Mexican Sweet-Bread Makes for a Happy Three Kings Day
by Carla White
January 6 is Three Kings Day, officially marking the end of the 12 Days of Christmas or the holiday season. One of Mexico’s most revered traditions is the eating of Rosca de Reyes – a Mexican sweet-bread that has a surprise in it: A little bean or plastic baby Jesus is baked into the bread (the person who finds the baby is responsible for another party soon thereafter). Be sure to warn guests, though, if you are using a small plastic baby!!! You can buy the Rosca at virtually any grocery store or bakery here…but if you have a few hours, you could also make your own!
Rosca de Reyes
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 6 cups flour (may need up to 8 cups)
- 1 (12 ounce) can almond filling or if you cannot fin Solo Almond Filli, use marzipan or a jam of your choice
- 2 dried beans (for the babies, although in Mexico, they use little plastic babies)
- colored sugar sprinkles or candied fruit (optional)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
Directions: Combine yeast and water in a small bowl, stirring until dissolved, and set aside until yeast is proofed. In a large mixing bowl combine the milk, sugar, and butter, stirring until dissolved. Add the salt, eggs, and yeast mixture and blend thoroughly. Beat in 3 cups of flour to make a smooth batter Add additional flour to make a soft dough (dough will be very sticky).
Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead approximately 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed. Round into a ball and place in a warm buttered bowl, turning to lightly coat top with some of the butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Then, punch down the dough and divide in half.
To prepare rings, divide dough in half and flatten into a long oval. Spread 1/2 can of almond filling (or your own filling) on each oval, place one bean or plastic baby into each oval, and roll each piece into a rope. Join ends together leaving large oval hole in the middle. Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
- While you are waiting for the bread to rise, preheat oven to 350°F.
- You will bake the bread for about 30 minutes or until it is golden.
- Remove the bread and let loaves cool on wire racks.
- Mix all the icing ingredients together and then, once the bread is cool, frost it.
- And now the fun part…decorate it with sugars, candied fruits or whatever you think is appropriate for Three Kings Day!!!
Want to find out where to dine on Three Kings Day in Baja?
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