Friday, January 6, 2012

Rosca de Reyes - Three Kings Bread

I am about as white as white can get. I have little to nothing interesting in my blood line. Living in south Texas we are the minority.  San Antonio is about 65% Hispanic and the city is alive with a bustling culture. As you may or may not know, I home school my kids. I love being able to incorporate different cultural traditions into our daily lessons. Most people I know who celebrate Jan 6 here in SA just refer to the holiday as epiphany. 

"It is traditionally eaten on January 6, during the celebration of the "Día de Reyes" (literally "Kings' Day"), which commemorates the arrival of the three magi or wise men. In most of Spain, Spanish America, and sometimes, Hispanic communities in the United States, this is the day when children traditionally get presents, which are attributed to the Three Wise Men (and not Santa Claus or Father Christmas). In Mexico before children go to bed, they leave their shoes outside filled with hay or dried grass for the animals the Wise Men ride, along with a note.The tradition of placing a trinket (figurine of the Christ Child) in the cake is very old. The baby Jesus, when hidden in the bread, represents the flight of Jesus, fleeing from King Herods evil plan to kill all babies that could be the prophesied messiah. Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine is blessed and must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2, Candlemas Day (Día de la Candelaria). In the Mexican culture, this person also has to throw a party and provide tamales to the guests."  - Wikipedia

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon anise extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp water
  • candied fruit and colored sugar for garnish (we didn't have dried fruit on hand so we just used sugar)
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes or until it starts foaming.
  2. In a small pot warm milk and add sugar, butter, vanilla, anise and rum.Mix until warm - DO NOT let boil!
  3. Mix milk mixture with yeast mixture and add 4 cups of flour, one at a time, raisins and 3 eggs. Knead for 10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is too wet.
  4. Place dough into a bowl and cover. Let it sit until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350ºF
  6. Turn the dough onto a slightly floured surface and using your palms roll it into a long rope. Shape it into a ring sealing the ends together.
  7. Make an egg wash using 1 egg and 1 tsp of water and brush the bread with it. Decorate the top of the ring with candied fruits and colored sugar.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until it turns golden brown. Let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes. 
Here is a picture of a traditional King's Bread with the candied "jewels":
Photo courtesy of Panifico Bake Shop

Our Ratings:

Mama F: 7 - An interesting blend of bread and dessert. It's a mixture I have never really tried before. Like sweet bread with sugar on top.

Daddy F: 5 - Reminded me of a soft pretzel in taste and texture. Like a dessert bread. I thought it was too sweet.

Fuller Kids: 6 - my 4 year old said she really liked the bread part but she didn't like the sugar topping. (I know, again my kids are weird)

Lucky the Dog: 8 - yum!!! I love bread!

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