Guatemalan Sweet Bread Sampler – One Year Anniversary

Guatemalan Sweet Bread Sampler

Exactly one year ago with the entry Where in the world is Antigua Guatemala? we began the photographic journey of documenting life in this Spanish colonial town embedded between coffee plantations, flower farms and volcanoes in the mountains of Central America (we are not talking about Kansas, you know). Inspired by the excellent work and ideas laid out by Eric Tenin of Paris Daily Photo and others at the time and following the guidelines compiled by Ham of London Daily Photo, I published the first twelve photos and captions to give an overview of what does life in La Antigua Guatemala is like. Back then, Antigua Guatemala DP was the only city daily photo blog in Central America, and still is, and there were only three other cities in Latin America.

My idea was to show the good, the bad and the ugly of this colonial town. I did not want to make a touristic site for the most popular touristic destination in Central America. La Antigua Guatemala is photogenic, so my goal has been a bit difficult. But I have tried to show other aspects of life which I did not see cover in other sites. Also, I wanted to ‘own’ a venue for practicing my inadequate written English and amateur photographic skills. Three hundred and seventy-six posts later I have improved neither; it’s so pathetic. On the other hand, I have gained a great deal of knowledge about this town and many good friends (even if they don’t see eye-to-eye on the issues we talked about here). What can I say, they’re are all wrong! 😉

Anyhow, I am mostly satisfied with the amount of photos and information I have shared about La Antigua Guatemala; especially if we consider this is still a hobby and that I have virtually no time in my already overwhelming lifestyle. My wife and cats have given up some of my time with them. So be kind with me when I publish photos that are not artistic or shots taken when the light is not the best. I take shots when I can and usually while doing errands. Ditto for the typos, spelling errors and horrible English grammar.

What about the Guatemalan Sweet Bread?
Oh yeah, I am rambling again. In the photo above you see one of things Guatemalans abroad miss the most: Sweet Guatemalan Bread. I have talked about cutting a cake for this anniversary, but then I decided to shared the poor Guatemalans alternative: La Torta, this huge sweet bread, takes the place of the cake for many Guatemalan families. Also, as suggested by some friends, I decided to include other pieces of the Guatemalan sweet bread repertoire for all those chapines abroad. In Guatemala, we dip the bread in the coffee, as described by Manolo in LD’s entry about Miss Manners International. Since Manolo can not find champurradas (the flat tortilla-like bread in the picture) in Toronto, he dips his cookies in the coffee. I hope you don’t get grossed out by my dipping the bread in the coffee; I am doing it for the full impact on those Guatemalans who live in foreign countries and visit this site infrequently.

The sweet Guatemalan bread in this picture comes from a very popular bakery in La Antigua Guatemala by the name of San Antonio, which stills uses brick ovens and wooden logs. The bread is baked freshly twice a day and with the best recipes from La Antigua Guatemala, the culinary capital of Guatemala. Sweet bread dipped in a cup of the best coffee in the world (from Antigua, of course), what else can you ask from life?

Muchá, les puedo testificar que esa torta estaba especialmente deliciosa y con una buena taza de café antigüeño supo mejor. La vida también puede ser buena en Guatemala (a veces). ¡Salud!

That is it, thanks for all your visits, comments and feedback.

Should I continue this photographic journey?

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© 2007 – 2016, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Absolutely. Please continue your work. You describe the bread so well that I’d love to find the recipe… Thank you for all of your work.

  • Don’t put yourself down — most of your photographs are “very good” and quite a few are “fantastic” — but even the poorer ones tell a story and it all reflects your aim to be a window on all aspects of life in your neck of the woods. We’d soon tire of visiting if you only should touristy shots, so please keep up the good work for as long as you can

  • Yes, the journey must continue. It’s been a wonderful year and there should be another one. Thank you for the great pictures, comments and the Camera Lucida recommendation. Thank you Rudy 🙂

  • Congratulations Rudy on your one year anniversary, I just found your site a few months ago after returning from 2 weeks in Antigua. I enjoy your photographs and they keep my happy memories of your beautiful city fresh in my mind. I look forward to your next year of photographs.

  • sweet bread is very popular in mexico. I had a young friend ,when he made a trip home he brought large sacks of sweet bread back with him.
    your english is just fine. you do a fine job on this site, i really appricate your efforts.

  • Your work is very good and your narratives are also very good. I come here to learn something about you and your country and where you live. And I always learn more than I thought I would.

    Rudy you’re such an inspiration of what a DP blog should be! I’ve really enjoy your photos and interesting posts! I hope we can continue enjoying your beautiful place!!

  • What a delicious shot!!! Even diet, bread is always I look for Antigua, when I am in Guate!!! Panaderia San Antonio…mmmmm.

  • Herbasio

    I just want to say thank you, I am one of those guatemalans that miss good bread, good coffee and all of the good things Guatemala has to offer. And you are right! Life can be good in our country, not only some times but as many times as we want !
    GRACIAS y de nuevo FELICIDADES en este primer año de tu gran trabajo y esfuerzo que has dedicado a documentar a la ciudad de Antigua GT !!

  • Andrea

    Rudy, congratulations and thank you on your first year anniversary. I love your site! I started visiting your website after spending a week in La Antigua Guatemala in February. Your photos and explanations help me to feel I’ve never truly left your beautiful city. I also love to read (or try to, anyway) the comments in Spanish – it’s good practice! Felicidades y gracias, Rudy!

  • Tom

    Muchas gracias, Rudy, y felicidades!! I echo the gratitude above for how you keep memories of Antigua fresh for me. I also discovered you after a 2week stay in January…my 4th trip! Antigua is a home away from home to me. Thanks for your devotion to this project and the way you give your own perspective on things.

  • Proceed — By all means possible! My life would truly be less rich without your pictures and commentary. After using your links to the original photos/posts, I dispute your assertion that you haven’t improved! Your first photos/posts were good — but I submit that you are even better now. Seriously. With practice, poco a poco, we all can improve. You truly have.

  • SI! SI! SI! Debes seguir….bueno, pues, a mi, me gusta ver tus fotos y leer tus descripciones. Me gusta mucho tu sitio y te mando muuuuuchas felicitaciones en este aniversario!! Para el intercambio de ciudades de ayer, puse una foto de Antigua de mi viaje en enero, sin darme cuenta que era tu aniversario. Asi que, ahora, la foto de Antigua esta alli en el blog de Omaha en honor tuyo! 🙂

  • Oh Rudy, definately continue if you can! Your blog is my home page and keeps me connected with La Antigua when I cannot be there. Please thank your wife and cats for their sacrifice. Muchas gracias y felicidades!

  • ale

    “Un abrazo fuerte” and congrats, keep the good work, and the photos for “masoquistas “like me

  • Becky

    Before our trip to Antigua for this past Semana Santa, I viewed your pictures daily and had such anticipation to get there!!! Your pictures were an incredible preview and added so much to the visit when we actually got there. I was able to recognize buildings and remembered some of the history and remarks you included with your daily postings. Now that I’m back home, I still love to see your pictures–they both remind me of things we saw ourselves, but also tempt me to return to see all that I missed during that busuy, crowded week. Congratulations on your wonderful past year!!!!!

  • Congratulations on reaching this awesome milestone! Today’s shot is great; the sweet-bread looks very yummy, and I’ll gladly have a piece… but I hope you don’t mind if I don’t dip it in my coffee – I’m afraid the only thing I can bear to dip in my coffee is a Tim-Tam (and if you’re not familiar with those you’ll have to ask Nathalie or Sally of Sydney to explain…). Keep up the brilliant work. And your English is really good, by the way.

  • FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS ADP!!!!! Ya queremos torta… ya queremos torta… aunque sea un cubilete (o champurrada) pero queremos comer!

    I am mostly a voyeur in this whole blogger world, specially of a few selected “blogs chapines” and of some other daily photo blogs. You seem to be in the intersection of these two categories. I hope you keep on posting the beautiful pictures of the land of the roses and of volcanoes. I haven’t checked all your postings, so I don’t know if you have made mention or if you know the accuracy of this little known fact about Antigua: I heard (or read) somewhere that the planet of The Little Prince (El Principito… Le Petit Prince…) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery is based on Antigua Guatemala. The reference to the Volcano and the Rose seems to have originated in our beloved Very Noble and Very Loyal city.

  • Happy birthday my friend. Just when you don’t see a reason to keep going with our daily blogging you discover a wonderful picture, a fantastic place you framed so well and you receive the spontaneous opinion of known and unknown bloggers alike who really appreciate your creativity. That is the only reason to keep trying. With the quality of your images and the good reviews you should have plenty of fuel for years to come. You know I don’t come around here often, but one thing I am pretty sure of, yours are one of the most appealing images, not only because of the color and the subject but because of their technical quality. No wonder you were among the finalists at the photobloggies awards if I am not in a mistake. So congratulations and my best wishes. Keep up this excellent work.

  • Javier

    Happy one year anniversary GDP, Rudy… Muchisimas gracias. Voy para guate en agosto. I have recommended you website to all my family members and friends.

    Thanx again

  • Donna

    Please continue-I am learning a lot about Guatemalan culture!

  • Rudy, your photos are nearly all professional quality and artistic too. You have a wonderful eye. Never mind that your Spanish is, naturally, better than mine, but your English is too! And now you’re making me drool with your torta, even though I had Pan de Leche for breakfast that, yes, I dunk in my coffee! Is there any other way to live? 🙂

    Hug the wife and cats, not necessarily in that order, but please continue the journey. Not just because we enjoy it, but because I do think that the work you are doing is vitally important in helping bring a grossly misunderstood part of the world to a larger audience. Perhaps you do not see that from your perspective, but the “tipping point” may be just around the corner.

    Feliz aniversario mi amigo y un abrazo fuerte desde dentro del charco.

  • Please keep up the great work. I love this site, as I have friends that live in La Antigua and hope to visit down there soon.

  • Shannon


    I beg you to continue (seriously). I love the country of Guatemala, it’s people, it’s culture, and it’s beautiful city of La Antigua! Please, please continue this wonderful photo blog!!!! And yes, my entire family misses the sweet bread too. Indeed, the best bread in the world comes from Guatemala (sorry Doña Luisa Xicotencatl, I’m not referring to you either:). My favorite panaderia is at 1a Av Norte y Alameda de Santa Rosa directly across from the little park.

    Rudy, you are the greatest. Please continue!!!!!

    – Shannon

  • Laura

    Please continue your journey!! I enjoy it everyday!!!

  • Denise-WA

    ¡Felicidades, Rudy! Happy Anniversary. It’s our 1st family anniversary, too . . . the day we met our Guatemalan-born daughter. She’s been home a year now and my life is truly blessed because of her. My little Cobán princessa is healthy, happy, funny, strong and in constant motion. Please continue your journey so I can learn about my daughter’s birth culture through your daily postings and photos! Muchas gracias! Elenita’s Mami

    P.S. I think you have an excellent command of the written English language. I am just learning Spanish so need much assistance. Would you consider taking some photos of the Language Institues in La Antigua? I’d like to learn more about them from a native Guatemalan.

  • Congratulations. Even I don’t leave comment often, I do enjoy your photos here. So please continue.

  • Jerry

    Ah, my friend Rudy, your work is awesome. Your photos are great and always tell a story. You have such a wonderful subject, you can’t go wrong. I so very much love your site and of course your beautiful country. Keep up the good work! Your English is superb, and much more correct than many of us who have spoken the language from birth and have had all of our education in English. Many thanks to your wife and your kitties for sharing their time with us. As for your bread photos, breads are my weakness! I love them. As for dipping them in coffee, go ahead, but I will have to pass. I don’t want anything in my coffee, just black coffee (preferably from Guatemala). Jerry

  • Thank you all for your continued support, comments and visit. The show must go on!

    Manolo, I have heard and read in elPeriódico that The Little Prince (El Principito… Le Petit Prince…) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was indeed based in mystical place formed by the juxtaposition of La Antigua Guatemala and Lake Atitlán. Another trivia fact about Antoine de Saint-Exupery is that he was married to a El Salvodoran woman which lived in Guatemala. So, I guess there’s a lot truth in your comment.

  • Ohhh I’m very sorry to be so in late wishing a very very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ANTIGUA !!! I don’t know if thanks to subject or thank to photograph (I’m sure: both), your photos are never ordinaries. Believe me. And today, that Cathedral, it’s the proof. So, not only Happy Birthday and thank you about the job but please: KEEP UP !!!!

  • I’ll be living in La Antigua later this year. I’ve never been there before I just wanted to let you know I check your web site everyday and it’s really given me a sense of the city. I cannot wait to come there and experience it all for myself…

    Gracias amigo, Jessie

  • Meg

    Me, too, belatedly. Happy birthday.

  • Meg

    Or….. Mrs Rudy can blog also; you can sit next to each other and blog together! At any rate, we are appreciative of her patience.

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  • Lindsey

    I loved dipping pan dulce in my coffee while living in Guate. There’s nothing like it!

  • wale H

    Hola, solo les queria decir que cuando vi la foto del pan Guatemalteco me se ve igual al que vende una de mis clientas. Ellos estan en Richmond, California es la Panaderia Guatemalteca y alli encontraran delicioso pan Guatemalteco como champurrada, pan de manteca, ojaldra por mencionar algunos. Asi que si usted es de Guatemala, Latino o desea compra un buen pan para mojar y toma con su cafe (dip bread in your coffee)visite Panaderia Guatemalteca.

  • RDC

    Yum! My parents are Guatemalan but I was born and raised in Chicago. I am lucky (depending on the scale at any given time :D) to have been introduced to the various sweet breads like the champurrada, pan de manteca, quesadilla (not my favorite) all my life. Not only do we have a great Guatemalan bakery here in Chicago, actually two that I know of, but my mom makes it as well. I treasure her recepies and will one day be able to make them for my family. She raised herself and has been here since she wal 16 so it’s awesome to me that she was able to learn and treasure these recepies. Thank you for reminding me of my beautiful culture I so easily neglect!

  • Janice Batson

    Have been searching for the recipe for champurrada cookies. Would you be willing to send me the recipe? I would be so appreciative! Thank You.

  • Kathy

    I just enjoyed my Champurradas with my coffee from Guatemala this morning. I have them shipped in. I’m addicted.

  • Grexy

    I just want to thank you for this wonderful photo, I was searching for some guatemalan sweet bread photos and receipes and I found this site. Your description of how we guatemalans dip the bread in coffe made my mouth watery. Yes, I’m a guatemalan that longs to eat freshly baked sweet bread. I miss pan tostado,pan frances and the other sweet breads that are on the picture. I would appreciate it if you posted receipes for guatemalan sweet bread.

  • Ivy

    That photo is beatiful. I must have coffee now. There is a website that offers that kind of sweet breads “”. Their bread is really good and the price is not bad.

  • Pingback: Guatemalan Bread Sampler: Name the Bread | La Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo()

  • Craig S.

    A while ago you said: “Three hundred and seventy-six posts later I have improved neither [my photography or my English text]; it’s so pathetic.”
    I remain absolutely captivated by your choice of such varied subjects as well as the quality of your photos. The descriptions that accompany each day’s photo make me wonder just how many hours a day you devote to this passion! I’ve asked myself the question: “Could I do this for the small Arizona town we live in?” The word ‘no’ keeps coming into my head. So, please, don’t even think about changing your style or choice of subjects, or the way you describe them; they are so very descriptive of your beautiful city.

  • edgar elizalde

    any one know where i can find the recipt for the real guatemand pan que se llama quesadilla. what cheese can i use here from the US. any one let me know at

  • karen

    Yes, yes, please continue, Rudy! Everyone in New Mexico loves the daily update, well, I may be stretching – but everyone I share with does.
    I visited last February, and was happy to find your blog when I returned because now I feel like I’m still there. Thank you for that. It’s such a beautiful city and you are the BEST tour leader. k

  • Erin

    Yes! Please continue the journey. There is so much about Guatemala to share…
    Personally, I have had very good experiences with the San Antonio Bakery bread, especially with the beautiful torta filled with caramelized figs and chilacayote, the one in your photo with raisins, and the most amazing molletes I have ever tried.
    Every time I go to Guatemala (not so often as I would like), I buy several pieces of this bread and when at home, I cover them individually with plastic wrap, put them in Ziploc bags, and freeze them. To serve, I thaw the piece I am going to use (one at a time) and heat it in the oven for 15-25 minutes at 250ªF. Simply delicious!
    I have to tell you that I have used the tortas in very fancy dinners. They are much more than the poor Guatemalans cake.
    Does anybody have a recipe?

  • Sofia

    Grossed out because Guatemalan’s dip sweet bread in the coffee? What is so gross about that? Maybe it’s as gross as dipping a cookie in milk?

    I think that when you write about something you should do your best to leave out offensive things.

    Another thing is that there is nothing “POOR” about Guatemalans eating sweet bread instead of cake. It’s personal choice. And, it’s a delicious and healthy alternative to the “oh-so-overdone” overly sugary birthday cake with frosting that has a large % of American’s beyond obesity.

  • Erin

    Now that the comments about Guatemalan sweet bread are back, and for those who live in the Houston area: I found El Quetzal, a Guatemalan bakery in 3700 Hillcroft, #100, Houston, TX 77057; Phone (713) 952-9253. I couldn’t resist and bought some molletes and made torrejas, which were served today as desert. ¡Gloriositas!

  • Homemade champurrada recipe:
    1 box of yellow cake mix
    1.2 lb. of flour
    4 oz of shortening
    3/4 cup of water

    mix all ingredients together using your hand until everything is evenly mixed. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, make small ball of dough and using a plastic bag make dough into champurrada shape. Place champurrada on greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins or until light brown. Let cool down for them to become crispy….then enjoy!

  • rworange

    What is the address of this bakery?

  • rworange

    First, as impossible as it sounds, the baked goods at San Antonio taste even better than your amazing photos make them look

    Second, to answer my own question, don’t have the exact address. It is on 5a Calle Poniente with the nearest cross street being Calle Santa Lucia. There is a statue/traffic circle and it is just beyond it.

    I didn’t have the address but the owner of Fernando’s Kaffee was kind enough to mark out the directions on a map. He said there were three. This was the nearest.

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