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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Rosca de Reyes - Mexican Kings Cake

Hello everybody! Well... it's almost time for our next celebration, at least in Mexico, we celebrate "Dia de Reyes" (Three Kings Day) ... If you want to know more about this tradition, well go to my post about it just click here... I'll just quote a little something from that post here...

- "In many cities in Mexico "Santa" is not the one who brings the presents but "The Three Kings". Early on January 6th morning many children received their toys! And as they play and enjoy what their gifts the adults get ready to have a "merienda" (an early evening dinner) where they will have the "ROSCA DE REYES" (Three Kings Cake) and hot chocolate or coffee!" -

So... this year I will be making my own... and I actually JUST made one to share the recipe and pictures with all of you... There are many versions of this bread... but this is one of the easiest you'll find and also way more delicious than store bought! I hope you enjoy it!


Rosca de Reyes

For the bread:
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 4 eggs
  • 10 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • the zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

For the "crumb/sugar topping"
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Additional toppings:
  • 1 egg for "varnishing"
  • Candied cherries and assorted candied fruits, like lemon/orange/lime candied peel and/or fruit cake mix
  • Colored sugar (yellow/green/red are traditional colors)
  • Granulated sugar to sprinkle

Mix (with a plastic spoon and in a clean glass or plastic container) the dry yeast, warm milk and one tablespoon of sugar. Cover and let it rest in a warm dark place (it could be inside your oven) for 10 minutes
In a a mixing bowl add 1 cup of flour and the "yeast mixture" using the hook attachment mix for 1 minute, slowly add another cup of flour, salt,  butter, eggs, sugar and continue mixing, incorporate remaining flour and add orange zest/vanilla and mix for about 4 minutes.

Transfer your dough to a floured surface and knead with your hands adding more flour until your dough is no longer sticky. Return dough to mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 2 hours inside your oven (it's better if it's a little warm but not hot), the secret with this bread is to be patient, you just have to "forget about your dough" for those 2 hours and not be uncovering it, it needs to rest like that to be able to rise and let the yeast do the work.

After the dough has doubled in size, kind of "punch it" with your knuckles (again on a slightly floured surface) to get the air out of the dough (punch it about 4 times only) then roll it out to form an oval and it should be about 1/2 inch thick.

I couldn't take pictures at this point but this is how you should roll your dough.

Then starting from the further side from you start rolling your dough (not too tight but not loose either) towards you to form like a "taco"

(As you are rolling this would be the time to insert a couple of little plastic dolls that the traditional bread calls for, I left those out)

Then grab your "roll", transfer to a slightly greased jelly roll pan and shape it into an oval, handling the dough to join the ends as much as you can with your fingers and then just kind of press the oval shaped roll down to flatten a little.

Cover with a damp cloth and transfer your oval shaped roll back to a warm/dark place and let it rest for another hour.

When the hour has passed now just "varnish" your dough using 1 slightly beaten egg and a pastry brush

It's time to make the crumb topping:

Just incorporate all the crumb topping ingredients (egg yolk, powdered sugar, salt, flour and vanilla) and don't over mix, roll it out and cut "stripes" that you will place on top of your "rosca" as you wish, it's a delicious topping, next time I will use more of it... but here's what I did:

Now just decorate with the fruit and the colored sugars and then sprinkle additional granulated sugar all over it!

Bake in preheated oven at 350F until a beautiful dark golden color shows (for about 20 up to 30 minutes, time might vary depending on the oven)


© Paloma K.

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