Roscon de Reyes
Melindres de Yepes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROSCON DE REYES
(Holiday Bread)
These recipes have come from The Foods and Wines of Spain by Penelope Casas
Courtesy Patricia Wood Winn/Tourist Office of Spain

No holiday is more eagerly awaited in Spain than El Dia de los Reyes Magos-the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany) on January 6. On this date every year, so the legend goes, the Three Wise Men journey to Spain on camels, bearing gifts for all Spanish children. They use ladders to gain access to city apartments aud leave presents in the children's shoes, which have been carefully laid out the night before, along with fodder for the hungry camels. Kids who have not been good during the year fear the worst: that the kings will fill their shoes with black coal instead of toys.

Rascon de Reyes is baked and eaten only at this time of year. It is a delicious sweetened bread, coated with sugar and candied fruits, and it always contains a surprise-either a coin or a small ceramic figurine, which is to bring luck for the year to the fortunate person who finds it in his piece of bread.

Makes 1 large bread ring

Ingredients
1 package dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon orange flower water (often found in Italian food shops. If unavailable, substitute strong tea)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind 6 cloves
1/4 pound butter
1 tablespoon lard or vegetable shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon brandy, preferably Spanish brandy, or Cognac
1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled
5 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
Candied fruit slices (orange, lemon, etc.)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, preferably coarse, for sprinkling

Preparation
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water. Simmer the remaining 1/2 cup of warm water with the orange flower water, lemon rind, and cloves for 10 minutes, covered. Cool. Discard the cloves. Cream the butter, lard, the sugar, and the salt. Beat in the 2 eggs, then add the brandy, milk, the water-and-lemon mixture, and the softened yeast. Gradually mix in the flour with a wooden spoon until a soft and slightly sticky dough is obtained. Knead on a floured working surface, adding more flour as needed, about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, turn to coat with the oil, cover with a towel, and place in a warm spot, such as an unlit oven, to double in size, about 2 hours. Punch down and knead again 5 minutes. Insert a good luck coin - perhaps a silver dollar or half-dollar - or some other appropriate object, such as a cute miniature ceramic animal.

Shape the dough into a large ring, pinching the ends to seal. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Decorate with the fruit slices, pushing them slightly into the dough. Let the ring rise in a warm spot about 1 hour, or until double in size. Brush with the egg, which has been mixed with a teaspoon of water, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in a 350° F oven 35-40 minutes, or until a deep golden brown.

 


MELINDRES DE YEPES
(MARZIPAN CANDY
)

Start preparation one day in advance. Makes about 50 candies

Marzipan came to Spain centuries ago by way of the Arabs and has remained a popular sweet ever since.

Ingredients
1/2 pound blanched almonds
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
Powdered sugar for dusting

GLAZE
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 teaspoon lemon juice

In a processor or blender, grind the nuts to a paste. Add the sugar and continue beating. With the motor running, add the water to form a malleable dough.

Dust a working surface with powdered sugar. Shape the dough into doughnuts the thickness of a pencil and about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place them on a cookie sheet. Leave uncovered overnight to dry.

To make the glaze, beat the powdered sugar and egg white until white, creamy, and thckened. Add the lemon juice and beat 5 minutes more. Dip the top of each candy in the glaze. Put the candies back on the cookie sheet and let them sit until the glaze hardens.

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