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Pan Tonto or Crazy Bread

Rachel CastanedaRachel Castaneda Castaneda

This is a cross between a biscuit and a cake or a scone. Grandma Castañeda, told me about this recipe that her mother used to bake all the time when they lived out in the country side of Elgin, Tx. She said that Al, my brother-in-law, had also been reminiscing about this bread because she used to also make it for her kids when they were young. She told me that it was very good with butter, jam, or just honey. The family in New Braunfels called it Pan Loco. Hector, searched the Internet for the recipe since she did not have a recipe for it and he got only one hit. The instructions were very sketchy but I went for it and we were pleased with the results. Per the Internet, the purpose of this recipe was to use milk that had gone bad. So instead of throwing out the sour milk, they would throw it into this recipe. Hector’s co-worker’s wife, Debbie, freezes it and then just takes out a piece for a fast breakfast.

servings:Makes 24 slices
prep time:
10 minutes
cook time:
20 minutes


  • 6 Cup Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 Cup Shortening (I use Crisco Baking sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup Sour Milk or buttermilk
Pan Tonto or Crazy Bread photo


  • 1

    Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Then add the egg and vanilla to the milk and add all of that to the flour/shortening. Try to work it as little as possible as you bring it all together to form the dough.

  • 2

    Divide dough into 4 sections and fill 1“ high and pat out with your hands into four round 9-in. cake pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. The end result is between a biscuit and bread.


I really like this recipe because it has just the right amount of sweetness to enjoy with a cup of coffee in the morning or with a cup of tea in the afternoon. I also like that it can be made with simple pantry ingredients that I always have on hand.



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