06 January, 2014

Dia de los Reyes / Three Kings Day

Rosca de Reyes /Round Bread for the Day of the Kings
This crown-shaped pastry is served on January 6, the Day of the Kings, or Twelfth Night.  A small doll representing the baby Jesus is randomly inserted when the bread is almost finished baking.  whoever gets the slice with the doll must then hold a party on February 2, the Feast of Candelaria where tamales are traditionally served.

Ingredients for the Pastry:
2 packages (¼ oz or 7 grams each) Dry Yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water
4 Cups All Purpose Flour
3 Eggs
3 Egg Yolks
⅓ Cup Sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp orange zest
2 Tbsp Orange Blossom Water or Milk
¾ Cup Butter, Softened.

Ingredients for Pastry Decoration:
6 Tbsp Butter
½ Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Egg Yolks
¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
3 oz (90 grams) Citron, cut into strips
3 Candied Figs, cut into strips
1 Egg, lightly beaten
Sugar for Sprinkling
1-2 small plastic or ceramic dolls

Sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water, add 2 Tbsp of the flour and let stand for 20 minutes in a war place.
Place the remaining flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center and place the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, salt, orange zest, orange blossom water, butter and dissolved yeast in the well.  Mix the ingredients together with your fingertips, then knead on a floured board until the dough is smooth.  When small bubbles start to form, in about 15 minutes, shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume.
Meanwhile, to prepare the decoration, cream the butter in a small bowl, then beat in the sugar, egg yolks and flour.  Set aside.
Knead the break dough one more time and shape into a large ring loaf.  Transfer to a greased baking sheet and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 475ºF (250ºC).  Decorate the ring with strips of the powdered sugar mixture and strips of the candied fruit, pressing them into the dough.  Glaze the ring with egg, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10 minutes.  lower the temperature to 400ºF (200ºC), remove the ring from the oven and press 1 or 2 little dolls into the underside.  Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
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