Rosca de Reyes Recipe
(Bread of the Kings)
January 6, The Feast of the Epiphany, is the day the Three Wise Kings arrived to adore the Baby Jesus. Historically, this day is more celebrated in Mexico than Christmas Day. A special sweet bread is made for the Feast of the Epiphany, which is called Rosca de Reyes. A small figurine of the Baby Jesus is hidden in the bread. The person who gets the slice of bread with the Baby Jesus doll is then required to throw a party on February 2, which is the Feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria.
- 6-7 cups flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 pkgs yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup butter
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. orange flower water
- 6 tbsp. margarine, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- ¾ cup flour
crystallized fruit in Christmas colors
(cherries, pineapple, figs, etc)
1 small baby doll, 1-2 inches long
Combine the 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Affix the mixer with dough kneading hooks. Heat the milk, water and butter until the butter is melted and the liquid reaches a temperature between 105° and 115°. Add liquid to the flour mixture. Start the mixer, and add in the eggs, egg yolks, and orange flower water. Add in enough of the remaining flour until a stiff dough forms. Allow the dough to knead for 8-10 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer. Transfer dough to a greased bowl, and allow to rise for 1 hour, until it has doubled in bulk.
After the dough has risen, punch dough down. Allow dough to rest 5-10 minutes.
Shape bread dough into a ring in the following manner: Making a large round “patty” with the bread dough. Press a hole in the center. You should now have a fat doughnut shaped piece. Stretch doughnut to make an oval shaped ring, with a large hole in the center. The ring sides should be about 4 1/2”-5” wide (the rosca somewhat resembles the shape of a horse-racing track!) Place shaped rosca on a greased pan, and allow to rise for another hour, until doubled in bulk.
Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients, and mix into a soft dough. Set aside.
When the shaped rosca is fully risen, heat oven to 350°. Decorate the top of the rosca with the topping dough , making circle and stripe shaped pieces, and pressing them lightly onto the rosca. Decorate with colored crystallized fruit. Bake for 30 minutes, or until brown. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly.
With a knife, make a slit underneath the rosca. Press the baby doll up into the rosca.