This year, I need my ancestors more than ever. I'm baking pan de muerto to call them forth.
There is a Mexican bread that calls forth the souls of the dead. It's shaped in a round, crisscrossed with bread "bones" and topped with a little round knob. Under a glittering, sugarcoated crust awaits a sweet, rich, pillowy-soft dream fragrant with star anise, orange zest and orange blossom water. Pan de muerto, bread of the dead, is the signature food of Día de los Muertos, a gift to the beloved departed, a meditation for the living.