Thanks to La Lechera for sponsoring this holiday post. All ideas and opinions are my own.
Rosca de Reyes or Three Kings Bread is a brioche-like buttery bread eaten in Mexico, Spain, and in many parts of Latin America on January 6 or Three Kings Day, a day which commemorates the biblical story of the arrival of the Three Kings or Wise Men.
I was fifteen the first time I had Rosca de Reyes. I was studying abroad and living in a small coastal village in the south of Spain. It had been a difficult Christmas season away from my family and adapting to new holiday traditions. Even at fifteen I was confused by the lack of gift giving on Christmas morning, those were reserved for January 6, the day the Reyes Magos or Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus. Instead of stockings children left their shoes at the foot of their beds on January 5th, in hopes they’d find them filled with gifts in the morning. After the unwrapping of gifts the day was filled with a beautiful mid-day meal with a colorful, candied-fruit studded Rosca de Reyes as the grand finale.
In Mexico glorious, shiny Rosca de Reyes fill bakeries and markets from Christmas onward and are enjoyed with cups of steaming hot chocolate for dipping. A small porcelain or plastic baby is hidden inside the bread and whoever finds it gets the honor of throwing the season’s next celebration, Día de la Candelaria, or Candlemas on February 2 with tamales and atole and botanas or little Mexican party snacks. I couldn’t find any babies to stick in my bread but I found some foil-wrapped bubble gum coins instead (a dried bean or any foil-wrapped candies are also traditional).
This is my first year making the bread at home and it was fun for Armando and I to share our different Rosca de Reyes memories with the kids—my solitary Spanish experience and his eating Rosca de Reyes with neighbors and family every holiday.
How To Make It
This recipe turns the traditional round loaf of bread into a luxurious, grand dessert, topped with rings of homemade candied citrus and filled with fluffy whipped cream sweetened with creamy La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk. Filling the bread is simple; you just slice the entire loaf in half as if you were making a sandwich.
Evenly spread the sweet cream on the bottom half.
Then gently place the top back on.
The dough is flavored with more fresh citrus zest of lemon and orange and speckled throughout with anise seed. It is beautiful interpretation of a bread fit for kings.
Did you love this recipe? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.
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