Spanish Epiphany Bread

Posted On January 4, 2007

Filed under Festive Recipes

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Ingredients >
3 cups all-purpose flour
A pinch salt
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 ounce yeast, dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon brandy
1 teaspoon orange water
2 eggs, plus one egg white, well beaten

Method >
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast. Gradually mix in the flour. When the mixture thickens, coat it with flour, cover with a tea towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place. In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Mix the zests, brandy, orange flower water and two eggs into the dough. Knead until smooth.
Gradually work the butter mixture into the dough, kneading constantly. When dough becomes smooth and elastic, cover it with waxed paper and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the dough has doubled in volume. Place the dough on a floured surface. Knead for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the coin or bean. Roll the dough into a long cylinder, about 2 feet long. Place on a greased baking sheet, forming the dough into a circle.
Join the two ends by pinching the dough together. Cover with waxed paper and allow it to rest another 90 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in volume. With a pastry brush, top the dough with the beaten egg white. Decorate the dough with slivered almonds and candied fruit, pressing them down so that they stick to the dough. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the bread is cooked and golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool. Yields 18 servings.