Rosca de Reyes is something that is traditionally purchased, but you know me – I had to make it for myself. And really, I like the home made version better. Less sweet, and more bread-like…the leftovers make a delicious toasted breakfast bread.
Rosca de Reyes on January 6
In the Christian calendar, the Epiphany is celebrated on January 6, which is the day that the Three Wise Men arrived to meet the Baby Jesus. Rosca de Reyes is served in celebration of their arrival. Traditionally, a small baby figurine is hidden inside the bread. Whoever receives the slice of rosca with the baby is obliged to stage another party on February 2, the feast day of the Virgen de la Candelaria. February 2 is same day as Candlemas, or the day that baby Jesus was first presented in the temple
Serving Rosca de Reyes is a sweet celebration of the introduction of baby Jesus to the world, and is always enjoyed with cups of hot chocolate and coffee around the family table.
Rosca de Reyes is a Delicious Bread
If you have made bread in the past, making a rosca de reyes will not be too difficult. However, the one trick I have learned is to decorate the rosca after the bread has completely risen. If you place the decorating dough pieces on the rosca before it rises, the decorations will split as the dough explands.
Also, feel free to experiment with fancy crystalyzed fruit for your decorative toppings. In the photos, you can see that I elected to decorate the rosca in the most traditional fashion. But after quick peek on Instagram, there are some very creative, modernish roscas out there. I will make one of those next year, but this year I went the traditional decoration pattern.
This is a good recipe to take with you to share. The rosca is quite large and can easily feed more than 2 dozen people.Print
Rosca de Reyes
- Prep Time: 2 hours 15 min
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- Yield: 24 servings 1x
- Category: Pastry
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Mexican
6 – 7 cups flour (750g-875g)
3/4 cup sugar (150g)
2 pkg. yeast (14g)
1 tsp. salt (4g)
1/2 cup milk (120 ml)
1/2 cup water (120 ml)
1/2 cup butter (115g)
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp. orange flower water (30ml)
6 tbsp. butter, softened (85g)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (62g)
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup flour (94g)
crystallized fruit in Christmas colors
(cherries, pineapple, figs, etc)
1 small baby doll, 1 – 2″ long (2.5cm – 5cm)
Combine the 2 cups of the flour with the sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Heat the milk, water and butter until the butter is melted and the liquid reaches a temperature between 105°F – 115°F (40°C- 46°C) Add liquid to the flour mixture, and turn the mixer on at a slow speed, using the mixing paddle. Add the eggs, egg yolks, and orange flower water. Add enough of the remaining flour until a stiff dough forms.
Stop the mixer and switch the mixing blade to the dough kneading hook (or hooks) Turn the mixer back on and allow the dough to knead for 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer and remove bowl. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with a towel, 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 by rolling it into a thick oval. 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 ½”- 5” (11cm-13cm) wide
Place shaped rosca on a greased baking sheet 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°F (176°C). Decorate the top of the rosca with the topping dough, making circle and stripe shaped pieces, and pressing them lightly onto the top of the rosca. Decorate with the colored crystallized fruit. Bake for 30 minutes, or until brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
With a knife, make a slit underneath the rosca. Press the baby doll up into the center of the rosca.