“Capirotada, Mexico’s Lenten Bread Pudding” by Alex Peña
Alex Peña discusses the making of the Lenten dessert capirotada and its religious and cultural significance.
Peña grew up in his family’s L.A. bakery, La Morenita Bakery & Tortilleria and the experience of making capirotada with his mother led to preliminary stages in his career as a baker and bread scientist. During culinary school years at Le Cordon Bleu California in Pasadena he was head baker while moonlighting as a personal pastry chef. He trained in advanced enzyme technology in Turkey and Switzerland and held technical posts in the baking industry developing Hispanic bread, cake and doughnut mixes for in-store bakeries and global accounts. A fond memory was first making pan dulce in Shanghai using “baker’s percent,” a measurement method based on ratio percentages of each ingredient’s weight to total flour weight translated throughout the world.
For the Pak Group of global food businesses he established the Bellarise Innovation and Quality Center in Pasadena where he continues to work on customer projects. Peña is currently working on a book to showcase the art and history of Mexico’s pan dulce.
Recipe - Capirotada - revised 030422