On January 6 is Dia De Los Reyes or Three Kings Day and some of you may know it as Epiphany or the 12th day of Christmas. We don’t really celebrate it but I remember my parents always buying a “rosca” for Three Kings Day.
What is Is Three Kings Day? It’s an important holiday in Latin America and much of Europe and Russia in celebration of the three wise men who traveled far, bearing gifts for the infant baby Jesus . In Mexico, Santa Claus is not much celebrated as much as the United States. It’s the three wise men who leave presents in children’s shoes. Children or their parents lined up the shoes in front door or bed before they go to sleep. Hoping to awaken on Sunday morning and find gifts. Also, people who celebrate Three Kings Day will put together boxes of hay or grass and leave them on their porch steps as a treat for the Magi’s camels.
So I decided to bake a small Rosca De Reyes for the hubby. Traditionally, the Rosca De Reyes is a anise yeast based bread with candid strips of fruit and raisins. Each Rosca comes with a hidden figurine of Baby Jesus. The tradition of placing a tiny figurine of Baby Jesus is always a must. The figurine of Baby Jesus represents the flight of Jesus, fleeing from King Herod’s evil plan to kill all babies that could be the prophesied messiah. Whoever gets the piece of the rosca containing the baby Jesus figurine is blessed and must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2, Candlemas Day (Día de la Candelaria). In the Mexican culture, this person also has to throw a party and provide a traditional meal for the guest.
Since, we are not big fans of dried raisins or dried fruit in a Rosca De Reyes; I made a slightly different rosca.
Now here is my recipe for Rosca De Reyes:
- 1 tsp of Dry Active Yeast
- 1/4 Cup of Warm Water
- 1/4 Cup of Milk
- 1/4 Cup of Sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 3-4 cups of flour
- 4 Eggs
- For the PASTE:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 1/3 cup of butter (Softened)
- Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- Melted Chocolate Chips
- Sliced Almonds
- Pre-Heat oven at 350F
- In a large bowl combine warm water and yest and set aside until its foamy.
- In a medium sauce pan: combine milk, sugar, butter and vanilla until warm and butter is dissolved.
- Mix in the butter/milk mixture to the yeast. Add Eggs and add flour alternatively.
- If you are kneading by hand: Knead until it’s not sticky by adding more flour if needed. If you are kneading by mixer: add more flour until dough is not sticky.
- In a lightly floured surface: If you want to make two small roscas: separate dough in half. Form a ball and create a hole to shape like an doughnut or “rosca”.
- To Make the Paste: Mix egg yolk, flour and butter with a spoon.
- Use one egg to make an egg wash.
- Grab the egg wash and brush in on the dough to place strips of paste, coconut, nuts or candid strips of fruit.
- Bake at 20-30minutes or until golden brown.
- Garnish with some melted chocolate and powder sugar.