Hello everyone, welcome to this holiday blog! Today I give you… Rosca de Reyes! A traditional holiday bread from Mexico. I learned how to make Rosca de Reyes, Pan de Muerto and Conchas with my cousin Lalo (who owns a family Panadería – Bakery – along with my uncle and aunty in La Huasteca, Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon) a few months ago but I wanted to try it on my own.
Check out that blog here: Soon
The tradition of the Rosca de Reyes is a custom originated from the Spanish Roscón de Reyes, which has arrived in Mexico to be adopted as one of the most emblematic traditions, since it marks the end of the Christmas season, commemorating the visit of the Kings of the East to the child Jesus.
This time I followed Janet’s recipe from Jauja Cocina Mexicana but since she doesn’t have a written recipe I decided to lay it down for y’all and you can find her video at the end of this post.
- Yeast: 1 tbsp dry yeast (10 gm), 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp wheat flour, ½ cup milk
- Dough: 500 gm (4 cups) all-purpose wheat flour, ¾ cup sugar, ¾ tsp salt, 3 large eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1½ tbsp vanilla, grated zest of 2 oranges, 125 gm unsalted butter, vegetable oil
- Sugar Paste: ⅓ cup margarine, ½ cup + 2 tbsp wheat flour, ½ cup icing sugar, 1 egg yolk
- Decorate: ate, citron, colored cherries, figs, pineapple, candied orange, sugar
- Baby Jesus or Whole Almonds
Step 1: Hydrating the yeast
You’ll need: 1 tbsp dry yeast (10 gm), 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp wheat flour, ½ cup milk (warm around 110°F or 43°C)
What to do: Put the dry ingredients together and give them a good whisk, then add the milk and whisk some more. Leave it sitting on the side for about 15 minutes. You’ll see how it grows and forms bubbles.
Notes: Make sure your yeast is not old. My first time trying it, I used some unopen yeast I had from a while ago, as an unexperienced baker, I thought being a sealed package it’d be fine but my first dough ended up not rising.
Step 2: Working the dough
What you need: 500 gm (4 cups) all-purpose wheat flour, ¾ cup sugar, ¾ tsp salt, 3 large eggs, 3 egg yolks, 1½ tbsp vanilla, grated zest of 2 oranges, 125 gm unsalted butter, oil vegetable shortening (to grease a bowl to leave the dough to rest)
What to do:
Zest the oranges, crack your eggs (3 full eggs and 3 egg yolks – Keep the egg whites to brush the rosca before baking!) in a bowl and measure all your ingredients to have them handy.
Pour the 4 cups of flour into a clean bench and make a volcano hole in the middle to put the rest of the ingredients. You can pour them in the order of how they’re listed above. After having all your ingredients check on your yeast mixture and pour it in. Start mixing and working the dough for about 20 minutes.
You can have breaks in between or have a baking party like we did and relay every couple of minutes. If you need you can add some flour to help you make the dough less sticky but don’t use too much or else it’d dry and toughen it out.
Once your dough is ready, leave it in a warm area for a couple of hours to raise. It should double in its size in about 2 hours under the right conditions.
My first time around, due to the yeast it didn’t end up raising (bummer) but there was a bunch of tricks online to try and help your dough raise if you’re having problems like putting it in the oven (off) with the light on and boiling water or with the oven on at 28°C. We did put it in the oven but didn’t end up raising, we baked it anyway and tasted nice just had a more crunchy bread consistency.
Step 3: Making the sugar paste
Ingredients: ⅓ cup margarine, ½ cup + 2 tbsp wheat flour, ½ cup icing sugar, 1 egg yolk
What to do: While the dough is resting we’ll make the sugar paste. It’s quite simple, we just have to mix all the ingredients and put the paste in the fridge until we’re ready to use it. It’s easier to manipulate it when chilled. You can also add more flour to make it less sticky.
Step 4: Create your rosca shape
To create the rosca shape you can roll it with both your hands until you get a long string and then connect the edges or grab your ball of dough and make a hole in the middle and roll it around until the whole gets bigger.
Lay down your dough on your tray and let it rest for another hour to double it’s size again.
Step 5: Decorate and bake
After your rosca has doubled in size again it’s time to decorate.
If you have a baby Jesus or two it’s time to tuck them from under the rosca and make sure it’s fully covered by the dough. As a substitute if you don’t find baby Jesus, you can use some whole almonds and hide them under the rosca the same way.
With your leftover egg whites give your rosca a good brush and start putting your dry fruit and nuts of choice on top. Remember your sugar paste from the fridge! Make little worm like shapes and lay them down on your rosca.
Traditional Mexican rosca toppings include ate (fruit paste), citron, colored cherries, figs, sugar but you can also add any other dried and candied goodies of your choice like pineapple, candied orange, etc.
Bake your rosca for about 25 minutes at 325°F or 165°C and voilà, listo!
Watch Janet’s channel Jauja Cocina Mexicana for all the details and more delicious Mexican recipes!
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