Pan de tres puntas is a specialty of Arequipa, a dramatically beautiful city in southern Peru that is surrounded by three dramatic volcanos (read more about Arequipa here). Pan de tres puntas is a triangular bread (tres puntas = three points) with a crispy crust, often prepared in big wood burning clay ovens, giving it the same slightly charred appearance and taste as wood fired pizza. The triangular shape of the bread is meant to resemble El Misti, the biggest volcano that overlooks Arequipa.
You can use a combination of a very hot oven, a pizza stone (or hot baking sheet) and the broiler to make your own "wood fired oven". The shaping of the dough and the high heat helps this bread to puff up rapidly, forming the characteristic hollow center.
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Yield: 12 rolls
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melter
- 1 1/4 cups of warm water
- Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of the water.
- Add the flour, salt, sugar, and melted butter to the bowl of a standing mixer, or to a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix ingredients lightly.
- While stirring, gradually add the 1 cup of water with the dissolved yeast. Add a second cup of water gradually, mixing dough at the same time. Continue to add small amounts of water, until the dough comes together and can be kneaded.
- Knead dough vigorously (with dough hook attachment if using a standing mixer) until it is smooth and stretchy and does not stick to the counter or bowl. Add more water as necessary if dough seems dry. It should take about 8 minutes to knead the dough in a mixer, and about 20 minutes by hand.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise until double in bulk (or overnight in the refrigerator).
- Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven.
- Flatten each ball into a circle on the counter (you can work with half of the balls at a time if you don't have much space). Use a rolling pin to roll the dough circles into flat, 6-inch diameter (approximate) circles. Let dough circles rest for 5 minutes, so the gluten can relax slightly.
- WIth the side of your hand, press a V shape into the roll, with the point of the V at the bottom of the circle of dough. Fold the 2 sides of dough that are to the right and left of the "V" in to the middle and press down lightly. Turn the roll over and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining rolls. Lightly cover the rolls with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1/2 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees while the rolls are rising. Just before baking the rolls, turn on the broiler. Place rolls in the oven (directly onto the pizza stone, if using) about 1/3 of the way down from the top. Toss some ice cubes onto the floor of the oven at the same time to create steam.
- Bake rolls for about 10 minutes, watching carefully, or until they are puffed and slightly charred in places. If they appear to be cooking too much on top, turn off the broiler.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Serve warm with butter.