lunes, 19 de diciembre de 2016

My Roscón de Reyes (Spanish Christmas Recipe)

Puedes ver el post original en español pinchando aqui

A couple of years ago, I surprised my wife at Christmas time with this wonderful blog that you’re reading at the moment. And now she’s giving me the opportunity to write a post on how to make a delicious “roscón de reyes”.

I’ve decided to write this because I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been through several recipes in search of an excellent roscón, and none of them have ever been quite what I was looking for. The recipes always claim to be “perfect!”, “ideal to make with your little ones!”, “easy as pie!” NOT TRUE! Don’t fool yourselves, readers. Making any old roscón is easy, sure. But making an excellent recipe requires a bit more effort.

Before we go any further, I ought to explain that my idea of a good roscón isn’t one which is 10cm high, but can’t be scoffed without litres of coffee or hot chocolate to wash it down for me, the ideal roscón must be soft and spongy but firm at the same time, with just the right amount of orange blossom oil. And with that I leave you with my definitive recipe, which I have finally decided on after several years, tweaking the quantities and baking time. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come out well the first 20 times, because it’ll be perfect the 21st time!

Ingredients (3 roscones):
  • 850g strong flour (get a good brand)
  • 200g sugar
  • 100g melted unsalted butter
  • 50g organic yeast (from the baker’s)
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 75ml orange blossom water (good brand essential)
  • 75ml cognac
  • 4 eggs
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • Candied fruit or almonds (to decorate)
  • A pinch of salt

Kitchen Utensils:

You’ll need a large bowl (5-8L) + 2 smaller ones (3-4L), scales, measuring cup, blender, 3 oven trays, cheese grater, and a strong pair of hands!


First: Weigh all the ingredients. Fill a small bowl with lukewarm water and leave to one side. In the other small bowl pour in 100ml of lukewarm milk and rub in the yeast using your fingers until it dissolves completely. Next add the flour bit by bit until a dough non-sticky dough has formed (it’ll need approx. 200g of hour) Form into a ball and place in the bowl of water you’ll see that it sinks.



Second: If there is any flour left in the small bowl, add it to the large bowl. Add the rest of the flour and orange rind.

Put the eggs, sugar, cognac, orange blossom water, the remaining 100ml of milk and the pinch of salt into the blender, Blend well. Now the read fun begins!

Gradually add the contents of the blender to the large mixing bowl while mixing continuously by hand. Afterwards you can enjoy getting the dough out your hair, eyes, and cupboard doors!

You’ll need a clear hand for the next step. 

Make sure the ball of dough in the smaller bowl is now floating. Remove it from the water and add small pieces of it to the mixture in the large bowl, until you have used it all.


When you have managed to create stickiest dough ever, gradually add the melted butter to the mixture. With each drop of butter you’ll begin to feel calmer, and you may even convince yourself that you are in control of the dough, and not the other way around. But you’re kidding yourself.....the dough always wins!

After a very, very, very loooooong time kneading the mixture in the bowl, you will have a dough that is between firm and soft. You shouldn’t be able to form it into balls, nor draw crosses on it with a knife, or any other suggestions that you’ll come across on the Internet. Just leave it alone for 3 or 4 hours while you regain composure and get rid of the little sticky bits all over yours kitchen!

Third: Swelling with pride at having arrived at this point, just as the dough is swelling now that the yeast has started working, breathes deeply and calmly.

Grease three baking trays. Get your hands well buttered and leave the packet handy. Knead and work the dough (which will have doubled or tripled in volume) until it returns to its original size. Grease your hands as often as is necessary so that the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers but NEVER add more flour.

Take approximately one third of the dough and arrange it into a roscón. Form the best ring you can in the air (you’ll wish you had three hands at this point) and place it on the tray. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect as you can manipulate the shape further once you’ve got it on the tray. Make sure you keep it in the centre of the tray and remember that it’ll double in size. Personally I hide the figure at this point.



Repeat this stage to form the other two roscones and leave them to prove for 4 to 6 hours.

Fourth, but no less important: Pre-heat the oven to 170º-180º. You’ll see that your roscones now look like proper roscones! Now you need to beat an egg and glaze the roscón, taking care not to flatten it. At this point the dough is extremely unstable and a heavy-handed touch or even a draft could suddenly cause it to collapse, leaving us with a marvellous roscón-flavoured pizza.

Decorate it with candied fruits to taste. If you don’t like candied fruits, you can always sprinkle it with ground almonds, or even use fruits, just for the sake of adding a touch of colour, as they can easily be removed later.

Now take a small bowl, add some sugar and a few drops of orange blossom water, just enough so that the sugar moistens and hardens. Place little lumps of the sugar mixture on top of the roscón between the candied fruits and bake for 10-12 minutes (or 15 if you like them a little darker).

Now it’s time to let it cool and make a lovely hot chocolate!

I hope that if you’re looking for a great roscón recipe, this will be your favourite; and that if this is your first roscón, you’ll find it easy to follow. Either way, if you don’t like it or it doesn’t come out quite right, keep trying, or vary the quantities until you end up with the roscón of your dreams.

The only thing left for me to do now it to thank the author of this blog for allowing me to post this recipe, and encourage her to keep going with her delicious confectionary and working on this fabulous blog.

PS) Here you can see the video tutorial my husband made about this recipe in Spanish. We hope you like it!

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