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person holding an ojo de buey

Ojos de Buey Pan Recipe

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 20 ojos 1x


Ojos de buey is a pan dulce, or sweet bread, that’s popular in Mexico. Learn how to make this delicious treat and enjoy it with a hot cup of cafe in the morning!



For the Dough

  • 4 1/8 cups bread flour (500g)
  • 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (5g)
  • 1 cup warm water (240 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (300g)
  • 3 cups bread flour, for rolling out (360g)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, for coating the strips (150g)

For the Cake Filling

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (340g)
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (260g)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (160g)
  • 2/3 cup light-tasting olive oil (160 ml)


Making the Dough

  1. Pour the bread flour into a bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl.  Stir each one in, making sure to keep them separate.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and the warm water and begin mixing to form a dough.  If it looks a little dry, add more water. If the dough looks a little wet, add more flour.  Keep in mind that you want a dry dough here, with some flour still at the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Turn the dough onto an unfloured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes to bring it together. The dough should be very smooth and elastic.
  4. Cube the butter and divide into three equal parts.
  5. Pat the dough into a circle, scatter 1/3 of the butter over the dough, and knead for a few minutes until all the butter is incorporated.  Repeat with the second part, and then the third part. The dough will gradually become more sticky and buttery, so use a bench scraper if needed to fold the dough over itself.
  6. Gradually knead in some of the extra 3 cups of flour, using the bench scraper if needed.  You may not need all the flour; you just want the dough to be not super sticky to the touch, but still soft and flexible.
  7. Place the dough in a floured bowl and sprinkle more flour on top. Cover with a clean tea towel and let it prove in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Shaping the Rings

  1. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently.  The dough will definitely be easier to handle than earlier, but still soft and a little sticky.
  2. Divide the dough into 10 equal piece, weighing them on a kitchen scale for accuracy.
  3. Flour the work surface and roll out one of the pieces into a skinny rectangle between 10-11 inches (25-30 cm) long.  Fold the dough into three parts, as for a business letter, then turn the dough 90 degrees.  Roll out into a rectangle, and fold again.  This will create layers in the dough.
  4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle again, then trim the ends to neaten them.  Cut it in half lengthwise to get two strips.  Coat both sides of the strips with granulated sugar, then firmly pinch their ends together to create two rings of dough.
  5. Place the rings about 3 inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and chill in the fridge until ready to bake.  Repeat steps 3 through 5 with the remaining pieces.

Making the Filling

  1. Put all the cake ingredients except the melted butter and oil in a medium mixing bowl.  Mix them together with a spatula to form a dry paste.
  2. Add the melted butter and oil to the mixture and mix with an electric hand mixer until very smooth. If the batter is too thick, add a couple tablespoons of milk to thin it. The batter should fall in a continuous ribbon from the beaters when it’s the proper consistency.
  3. Check the batter to see if you can still see grains of sugar in it. If so, continue beating for about 30 seconds to dissolve the sugar. The finished batter should fall easily from a spoon, but have a thick consistency and form a V when falling from a spoon.
  4. Fill the chilled rings halfway with the batter.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 F.  The ojos are cooked when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Let the ojos cool for at least 20 minutes on a wire rack, then enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.


  • You may not need all the extra flour.  Be to sure to feel the dough to see if it needs more flour or not.
  • Kneading will take a while, so be patient.
  • Be sure to test the consistency of the filling as described in the instructions.
  • Be careful not to overfill the ojos, or they will overflow in the oven.
  • Leftover ojos can freeze sealed in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 1 month.
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: pan dulce, recipe