Three King's Cake (or bread) is closely allied with the traditions around the Epiphany (January 6th). This date commemorates the visit the Three Wise Men made to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. In Mexico, the day is a gift-giving holiday. Tradition states this bread be served, garnished with the "jewels" of fruit and nuts. Usually a small clay or porcelain doll is baked inside. The custom is that whoever finds the doll must give a party on Candlemas (February 2nd).
So yup we are buying K's Spanish Grade. He is sitting at a B in that class so he doesn't seriously need it but why not give this thing a try.
So here is the recipe we were given.
For the bread
1/2 cup whole milk
5 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 4x1-inch strips of orange zest (use a vegetable peeler; avoid the white pith)
1 Tbsp orange juice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups (15 3/4 oz) all-purpose flour; more as needed
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
Vegetable oil, as needed
For the topping
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Raisins and other dried fruit
1. Put the milk, butter, and orange zest in a small saucepan, over medium heat; stir until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and let cool until warm. Discard the orange zest, add the orange juice, and whisk in the eggs.
2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water and let stand until the mixture bubbles slightly 5 to 10 minutes. If the yeast doesn't bubble, discard it and start again with new yeast.
3. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt on a work surface, or a really large bowl. Make a well in the center. Gradually pour the yeast mixture and the milk mixture into the well while mixing with your hand. Knead on a lightly floured work surface until you have a nice, uniform dough, about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth but still slightly sticky. If it seems too sticky, add more flour as needed.
4. Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and leave in a warm place (about 70 degrees) until doubled in size, 1-1 1/2 hours.
SHAPING THE BREAD
Divide the dough in half and shape the pieces on a lightly floured surface into two rounds. Place each round on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Poke your fist through the middle of each round, and shape each into a ring. Decorate each ring with raisins and other dried fruits. Cover loosely with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Here is where K and D started making their own.
Adding the dried fruit
D went for a symmetrical pretty looking bread.
K well...K is a 14 year old boy who just wanted to get stuff on it and be done with it so...
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake until the loaves have an even golden color, 30-40 minutes. Cover the loaves loosely with foil and continue to bake about 10-15 minutes more, until their bottoms are browned and the internal temperature is 190 degrees. Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes on a wire rack.
And they are done.
K's looks ok I guess he tried.
Sometimes when you put in a little more effort you do get a nicer looking finished product.
I know the recipe has ingredients for a topping but the directions make no mention of it so we left it out.
Both will be going to school with K tomorrow for their Rosca de Reyes party in Spanish class. I hope that his classmates like them because they are kind of time consuming to make.
Have you ever "bought" your kid a better grade in a class?