Pan Dulce translates to "Sweet Bread" in English and is not an indigenous food in Mexico. Wheat was introduced in Mexico by the Spanish during the time of the Conquest. It was a religious necessity because it is the only grain deemed acceptable by the Catholic Church for making communion wafers. The first bakeries in Mexico started in the 1520s and were not very popular. The Conquistadors taught the Indigenous people how to bake and as the Spanish and Meztizo population grew so did the popularity of bread. The consumption of bread became a staple in Mexico especially as a breakfast meal with hot chocolate. By the end of the 17th century there were hundreds of bakeries in Mexico and varieties were differentiated by social class, white breads, also know as pan floreado, were reserved for the nobility and rich. The lower class ate "Pambazo," made with darker flour. French influence on Mexican baking also started in the colonial period, leading one staple bread still found today, the bolillo (similar to a crust French roll). Although the earliest breads were the most basic, bakeries specializing in sweet breads, called bizcocherías in Mexico, are noted as early as 1554, and are well-established by the end of the 17th century. By the end of the 18th century, most bakeries had people dedicated to sweet breads. The creative contribution of French baked goods to Mexico's cuisine peaked in the early 19th Century during the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz.
Skilled Mexican bakers adopted French techniques to create new bread
designs with colorful names. Today, Mexican bakers are among the most
inventive in the world; it is estimated that there are between 500 and
2,000 types of breads currently produced in Mexico.