Home > Dessert, Spanish > King Cake (Roscón de Reyes)

King Cake (Roscón de Reyes)

Hi,

Someweeks ago Ibán Yarza, which is a bread enthusiast and translator into spanish of Dan Lepard’s books about bread, give a training session about Christmas breads, focusing on panettone and King Cake (Roscón de Reyes in Spanish); cooking a panettone is a way complicated but the King Cake is more affordable, even it has a considerable amount of work behind. You need patience and time to prepare it, and on this recipe I will show you how to cook 2 King Cakes.

This cake is very typical in Spain on Epiphany day. Sometime some surprises are hidden in the dough: a king and a bean, the one finding the king is crowned and the one finding the bean must pay  the cake 🙂

Ingredients (for 2 king bakes):

  • 250 ml milk
  • Skin of a lemon and an orage
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 440 gr flour
  • 80 gr sugar
  • 5 gr dry baker’s yeast (or 15-20 if it is fresh)
  • 3 eggs
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water
  • 4 teaspoons of rum
  • Candied fruit (for decoration)
  • Sliced almonds (for decoration)

First day we will prepare a preferment, to prepare it add about 250 ml of milk in a pot, adding also the skin of a lemon and an orange and a cinnamon stick. Let the milk boil for 2 or 3 minutes taking care it does not overflood the pot. Wait for the milk to reach ambient temperature and add on a bowl 100gr of flour, half teaspoon of dry baker’s yeast and 60 gr of previously boiled milk, knead it in the same bowl, form a ball and cover with transparent film, let rest for at least a night.

Next day remove the film and add 340gr of flour, 80 gr of sugar, about 4 gr of dry baker’s yeast, half teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water, 4 teaspoons of rum, 2 eggs and 120 gr of milk boiled the day before. Mix well all ingredients helping you first with a spoon or spatula and then use your hands. When everything is well mixed it’s time to knead on the table, so put the content of bowl in the table and help you with a spatula to get the most part of dough which will be stick to the walls of the bowl.

And now it’s time to knead, use your hands as showels with all your 4 fingers stuck on each other (the less surface you offer to the dough the less will get stuck to your hands), pass your hands under the dough touching your fingers, hold (without pressing) the dough with your thumbs in the middle of dough, lift the dough, drop it to the table, drag it to you and with a wrist move fold the dough and separate your hands, now you need to repeat the move placing your hands on 90 degrees. Hope it is more clear watching the video 🙂

It will take you some time to knead it, about 10 to 15 minutes, you can take some rests collecting the dough stuck on the table with the help of a spatula, let the dough rest for 2-3 minutes and it will be more easy to handle. No stress no hurry up, just take your time, and take as rests as you need. After kneading, kneading and kneading the dough will be less sticky, and each time you lift it there will be almost no dough on the table, when the dough is in this state help you with a spatula to give the dough a round form as you can see in the video. Cover with a dishcloth and let ferment for about 1 hour.

You will see how the dough increased it’s volume, this  is always amazing to see. Extend with your hands the dough and place over it 60 gr of unsalted butter, take the butter out of fridge some hours before. Integrate the butter on the dough and knead again as before, until you get a shiny and soft silky dough, again give it a round form with a spatula and cover with a dishcloth and let ferment for about an hour.

Divide the dough in 2 parts. With each part we will knead it for just one minute or two and help again with the spatula to give int a round form. Insert a finger in the middle and then with some skill form a kind of bagel. When formed put each part over an oven paper and brush them with a whisked egg, taking care to brush all the dough. Let rest for some hours.

After resting we can brush it again the the whisked egg, and decorate them with candied fruit (I used oranges and cherries) sliced almods, even you can place bands of sugar.

Cook in the oven at 400ºF (200º C) for 14-17 minutes, until it gets a nice colour. Let cold and enjoy! You can also cut it in half and stuff with cream, custard, chocolate …

King cake

Here you can take a look on how it is cooked in the oven on a high speed camera 🙂

Music played in the video (Airport Lounge) was composed by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com), also he is the owner of song’s rights which are released under a CC-BY license.

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