Chichimbré or piloncillo pig, a sweet artisan bread from the Huasteca tradition

The mexican bakery It is one of the richest things you can think of, no matter the time of year, you can always enjoy a good piece of bread, whether it is a biscuit or something sweeter, and although the names of the types of bread vary depending on the region, the one that you surely recognize yes or yes, is the chichimbré, or piloncillo pigand here we are going to tell you origin.

Bread cannot be missing from Mexican tables, and surely chichimbre, is one of the pieces that could almost never be missing, and how could it be missing? quite irresistible.

Rise in raw material leads to an increase in cake and sweet bread in Puebla |  Focus Agency
Sweet bread. | Focus Agency

This bread or cookie, Like many of the traditional dishes, it could have occurred during the colonial era, it has its origins in the huasteca cultureand according to the Ministry of Culture of Mexicois a native of Tamaulipaswhich over the years, has managed to transcend the rest of the Huasteca, taking root in the typical gastronomy of the area and considering itself as an artisan dessert.

Its main ingredients They are flour, cinnamon, cloves and most importantly and that enhances the characteristic flavor of the chichimbre is he piloncillo; traditionally it is cooked in rustic ovens built with stones and mud, which although it may not seem like it, give them a unique touch and flavor.

It should be noted that the ingredients and even the shape of this bread varies depending on the region in which you can find yourself. In CdMx, you can find them with a touch of clove essence, in lower california are smaller and crunchier, while for ChiapasThey prepare them with butter.

The data

Various sources indicate that the name of this bread is actually a more pronounced English and derives from ginger bread, and in Mexico replacing ginger with cinnamon and piloncillo. Another version points out that possibly “chichimbre” derives from Nahuatl, as in the etymology of the word of Nahuatl origin tzi tzi, which means thin (twice thin) and the Spanish ending bre (as in hechumbre or roof).

This artisan bread is known as little pigs, little pigs either piloncillo pigsthis due to its characteristic shape, however, there are also rectangular ones, and in cases like Chiapas, it is cut into horse shapewhich one do you like the most?

Now there is only one more unknown: why did the shape of a pig seem ideal for bread?

chichimbre recipe


  • 1 dark piloncillo (300 g)
  • ½ Cup of water or the necessary to form a honey
  • 150 g of lard (pork, vegetable, margarine or butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 375 g of flour (3 cups) we use 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 of white flour
  • 3 teaspoons of Royal baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 100 g brown sugar optional
  • 1 Pinch of Clove
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed anise seed


  • First, in a pot, bring the piloncillo with the water to the fire to form a honey that is not very watery or thick. Then reduce to 2/3 cup honey. Then remove from the heat, then add the butter, stir and reserve
  • Then sift the flour with the salt, baking powder and the spices (ground) in a bowl
  • Then go adding the honey, beating with the help of a wooden spoon or mixer at low speed. Then add the beaten egg and keep mixing.
  • Go ahead, use your hands and knead to form a cohesive dough. Finally form a ball and take it to rest for 30 minutes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • Continue, on a sheet of waxed paper or a clean surface, spread the dough with the rolling pin and cut with the piggy-shaped cutter. About .6 cm or so.
  • Arrange the cookies on a greased baking sheet and paint them with a beaten egg with a tablespoon of water. Then Bake 15 minutes at 175°C. Don’t forget, as soon as they look golden on the edges, take them out of the oven.
  • Finally remember, the consistency is between a bun and a cookie is soft. If you leave them in the oven for a longer time they get a little crispier.

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