La Victoria Bakery: Re-inventing the Concha and Other Mexican Breads

Camila McHugh

When Chef Luis Villavelazquez joined La Victoria Bakery as head pastry chef almost a year and a half ago, he wanted to perfect pan dulce classic, the concha. As I take a bite of a fluffy white concha I've chosen out of the display case, I find the dough is soft and almost chewy. It is dense like the conchas I remember from Oaxaca, and the sugar topping is not an attempt to distract from dry bread but simply an elegant final touch. 

Now that Villavelazquez' has perfected the concha, he wants to reinvent it.

Villavelazquez has a vision for a dough infused with cacao nibs, little pieces of raw chocolate. He gets some nibs out for me to try, they are crunchy and bitter like espresso beans, but Villavelazquez is sure they'll work wonders in this redesigned concha. He jokes that he might be shooting himself in the arm because of the high demand he anticipates for this concha 2.0, which he plans to top with freeze dried strawberries in lieu of the traditional sugar.

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