Street Food Argentina - Pan de Leche from Cristina!!!

Welcome to the second edition of Street Food Month. Today we travel a little closer to where I live. Ok.. little relative to the last post! We are going into the sunny tropics of South America to the gorgeous land of Argentina!

Argentina is a land known for much natural beauty (not to mention the stunning women!) and a wonderful cuisine. For a meat lover, there is no better paradise. I have been planning a vacation in the country for Oh! so long and this Pan de Leche from Cristina is only pushing that yearning over the edge! :)

I met (virtually, for now) Cristina last year during the FoodBuzz competition. I was constantly amazed by her inventive creations and straight from the heart posts. Argentinian by origin, she now resides in France (I mean, can it get better?!) and she showcases her native food with French elegance.

She has recently kicked off an exciting, honest-to-soul-rocking venture called
Menu Malbec. Check out her blog for the details! And I am super thrilled that she gracing my blog today with these luscious Pan de Leche with Dulce de Leche.


When some days ago, my friend Asha, kindly invited me to participate in her three-year Blog Anniversary, writing about street-food, I have to admit I had to think long and hard...For some reason that I don't understand Argentinians are not very prone to street-eating (?!) But then yes! a clear image came to my mind...."Pan de Leche"

Probably, this means nothing to you....but for me, this simple loaf of bread hides as a treasure all the memories of my childhood...This "pan de leche" accompanies every Argentinian child: on the way to school, during school pic-nics and celebrations, at home...

I will confess what I did when I was 6! I used to poke my finger in the dulce de leche, eat it all, licking my finger...and then, I would eat all the loaf...with my mother saying: "That's not done Cristina! it's awful what you do...."

And I would smile, and not pay much attention...knowing she would forgive me...I guess my mother knew the "sweet heaven" I was enjoying at that moment! But mothers will be mothers! She was supposed to teach to behave "like a lady"....

The "pan de leche" also accompanies our "mateadas", that is getting together with friends in parks, at the office, or at home, to drink "mate" for endless hours....eating something sweet! The same buns become a cocktail party favorite if you slice them to marry them with ham, cheese, tomato, pâté....whatever you want...! Totally addictive!

Thank you Asha for inviting me to your is for me an honor, since I consider you one of the most talented and original bloggers...We shared the sadness and despair of being eliminated (completely unfairly!! in my opinion) from one Best Blogger competition...but that probably made us stronger, and encouraged us to be even better, AND most important, we share the "blessing"(?) of cooking from minuscule kitchens, just to prove that "Knowledge and Strong Will is Power" ;D

Pan de Leche (Milk Buns)

50g butter (melted)
3 eggs
350g all purpose flour
4 g active dry-yeast
170ml milk
75g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 tsp orange water
150g dulce de leche
icing sugar (for garnish)

Warm 50ml of milk, combine with 30gr of sugar, and the yeast. Let rest for approx 30 minutes, until the yeast activates. In a stand- mixer with paddle attachment running on low, combine the flour, the two beaten eggs, the rest of the sugar, rest of milk, vanilla extract, and orange water. Finally incorporate the yeast, and the butter.

Knead for 10 minutes until a soft, smooth and elastic dough is formed. Transfer the dough to a floured bowl ; cover with a damp towel, and set in a warm place to rise for one hour, until doubled in size. Divide the dough into 30/40gr pieces. Shape them into balls, and gently flatten them with the palm of your hand. Place on a Silpat.

Let rise for 30 minutes. Pre- heat oven 180°C. Beat the remaining egg, and brush the top of each bun with the egg glaze. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is golden Brown. Cool on a rack. With a sharp little kniffe cut a triangle shape on top of each bun. Fill with dulce de leche (using a spoon, or pastry bag). Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Note: differences in flour quality (degree of absortion) might require slight changes in milk quantity.