In my house, Christmas isn’t finish until we do Día de Reyes (King’s Day or Epiphany Day). Traditionally in Mexico we celebrate Epiphany Day by eating a Rosca de Reyes (Round Bread Cake), which is this amazing, aromatic and delicious bread, usually oval shape, top with candied fruit, nuts and a delicious sugary dough paste, most of the time we have it with a nice Mexican hot chocolate.
Traditionally, all roscas have a little white plastic doll inside, that represents baby Jesus and the person who gets that little doll it is the lucky “winner/ organiser” for a tamaliza on February 2nd. My children love Día de Reyes, because the three holy kings bring them money, but they have to write a little note to them and leave it on their shoe near to the entrance. When I was a child, I always looked forward to this day, because I could eat lots of rosca and drink lots of hot chocolate.
I stopped following this tradition for a while, it wasn’t until I had children of my own, that I started to either buy or make a Rosca de Reyes and these days, I love making my own, because I can decorate it the way I want and every year they get fancier and fancier. This year I even added some gold dust.
I hope you like the recipe, it is not a complicated recipe at all and it makes two small round ones or one large oval one. You can decorate it the way you want, so let your inner artist to come alive.
Rosca de Reyes
- Baking sheet
- parchment paper
- Electric mixer
For the Rosca dough
- 500 g all purpose white flour
- 150 g caster sugar
- 150 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 25 g fresh yeast 12 g instant dry yeast
- 4 eggs medium, room temperature
- 65 ml warm milk
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water or orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange zest
For the Decoration dough paste
- 25 g unsalted butter cold
- 25 g caster sugar
- 35 g all purpose white flour
To decorate the Rosca
- 6 candied cherries
- 1 fresh mandarin cut in thin slices
- 1/4 cup almond flakes
- 1 tbsp confectioners sugar powder sugar
- 1 egg for a shine finish
- 1 tbsp milk
To make the dough
- Start by mixing the yeast with the warm milk and one tea spoon of sugar. Leave to activate for 7 minutes or until it has lots of bubbles.
- Mix the flour and the sugar. Place this mix on the worktop and make a whole in the middle. Beat the eggs and add the orange bloosom and orange zest. Pour this in the hole of the flour and sugar, then add the yeast and milk mixture and start mixing. Then add the butter.
- Mix all very well and work the dough until it doesnt stick on your hand. It might take around 15 minutes. If you have an electric mixer, this would speed this process, just add all the ingredients and turn the mixer in the lowest setting and mix for 10 minutes.
- Once your dough is ready, oil a large bowl and place your dough there and cover it with cling film and leave it in the warmest place of your kitchen. This is going to be the first proving of the bread. Prove for an hour or until the dough has double in size.
- While the dough is proving, make the decorations dough paste. Combine all the ingredients until forming a paste. Leave in the fridge for a while. It will be easier to work with it if it is cold, as it won't stick to the worktop.
- Once the dough has double in size, remove the cling film and place the dough on the worktop. Work it for a few seconds and cut it in two parts, weighing the same. Make a ball and then make a hole in the middle and give it a round shape. Once they are ready, transfer them on a baking sheet, that has a parchment paper. Shape it properly on the parchment paper.
- Prove the Rosca for 45 minutes, making sure it is in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 180° C fan, 400° F, gas mark 6. Then once it has been proving for a while. Beat an egg and add milk. Using a baking brush, brush the roscas with the egg mixture.
- Then, using a rolling pin, roll the decoration dough paste and cut it into segments. Place three on top of the rosca (picture below), then add some of the mandarin slices, I cut mine into little pieces. Add the candied cherries and the almond flakes.
- Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool down for 5 minutes. Once it is a bit cool, dust it with confectioners sugar. Share it with friends and enjoy it with a nice cup of hot Mexican chocolate.
I would love to hear if you liked this recipe, tag me on social media #mexicanfoodmemories to see your creations. And if you want to learn to make this recipe and more, join me in one of my Mexican Cooking Classes.