Feast of the Three Kings > Rosca de Reyes > Three Kings Day Bread

Posted On January 4, 2007

Filed under Festive Recipes

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According to tradition, whoever gets the slice of bread with the baby Jesus (little doll) in it has to provide the tamales and atole in a dinner party on February 2, on Candlemas or Dia de la Candelaria.

3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Maraschino Cherries for garnish
Small Porcelain doll (to represent “baby Jesus”)

1/4 cup dried apple slices, chopped 
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried dates, chopped
4 Tbls granulated sugar

1 to 2 Tbls Orange Juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon  
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1. Chop the fruits into small pieces. Dissolve about 4 tablespoons of sugar into enough hot water to cover all the fruit. Add the dried fruits and set aside as you prepare the rest of the bread. 
2. In a large mixing bowl stir together 1-1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, heat and stir milk, the butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and salt just until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F) and butter is almost melted.
4. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture; add eggs.
5. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the side of the bowl constantly.
6. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes more. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic about 3 to 5 minutes total).
8. Shape the dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease the surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 to 1-1/2 hours).
9. Punch the dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll dough into a 20 x l2-inch rectangle. Spread it with the 3 tablespoons softened butter.
10. Drain off the water from the fruit. Stir the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon into it. Add the optional almonds; toss gently to coat.
11. Sprinkle the mixture onto the surface of the dough. Starting at a long side, loosely roll up dough jelly-roll style. Moisten the edges and pinch firmly to seal. Place the roll, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper. Bring the ends together to form a ring. Moisten ends; pinch together to seal ring. Flatten slightly.
12.  Using a sharp knife, make 12 cuts around the edge of the dough at 1-1/2-inch intervals, cutting about two-thirds of the way to the center.
13. Slip a porcelain doll somewhere into the ring. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (30 to 40 minutes). Place whole apple rings, cherries and apricots on top to garnish.
13. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. (If necessary, cover loosely with foil after 20 minutes to prevent over-browning.) Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
14. For icing, in a small mixing bowl combine powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough orange juice to make an icing of drizzling consistency. Spoon icing over ring.