Rosca de Reyes Recipe

Rosca de Reyes Recipe

 Rosca de Reyes is a special Mexican bread shaped like a ring that is eaten onthe night of January 6th. It is decorated with colorful candied fruit and has a small figurine of baby Jesus inside. When you share the Rosca with family and friends, whoever finds the baby Jesus in their piece must host a special dinner on February 2nd to celebrate the day of the Candles. Finding the baby Jesus is also a symbol of good fortune for the upcoming year!


For the Dough

  • 4 ⅛ cups bread flour
  • 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast
  • 1 teaspoons fine salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons orange extract
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest

For the Decoration Paste

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the Decoration

  •  large egg, for egg wash
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, for sprinkling
  • 4 red glace cherries
  • 4 green glace cherries
  • 6 narrow slices of guava paste

Make the Dough

  1. Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast, then mix in with a fork.
  2. Add the sugar, unsalted butter, eggs, orange zest, orange extract, and some of the milk. Mix until a dough forms, then gradually add the rest of the milk to get a slightly sticky texture.
  3. Knead it on a lightly floured surface for 10-15 minutes, until it is smooth and no longer as sticky. 
  4. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it’s nearly doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Shape the Rosca

  1. Punch the dough down, then shape it into a circle. Use floured fingers to poke a hole in the center and shape into a ring.
  2. Place the ring on a large parchment-lined cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to prove in a warm place until springy to the touch, about 45 minutes.
  3. While the Rosca is proving, beat the softened butter and sifted icing sugar together until smooth. Add the flour and egg yolk and beat until a paste forms.  Shape the mixture into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then chill for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Divide the paste into six equal pieces, then shape each piece into a rectangular strip.  You’ll use these to decorate the Rosca later.

Decorate & Bake

  1. Set the oven to 400°F about 10-15 minutes before the Rosca is done proving.
  2. Once the dough is springy to the touch, brush it with beaten egg and arrange the cherries, guava paste strips, and paste strips on top.  Sprinkle it with the sugar.
  3. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 375°F and bake for another 10  minutes, until golden brown. The bread should have an internal temperature of 190°F on a meat thermometer.
  4. Let the Rosca cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer on a wire rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes.  Insert the plastic baby from the bottom of the Rosca once it has cooled.
  5. Let each guest cut their own slice.  Enjoy with Abuelita, a type of Mexican hot chocolate.
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