Roscon de Reyes
This Spanish bread is traditionally eaten at the Epiphany (January 6th). It contains citrus peel and glacé fruits to give a stunning flavour.
Makes: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 450 g (16 oz) strong white (or AP) flour
  • 140 g (4¾ fl oz) lukewarm milk or water
  • 75 g (2½ oz) butter cut into small pieces
  • 75 g (2½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1½ tsp dried yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp orange flower water (optional)
For the glaze
  • 1 beaten egg white
To decorate
  • Assorted glacé fruits
  • Flaked almonds
Instructions
  1. Add the yeast to the milk, stir and leave for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  2. Mix the salt and flour together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast/milk mixture. Using a spoon, incorpoate enough flour to make a thick batter in the centre of the flour.
  3. Sprinkle some of the remaining flour onto the batter, cover and leave to "sponge" in a warm place for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together with a spoon.
  5. Add the citrus peel, eggs and orange flower water to the flour and mix well with a spoon.
  6. Now add the butter/sugar mixture and mix well with your hand to give a sticky dough.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a surface and knead well for around 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  8. Place the dough in a bowl, cover and leave in a moderately warm place to double in size.
  9. Turn the dough out onto a surface and knead for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Flour the surface and roll the dough out to about 60 cm x 12 cm (24" x 5").
  11. Roll the dough along its long side like a Swiss Roll and then form into a circle with the seam underneath. Dampen the two ends and press together to complete the circle.
  12. Place the dough on a lightly-greased baking sheet, place in a large plastic bag and put in a warm place for about an hour to allow the bread to prove.
  13. Lightly brush the bread with the beaten egg white then decorate with the glacé fruits and almonds.
  14. Bake at 160°C/320°F fan oven, 180°C/355°F conventional oven for around 30 minutes until the loaf is golden.
  15. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Notes
Traditional versions of this bread contain a porcelain figure, a silver coin or a dried bean wrapped in silver foil. Whoever gets the item becomes King of the Party!

Other versions of this bread are filled by slicing the bread in half, spreading cream or confectioner's cream on the lower half and replacing the top half. Filled Roscon de Reyes should be kept in the 'fridge before eating.

This bread can also be baked in a ring-shaped cake tin or savarin mould.