To make the breads:
Combine water and yeast. Then add milk and sugar. Mix well.
Add salt and egg. Mix well.
Incorporate the softened butter.
Add flour, starting with 2 cups. Mix with a spatula, then add the rest of the flour. Mix well to combine.
When the dough holds its shape, put it into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow to sit for 1.5 hour, or until the dough doubles.
To make the paste to top the Conchas:
Combine sugar and shortening. Add flour. Mix until it comes together.
Add vanilla extract and almond extract.
Mix with a hand mixer until it comes together.
Add coloring if desired. Divide into sections if you want to do more than one color.
Wrap in plastic wrap until dough is ready.
To make the Conchas:
Divide the dough into the size you want and shape with your hands. Flatten slightly.
Put onto a sheet pan. Allow to sit for 40 minutes to rise.
Roll out the paste. Use a concha tool or a cookie cutter to make circles of paste that fit the tops of the breads.
Place the paste circles onto the conchas. Let sit for a few minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, 18 - 20 minutes.
Makes 6 - 12 Conchas