls of dough about 1 inch apart on a large buttered baking sheet (or 2 smaller baking sheets).
  4. Lightly beat an egg, then brush the tops of the rolls with the beaten egg.
  5. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until they have almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  6. Bake rolls until they are medium golden brown on top, about 30-40 minutes. Brush the tops of the rolls with the melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven, then sprinkle them with the sugar.