Roscón de Reyes | Spanish Twisted Roll of Kings recipe
- 350 grams of baking wheat flour
- 25 grams of fresh yeast
- 125 ml of fresh milk
- 100 grams of sugar
- 75 grams of butter (left at room temperature for soft malleable texture)
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
- orange zest
- 1 tbs of rum
- 1 tsp of orange blossom essence (fit for food)
- a pinch of salt
- To decorate: candied fruit, sugar, almonds, or whatever you like
- Put the fresh yeast in warm milk and dissolve with your fingers. Leave for 15 minutes so the yeast activates.
- Put 320 grams of flour in a bowl. In the center place the orange zest and sugar.
- When the milk and yeast are ready add it to the center of the flour
- Stir the center with a spatula, slowly incorporating the flour on the bottom and sides of the bowl until a thin paste forms, however flour must remain on the walls of the bowl
- Add the butter, the orange blossom essence, the rum, the egg yolk and the salt
- Mix well with the spatula until you have a sticky dough, incorporating the flour on the walls of the bowl
- Sprinkle the table you will be working on with the rest of the flour. Put the roscón de reyes dough and knead. It will stick to the surface at first, but as you knead it it will stop sticking. If it’s impossible, add some more flour (only if strictly necessary). The dough has to be slightly sticky, but if you slide it quickly through the surface it mustn’t adhere to it
- When the dough is ready shape into a ball. Sprinkle some flour in a large bowl and put the dough in it. Cover with cling film and put the bowl in a warm place, perhaps a room with a heater. The mass must double it’s volume, and it can take from 2 to 3 hours depending on the temperature
- When the dough has grown enough remove from the bowl and knead for one minute to remove the air from it.
- Form a ball with the dough. With both thumbs make a hole in the middle and enlarge to give the roscón de reyes it’s shape. It must have more or less the size of the baking tray you will be using
- Line the tray with baking paper and put the dough on it. It’s likely it will shrink a little. Spread it evenly on the tray until it has a good size. If the dough sticks on the baking paper it doesn’t matter.
- Cover the dough with another sheet of baking paper and let it leaven in a warm place until it’s size doubles. It should take between 30 and 60 minutes.
- Once it’s leavened, with a brush paint the roscón de reyes with egg batter and decorate to your taste
- Put the tray in the oven for 25 minutes at 160º C (302º F) until it gets a golden color and remove from the oven.
- Let it cool before cutting or filling it.
Tip: Place a small toy and fava bean inside. Serve with a paper crown.
In Spain, roscones bought in pastry shops have a small figure hidden inside, either of a baby Jesus or little toys for children, as well as the more traditional dry fava bean. Whoever finds the figure is crowned “king” or “queen” of the celebration, whereas whoever finds the bean has to pay for the next year’s roscón or Epiphany party.
If you happen to be visiting Spain during the winter holidays, don’t miss out on Roscón de Reyes! Read about Christmas traditions in Barcelona (Catalonia) here