Celebration breads are becoming increasingly popular at Hispanic bakeries across the country for many reasons and special occasions. At El Zócalo Supermarket in Haines City, Florida, they offer breads known as pan de fiesta, in both whole loaves and single slices. 

“You will only find this bread at carnivals or fiestas,” explains Juan Castañeda, who is the master baker at El Zócalo. “This bread is filled with guava, nuts and cheese in the middle.”

Similar to a king cake, the elegant rosca de reyes is the traditional holiday bread prepared for Día de los Reyes (Jan. 6), a popular holiday in the Hispanic culture.

This sweet bread commemorates the arrival of the three kings to the birthplace of baby Jesus and is a popular part of the celebrations for this holiday.

Juan Tejada, owner of El Zócalo Supermarket, says that rosca de reyes is his store’s No. 1 seller during January, and customer ordering begins a month in advance.

“We put out fliers and banners in the store to promote this traditional bread,” he says. “We offer three sizes (small, medium and large), and medium is our top seller. We put all of the sizes of rosca de reyes on a table in front of the store. Customers will line up and wait for hours to buy what they need for their families.”

At El Panque y la Rosca Bakery in Bartow, Florida, owner Francisco Maldonado says that celebration breads are imporant to the Hispanic community. His bakery has developed a big market for catering weddings, which includes sales of bread in addition to the cake.

“We once sold 1,000 pieces of bread for one wedding,” says Maldonado, who originally grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico. “People love authentic Mexican breads.”

At Acapulco Tropical in Bradenton, Florida, “rosca is a big event for us,” says Joey Quintana, who runs the bakery with her sister, Ana, and whose parents opened the store in 2005.

“We are one of the biggest bakeries in our area, and we start taking orders for rosca at the end of November,” she adds.

Last January, Acapulco Tropical sold more than 2,000 rosca de reyes, including 1,000 of the small size. “We have to contract extra labor to help us with the preparation and keep up with the demand.”

The bakery does a significant amount of advertising within the local community to spread the word about its traditional breads and pastries. They also get involved with local churches and schools.

“We conduct tours of our bakery for the school children during the holiday breaks, and we do a posada ceremony before Christmas when we give out free bread and coffee,” Joey Quintana says.

Decorate Your Store in Festive Colors

Other festive breads are equally simple to make using authentic mixes from BakeMark. Decorate your store for the holidays and drive higher customer traffic by promoting displays with traditional colors and other festive items such as elotes or chilindrinas.

Chilindrinas are a Concha-style Mexican pastry that not only has a unique look, but a sweet crunchy texture. Using Trigal Dorado Bizcocho Mix will help you make these and other Hispanic pastries that not only look festive and colorful, but they will give you extended shelf life to maximize your profits.

Cuellos are a Mexican pastry that looks festive and colorful, and appeal to additional customers, increasing opportunities to maximize your profits. This style of Mexican pastry not only has a unique look, it also has a sweet crunchy and flaky texture. Using Trigal Dorado Bollilo Mix will help you make cuellos very easily.

Other interesting breads to make for the holiday season include nueces, tortugas and whole wheat bolillos as an option for customers who are seeking whole wheat products.

For bread bakers, ancient grains offer bakers a new and convenient way to address consumer trends that favor heirloom varieties of mainstay foods. According to findings by CSM Bakery Solutions, 55 percent of consumers are interested in trying ancient grains; however, only 15 percent of consumers today consume ancient grain breads.

“This can be a good way for bakers to differentiate your products,” says Werner Simon, global culinary consultant for CSM Bakery Solutions, who demonstrated baking techniques for ancient grain breads during the recent International Baking Industry Exposition.

CSM Bakery Solutions launched Ulmer Spatz Ancient Grains in the US, bringing a specialty German-based bread ingredients line featuring three new ancient grain bread mixes. Operators have embraced the products, creating a wide variety of breads including bagels, hot dog and hamburger buns, croissants, and tortillas.